Developing a Pre- and Post-Course Concept Inventory to Gauge Operating Systems Learning
Operating systems courses often present students with multiple approaches to solve a problem, often with differing trade-offs. While students are more than capable of memorizing the details of these competing approaches, they often struggle to recommend a specific approach and analyze its implications. In particular, we find that students exhibit difficultly in interpreting text-based scenario descriptions in a way that allows them to correctly choose between potential solutions when presented with a high-level, conceptual scenario. In this paper, we describe the development of a pre- and post-course concept inventory, which we utilize to explore students' misconceptions of operating systems and their associated trade-offs. We compare the results of our assessment with in-class peer instruction questions and exam questions to characterize the areas in which students most commonly struggle with operating systems material.
Webb, K. and C. Taylor. 2014. "Developing a Pre- and Post-Course Concept Inventory to Gauge Operating Systems Learning." In The Proceedings of the 45th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE), Atlanta, GA, 103-108.