Event Title

Exploring ethnic minority students' confidence in their exam answers

Research Mentor(s)

Filip Jagodzinski

Description

Many computer science departments lack diversity among their students because minority students lack representation in the field. This has caused a lack of confidence in many minority students to pursue a computer science major. We surveyed approximately 200 students in an introduction to programming course and collected various demographics data about them. To explore how confidence correlates with student socio-economic status and demographics, we asked students to self-report their confidence, on a scale of 1-4, for each question on both the midterm and final exams. On average, we found that Caucasian and Asian students were the most confident and African Americans had the lowest confidence. However, on the final exam African American students' average confidence increased from their midterm, to become higher than the confidence of Caucasian students. On the final exam, the average confidence across all ethnicities was higher than the midterm. Although our initial analyses show trends like other research, they provide perspectives about computer science students that have not been explored at a per-question level. In the future, we will explore how the use of self-reported confidence can inform students how to best improve their mastery of specific course topics.

Document Type

Event

Start Date

May 2018

End Date

May 2018

Department

Computer Science

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
May 17th, 9:00 AM May 17th, 12:00 PM

Exploring ethnic minority students' confidence in their exam answers

Many computer science departments lack diversity among their students because minority students lack representation in the field. This has caused a lack of confidence in many minority students to pursue a computer science major. We surveyed approximately 200 students in an introduction to programming course and collected various demographics data about them. To explore how confidence correlates with student socio-economic status and demographics, we asked students to self-report their confidence, on a scale of 1-4, for each question on both the midterm and final exams. On average, we found that Caucasian and Asian students were the most confident and African Americans had the lowest confidence. However, on the final exam African American students' average confidence increased from their midterm, to become higher than the confidence of Caucasian students. On the final exam, the average confidence across all ethnicities was higher than the midterm. Although our initial analyses show trends like other research, they provide perspectives about computer science students that have not been explored at a per-question level. In the future, we will explore how the use of self-reported confidence can inform students how to best improve their mastery of specific course topics.