Automatic assessment of Java code

David Insa, Josep Silva
2018 Computer languages, systems & structures  
Assessment is an integral part of education often used to evaluate students, but also to provide them with feedback. It is essential to ensure that assessment is fair, objective, and equally applied to all students. This holds, for instance, in multiple-choice tests, but, unfortunately, it is not ensured in the assessment of source code, which is still a manual and error-prone task. In this paper, we present JavAssess, a Java library with an API composed of around 200 methods to automatically
more » ... spect, test, mark, and correct Java code. It can be used to produce both black-box (based on output comparison) and white-box (based on the internal properties of the code) assessment tools. This means that it allows for marking the code even if it is only partially correct. We describe the library, how to use it, and we provide a complete example to automatically mark and correct a student's code. We also report the use of this system in a real university context to compare manual and automatic assessment in university courses. The study reports the average error in the marks produced by teachers when assessing source code manually, and it shows that the system automatically assesses around 50% of the work.
doi:10.1016/ fatcat:yv7k3dthpvaolljgbtbmwm6u4a