Developing A Pre- And Post-Course Concept Inventory To Gauge Operating Systems Learning

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Published In

Proceedings Of The 45th ACM Technical Symposium On Computer Science Education


Operating systems courses often present students with multiple approaches to solve a problem, often with differing trade-offs. While students are more than capable of memorizing the details of these competing approaches, they often struggle to recommend a specific approach and analyze its implications. In particular, we find that students exhibit difficultly in interpreting text-based scenario descriptions in a way that allows them to correctly choose between potential solutions when presented with a high-level, conceptual scenario. In this paper, we describe the development of a pre- and post-course concept inventory, which we utilize to explore students' misconceptions of operating systems and their associated trade-offs. We compare the results of our assessment with in-class peer instruction questions and exam questions to characterize the areas in which students most commonly struggle with operating systems material.


concept inventory, misconceptions, operating systems

Published By



45th ACM Technical Symposium On Computer Science Education

Conference Dates

March 5-8, 2014

Conference Location

Atlanta, GA