Grading Philosophy and Practice
All students in this class are expected to
complete all assignments and quizzes correctly. We are aiming to
teach, not to give IQ tests. However, in practice, students do not
always complete all assignments correctly. We use a courser than usual
grading scale because we expect you to get substantially everything
right. The main types of graded assignments are:
Graded paper-and-pencil homework assignments or Mathematic notebooks, typically 1 point, pass-fail.
Short, relatively simple in-class quizzes, typically 1 point, pass-fail.
Programming assignments. These vary a lot in difficulty level and
are typically worth 2-6 points. Points are assigned according to a
rubric which includes coding style and readability as well as
- Alert 1: The total number of points available in a
semester is typically less than 100. (A student once complained that I
hadn't announced that each point would be worth more than 1% of the final grade.)
- Alert 2: Assignments will not be accepted more than one
week after the due date, and we reserve the right to reject any late
assignment (e.g. if the assignment has already been graded). If a late
assignment is accepted, the number of points it would have received is
- Alert 3: Programming assignments often build on one
another. You are encouraged to build on your own code, but you may
request a correct implementation of a previous assignment from the
TAs if it is a building block for the current assignment.
Final grades Final grades are not calculated according to a
strict formula or algorithm. When assigning grades, I consider the
student's percentage of points available, the fraction of assignments
that have a non-zero score (indicative of effort and good intention),
and classroom participation. Everyone who participates and gets
"substantially all" of the available points will get some kind of
"A". In practice, that means if you get >= 90% you will get at least
an "A-" and >= 80% at least a B-. These lines may or may not be moved
toward awarding higher grades depending on the final distribution of
scores and evidence of effort and participation.