Florida State University
Computer Science Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
2003-2004 Outcomes for BS/BA in Computer Science

Computer Software Programming Skills

Outcome: Upon completion of the senior-level programming courses of the major, the student will be able to design and implement computer software solutions for complex problems.

Assessment and EvaluationProcess: Thi swill result in 80% of the students scoring 70% or better as determined by a capsone programming project for one of the required senior-level programming courses in the major.

Results:A review of the capstone project in COP 4530, Data Structures, in Fall 2003 resulted in 91% obtaining 70% or better in one section, and 100% obtaining 70% or better in the other section. A review of the capstone project in COP 4610, Operating Systems, resulted in 96% obtaining 70% or better for Fall 2003.


These results indicate that we are currently exceeding this outcome in all of the capstone courses. Because what we are doing seems to be working well, we will continue to focus efforts and resources on successfully achieving this outcome. Successfully, achieving this outcome is critical to our students and to our program. Consequently, the performance data will be reviewed by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. If the performance in any of the senior-level required programming courses is identified as not meeting the assessment level, the curriculum of the course(s) will be reviewed and suggestions made to strengthen those aspects of the course(s) that have been shown to be problematic through the evaluation criteria. This may involve adding more lectures or more assignments in the relevant area.


Oral Presentation of Programming Project

Outcome: Upon completion of the senior level course on Programming Languages COP 4020 (or Software Engineering, CEN 4010 for students in SE track), the stduent will be able to give an oral presentation, with an accompanying written document, on a large programming project. This is an important skill for a student whether going into the workforce or on to graduate school.

Assessment and EvaluationProcess: This will results in 80% of the stduents scoring 70% or better as determiend by a class presentation given in the COP 4020/CEN 4010 class. The oral presentation part of the project constitutes 10% of the overall grade and is evaluated by the instructor.

Results: A review of the oral presentation performance on the capstone project for COP 4020 for Fall 2003 resulted in 97.9% meeting the assessment level. A review of the oral presentation performance on the capstone project for CEN 4010 for Spring 2004 resulted in 95% meeting the assessment level.

Actions:Our current approach seems to be working at the desired level, but the ability to make effective oral presentations on programming projects is critical to the success of our graduates and we will continue to review and refine our instruction activities. Additionally, the performance data will be reviewed by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. If the performance on the oral presentation does not meet the assessment level, the emphasis on this aspect of the course will be increased by having an added lecture and/or another minor assignment on oral presentation. Note that the students will have had a course to meet the university-wide oral competency requirement. The outcome given here involves honing this skill in the CS discipline.


Fundamental Skills in Computer Science

Outcome: At the completion of the program, undergraduates in CS will have skills that remain current as specific technologies change. Such skills include: mathematical bases of CS, theoretical foundations of programming languages, ability to analyze algorithms.

Assessment and EvaluationProcess: This will result in 80% being employed in field or accepted into graduate school as evidenced by an exit interview with employment and graduate school information, completed within one semester of graduation. A second survey is sent to students one year after graduation to obtain further information on employment and graduation information. Some students will not have employment immediately upon graduation or determined their plans for graduate school, but one year later more accurate information is available. By having a solid background in CS fundamentals, graduates will be attractive to both industry and graduate schools.

Results: A review of the completed exit surveys for Summer 2003 and Fall 2003 resulted in 85.7% and 75% respectively, meeting the required assessment level. Several students were undecided as to their future employment/graduate school plans at the time they completed the survey. We anticipate the one-year-out surveys to update this performance data.

Actions: Each year the exit surveys and one-year-out surveys are reviewed by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. These surveys are valuable for evaluating the program in meeting employment and graduate school goals. The surveys give information on both where students are employed or in school, and their views on which courses were most useful both in getting their jobs/graduate school admissions, and which were deemed most valuable after a year of employment or graduate school. We also request information on what the students suggest should be changed. These, together with changes in the field, are used to modify courses and the curriculum as a whole to better prepare students for employment or graduate school. With such a fast-changing discipline such changes are frequent. The addition of information from the one-year-out surveys should both make the performance data more complete and further demonstrate if changes need to be made to the program.