Formative Assessment of Computational Thinking

Formative Assessment of Computational Thinking

With the vision to further promote CT, in this project, we plan to investigate the importance of CT in Higher Education, explore the relationship between CT skills and programming skills, build a model to formatively assess learners’ CT skills, identify automatable components and develop formative assessment system to enhance students’ CT competences.

About the project

This is a PhD project which aims to build a formative assessment components to assess computational thinking in programming education in higher educational settings to support students in their learning process. The design of the project mainly includes gaining knowledge of the state of the art, developing assessment models accordingly, which can then be used a fundamental elements in the implementation of the system. Case studies will be conducted after assessment system is constructed to verify the reliability and the validity of the measures and assessment. If applicable, this assessment component can be implemented in different scenarios where assessment of CT and programming skills are necessary, therefore provide support in education cycle.


  • Literature review of state-of-the-art
  • Design of the CT assessment model in programming education 
  • Implementation of the formative assessment component
  • Case study of the formative assessment component


Mixed-method research methodologies will be employed in distinct phases of the project accordingly. A system which allows formative assessment of CT skills in Programming Education will be iteratively designed and constructed throughout the project. 

Expected outcomes

The outcome of the project should support the CT learning process, make CT more visible to people from diverse backgrounds and empower them with a CT mindset to embrace a more and more digital society.

More concrete outcomes that are expected are list as follows:

  • Papers published in conferences and journals
  • A formative assessment component which can be used to formatively assess students’ performance and provide helpful feedback to support students in their learning process. 


The Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science - Leiden University
Programming Education Research Lab - Leiden University
Faculty Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science - TU Delft