Evaluation is the process of ensuring an algorithmic solution is a good one: that it is fit for purpose. Various properties of algorithms need to be evaluated including whether they are correct, are fast enough, are economic in the use of resources, are easy for people to use and promote an appropriate experience. Trade-offs need to be made as there is rarely a single ideal solution for all situations.

There is a specific and often extreme focus on attention to detail in computational thinking based evaluation. For example, if we are developing a medical device to deliver drugs to patients in hospital we need to be sure that it always delivers the amount of drug set and that it does so quickly enough once start is pressed. However, we also need to be sure that nurses will be able to set the dose quickly and easily without making mistakes and that it won’t be frustrating or irritating for patients and nurses to use. There is likely to be a trade-off to be made between speed of entering numbers and helping avoid mistakes being made when doing so. The judgement about it being quick and easy has to be made systematically and rigorously.

The following links to cs4fn articles that illustrate evaluation.

More of our resources, including linked computing ‘story’ booklets can be found in our resources section. You may also want to look at cs4fn’s teacher resources or browse the latest cs4fn magazine.

It is suggested that:

  • Primary teachers focus on the badge statements from the Pink to Purple row.
  • Secondary teachers focus on the badge statements from the Purple to Black row.
  • The white row overlaps with the KS4 qualification specifications.

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