Sign In

Communications of the ACM

Viewpoint

Assessing Abstraction Skills


Assessing Abstraction Skills, illustration

Credit: Sjoerd Los / Flickr

Abstraction is considered to be a key skill underlying most activities in computer science (CS) and software engineering (SE).3,4 As a central concept, abstraction is taught and utilized in various guises in every CS and SE course: in requirements specifications, problem solving, and modeling through to programming and debugging. Given its importance, can one assess an individual's abstraction ability? Are abstraction skills assessable at all? If no, why? If yes, how? We decided to conduct a survey to investigate this topic. As far as we know, this is one of the first trials to address this challenge.1

In 2007, Kramer proposed to develop a test that could assess abstraction skills in the context of CS and SE, and which would be more multifaceted than that used in psychometric tests.4 In this spirit, we decided to consult experts in CS and SE research and teaching concerning the suitability of various question patterns (or templates) for assessing abstraction skills. We specifically used patterns rather than specific questions in order not to limit the experts' line of thought, and, at the same time, to provide a template that each instructor could adjust and populate according to his or her needs.


 

No entries found

Log in to Read the Full Article

Sign In

Sign in using your ACM Web Account username and password to access premium content if you are an ACM member, Communications subscriber or Digital Library subscriber.

Need Access?

Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features.

Create a Web Account

If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site.

Join the ACM

Become a member to take full advantage of ACM's outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits.
  

Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine

Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly.

Purchase the Article

Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.
Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account