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How would Markus be used at Ecole Centrale de Nantes

with 3 comments

For our project at Ecole Centrale de Nantes, Christian, Benjamin and I had to meet several professors from the different CS courses that are taught our school during our two first years in order to understand how would Markus be used at Ecole Centrale de Nantes, and list the desired new functionality.

We met Guillaume Moreau, in charge of supervising Markus’s deployment at Centrale Nantes, and head professor of the Object course of third year (during which he would like to test Markus next year), Didier Lime, current head Professor of the first year CS course on algorithm and C programming, and last but not least, Vincent Tourre, head prof of this same course next year.

A few concerns and ideas where raised. Here are the three main ideas.

  • Metrics: Guillaume Moreau likes to run metrics on students code for project: number of classes, name of this classes, number of methods, number of variables etc. These metrics are very useful to detect cheating: indeed, in more than 80% of the case, two groups who have exactly the same number of classes and methods just copied/pasted their code. Another type of metrics would be interesting, for third year students at Ecole Centrale de Nantes: metrics on the code itself, that analyses the code, and the use of some key word, and give automatic feedbacks on the code quality (
  • PDF export of the results: Didier Lime would like the students to be able to retrieve the results and comment on their code. A simple way to do this is to implement a pdf export of the results page, with the annotation in a PDF. Students could therefore keep all traces of their assignments on their computer.
  • Possibility to upload reports & screenshots: Vincent Tourre was concerned about reports. Our first year course is about algorithm, and not code. Students have to write algorithm before starting to code anything, and write reports, with their algorithm. In order to use Markus to grade, we could ask students to only write plain text report. But, in second year, we also have to make the object schema. If students could upload reports and images, it would solve both of this problem (a bit like in review board).

Written by nvaroqua

March 10th, 2010 at 4:28 am

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses to 'How would Markus be used at Ecole Centrale de Nantes'

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  1. Thanks Nelle, those are some great ideas. Here is what we have been thinking along those lines.

    Metrics: The type of metrics you mention here are easy to run on the students’ code checked out from the repository. The results of the metrics analysis could be uploaded for each student in MarkUs using the API that Severin created (or something similar).

    I am also imagining that our automated test system could do static analysis of this sort when the students submit their code.

    There is a question here of whether it will eventually be desirable to create some school or course specific features and how we add them to MarkUs. I don’t think I want to go too far in that direction.

    PDF export of results: Do you mean a snapshot of the grader view with all the information visible (rubric, annotations, summary)? If that’s what you mean then maybe we can develop a css style to use for printing that view.

    Uploading reports and screenshots: Students can upload files in any format, but we currently don’t have anyway to view or annotate them. One of the students who is working for me this summer will be looking into this.

    Karen Reid

    10 Mar 10 at 2:43 pm

  2. With regard to extensibility, a plug-in like architecture would be neat. 🙂


    10 Mar 10 at 3:44 pm

  3. PDF export of results would indeed mean a snapshot of the grader view. The most difficult part, I think, would be to create a stylesheet, working for the annotation on the code.

    Annotating images and pdf sounds amazing ! I’m looking forward to see this !


    11 Mar 10 at 3:47 am

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