So…what is Web-CAT?

May 15, 2008 at 5:42 pm 2 comments

In the spirit of preparation for our Web-CAT demonstration this Friday, I figure I’d try to sum up what we’re trying to do this summer to our non-existent readers out there. If you want the more official answer, then you should go here but succinctly put, Web-CAT (Web-based Center for Automated Testing) is a way for instructors to setup an automated marking portal for students to submit their assignment to.

What’s nice about it is that students get an almost instantaneous feedback as to whether their code is up to par with the expected test results.  We have only tested it for 5 stub users so far, so we have no idea how scalable it is, but apparently it is being used in several universities/colleges already.  Also, plug-ins are also available to submit assignments within popular IDEs such as Eclipse and BlueJ, which means students have less excuse to procrastinate while switching windows to submit through the browser (no more “Firefox made me do it” excuses).

So, why did we pick Web-CAT as a project to work on this summer? Well, a few years back, one of the course projects here at U of T was an Online Marking Tool (OLM), which is a way for students to get a more sophisticated feedback from instructors.  More importantly, it also allows easy marking for TAs by providing tools such as easy-to-click rubric, inline code comments, etc which helps them avoid throwing student code print-outs in the air and catching them to see who gets the A+ in the class.

As far as I know, the plan this summer is to pick out the features that are “best-of-both-worlds” and integrate them into this one supercool application that hopefully will take over the world someday.  Hopefully, we can start off this iteration with a bang and to see what we can come up with over the next several months.  And while we’re at it, maybe we’ll try to create an app that does the studen’ts assignments for them as well.

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Entry filed under: Web-CAT. Tags: , , .

Let the game begin!!! Officially stuck

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Qi  |  May 15, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    “And while we’re at it, maybe we’ll try to create an app that does the studen’ts assignments for them as well.”

    See, this is exactly what is wrong with this generation and why poverty is still prevalent. We have our priorities mixed up. If we can create an app to do all students’ assignments First, I think we are well on our way to solving AIDS.

    Reply
  • 2. Geofrey  |  May 16, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    “See, this is exactly what is wrong with this generation and why poverty is still prevalent. We have our priorities mixed up.”

    Ahhh, but see, this is where triage comes in. Even if its high on our priority list, it is not cost efficient to do this first given the high cost of actually making this.

    And even if we create a program that does students’ assignments, I think that would be a step backwards in solving AIDS anyways.

    Reply

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