Fundamentals of Computer Science II (CSC-152 98S)

A Note on Grading

I will admit that I've done an atrocious job of grading your homeworks this semester. There is no good excuse, but I will note that I spent a lot of time writing labs and outlines for the class and that this is the first time I've tried to balance three courses in one semester. In addition, as I mentioned at the beginning of the semester, I think you learn significantly more from doing the assignments than from receiving my comments on the assignments. However, I had identified "late grading" as one of my signficant problems as a teacher and I did not work hard enough on improving that problem.

It's late enough that there is no clear resolution to the problem. Strict grading of what you turn in will be unfair, given that you haven't been given a chance to improve. At the same time, receiving no benefit from all that work is also unfair. I'd like to spend a little bit of class time discussing possible solutions.

I will tell you my preferred solution, which involves each student grading him- or herself. I will provide a grading strategy (somewhat more lenient than my normal strategy). You will determine your homework grade based on that strategy and write a small (one paragraph) essay suggesting what you deserve and why. I'm happy to go over particular programs with you on a one-on-one basis.

My grading on each assignment typically begins with the assumption that everyone deserves a B. That is, someone who writes a working program (or one that works on most inputs), includes comments (with preconditions and postconditions), and doesn't do any of the suggested or implicit extra work gets a B. I then offset as follows (a "notch" is approximately third of a letter grade).

You may want to look at the proposed grading key for assignment three for some details on some things I typically look for when grade an assignment. That one uses a slightly different strategy than suggested above, but does point out some key grading techniques.

I will also attempt to grade assignment six so that you can get some sense of how I would normally grade.

Disclaimer Often, these pages were created "on the fly" with little, if any, proofreading. Any or all of the information on the pages may be incorrect. Please contact me if you notice errors.

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Source text last modified Fri Apr 24 07:29:25 1998.

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