An efficient approach to measure the difficulty degree of practical programming exercises based on student performances

Huy Tran, Tien Van Vu, Hoang Viet Nguyen, Duy Tran, Thinh Tien Nguyen, Van Thanh Le


This study examines the generality of easy to hard practice questions in programming subjects. One of the most important contributions is to propose four new formulas for determining the difficulty degree of questions. These formulas aim to describe different aspects of difficulty degree from the learner's perspective instead of the instructor's subjective opinions. Then, we used clustering technique to group the questions into three easy, medium and difficult degrees. The results will be the baseline to consider the generality of the exercise sets according to each topic. The proposed solution is then tested on the data set that includes the results of the two subjects: Programming Fundamentals, Data Structures and Algorithms from Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology. The most important result is to suggest the instructors complete various degrees according to each topic for better evaluating student's performance.

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