Making better exam questions for Computer Science 2 & 3

Presenter: Brett Clarke

PRESENTATION: Making better exam questions for Computer Science 2 & 3

This presentation will cover the principles of good exam item construction, including both long and short form items so you can best prepare your students for the WACE throughout the year. You will learn how to create better school based exams through having a better understanding of the syllabus, assessment principles and examination design tips & tricks.

Ensure you are testing what you think you are testing and improve the reliability of the results produced by students. Address issues of inclusivity and learn what should be included in a question and what should not.

Examples of items from Computer Science 2 & 3 that demonstrate strong adherence to these principles will be shown and well as items that illustrate where changes could be made to improve these items and the quality of the responses illicited from students as a result.

This presentation will be accompanied by a followup workshop where you will have the opportunity to analyse existing exam items yourself and to create your own items and have them critiqued during the session. (Please see below)



WORKSHOP: Writing great exam questions for Computer Science 2 & 3

This workshop follows on from the presentation “Making better exam questions for Computer Science 2 & 3” where the principles of good item design are covered.

In this hands-on, brains-on workshop you will be challenged to apply the principles of good item design to create your own short and long for exam questions and have them critiqued by a highly experienced WACE Computer Science Examination panel member and Chair. You will learn how to self critique your own items as well as critique and therefore improve those items obtained from other sources that you may be considering for inclusion in you next school-based exam.

Feel free to bring along any items/exams you may have developed/used in the past if you would like some feedback.


About the Presenter:

Brett Clarke has had a long association with the Computer Related Studies Curriculum in WA and ECAWA, for over 25 years, serving twice as its President.

Brett lead the group involved in writing the first Computer Science Course (TEE Computing) for the Secondary Education Authority, served for some time as the Chair of its Syllabus Committee and as an examiner and examining panel Chair. He, along with Valerie Gould comprised the initial Assessment and Grading committee for the SEA’s IT courses and together, wrote and published the seminal workbooks for TEE Computing used by the majority of teachers and students who studied and taught these courses.

During this period Brett has taught all the upper secondary computing and multimedia courses and held the role as Head of Department Computing/Technology & Enterprise.

More recently with the development of the WACE, Brett has also been contracted to chair and serve on the panels of both AIT 2 & 3 and Computer Science 2 & 3; in one year, sitting on all four panels simultaneously. He has had vast experience in curriculum development as the DET Consultant for Computer Education and also spent several years as a school based moderation officer for all the upper secondary computer courses.

In addition, Brett has lectured IT units in the Curtin University School of Education, the Department of Training, Cert II-IV Certificate in IT, and as a contracted specialist to deliver the WACE Computer Science curriculum to students in WA Independent schools.

In 2002 Brett was recognised as one of the first of Apple’s global “Distinguished Educators” in Australia. He has worked as a private IT consultant in industry, specialising in digital forensics, and is currently employed by Catholic Education WA to oversee IT service provision across the state.

As an employer of recent WACE IT course graduates he maintains an intense interest in these courses and the quality and fidelity of their assessment processes.


Join Brett Clarke at the ECAWA 2015 State Conference at Scotch College


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