A Systematic Umbrella Review on Computational Thinking Assessment in Higher Education

Xiaoling Zhang*, Fenia Aivaloglou, Marcus Specht

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Computational Thinking (CT) is considered a core 21st century digital skill. The aspect of assessment is crucial and knowing what, who, when, how, and where to assess is important for assessment design. In this study, we conducted an umbrella review to gain insights regarding CT assessment in higher education. In total, we analyzed 11 reviews, focusing on: (1) bibliographical and methodological characteristics of the reviews; (2) aspects relevant of assessment design, including a) assessed constructs, b) applied assessment methodologies, and c) assessment contexts. Our findings suggest an increased attention on this topic. However, hardly any reviews reasoned the selection of their review methodology, and most of the reviews did not thoroughly examine existing reviews. Regarding assessment design aspects, most reviews did not confine their scope to higher education; however, findings on interventions and educational settings show commonalities. We identified 120 unique assessed constructs and around 10 types of assessment methods. Though a combined use of distinct assessment methods is suggested in reviews, guidelines for appropriate assessment design are yet to be constructed. Based on the findings, we argue that it is necessary to explore different combinations of assessment design in various contexts to construct assessment guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number02
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of STEM Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • assessment
  • computational thinking
  • higher education
  • umbrella review


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