Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy

Use the motivational effects of robotics to excite students about STEM


March 20, 2017

CS2N: Pushing Forward Automated Assessments in the Classroom

By Joshua Jarvis

Robin Shoop
  • Director

Robotics Academy researchers have developed innovative technologies to motivate and assess students. These technologies enable teachers to spend more time helping and motivating students and less time assessing them. The research team is in the process of completing a total upgrade to CS2N and is looking for test classrooms. These new assessment tools are designed to collect student data, analyze it, and help educators and parents to assess what a student or child knows. These changes are designed to lay the foundation for a reconfigurable system that can be used in multiple types of learning environments.

Certifications: the new focal point of CS2N

Certifications are the forefront of the new system. The current implementation of CS2N does not make progress towards a certification immediately apparent to students or teachers. Achievement milestones are displayed on the ‘My Overview Page’ but there is no notion of how these achievements are counted towards one or multiple Certifications. For this reason we decided to present Certificate progress as the main dashboard screen for all students. A student will select a Certificate track and will be able to easily follow their progress towards the completion of the selected certificate track. Next steps towards the completion of the certificate will be clearly defined. Everything the student needs to achieve that certificate can be found and done in CS2N.


  • Have multiple levels which are earned based on exam performance (e.g. bronze, silver, and gold).
  • Are composed of Badges. Badges are earned by completing activities, passing quizzes, uploading evidence (computational artifacts), and earning endorsements from student peers.
  • Badge sections can be separated into skills (e.g. Robot Math Badge – Forward Movement, Angles, and Movement Calculations).

 Collecting Evidence (Requirements)

  • Activities are collected autonomously via digital games or completed in the physical environment.
  • Computational artifacts are uploaded by the student, they include: programs, drawings, links to websites, papers. An evaluation based on a transparent rubric will be made by a CS2N administrator to assess quality and demonstration of skills learned in that lesson
  • Endorsements are from peers or from their instructor.
  • Quizzes are completed by the student to determine a pass/fail grade using a score threshold.