Grading, Feedback and Policies02 Jan 2017
The course is focused on exploring distance learning by making interesting creative work. To get a good grade you’ll need to:
- Show up to class (on time)
- Regularly participate in conversations and crits
- Turn in your work on time for each module
- Support your classmates by giving them feedback on their work,
- Taking part in the course Slack by sharing content and helping out peers
- Provide thoughful contributions to discussions
- Offer well researched and interesting examples and cases
- Create interesting, well-crafted and well documented projects
- Be open to new perspectives and generally positive and engaged.
- Ask questions.
The most important element: the work you do. Make an effort, try new approaches, experiment technologies, and apply them in interesting and unexpected ways. They key to getting a stellar grade will mean finding an exciting interactive strategy, for internet of things applications and scenarios.
To facilitate grading all students are expected to prepare digital pages for their work (e.g. Gallery projects, Google Documents, Slack posts). All work must be submitted or presented by the deadline. Late work will not be accepted.
This course will largely assign a mix of independent and group work. For independent projects, all work submitted must represent a distinct product by that individual and may not be produced in partnership with any peer within the class. Group projects allow for collaboration but expect that all members contribute to the final work equally. Work submitted for assessment in one class may not be submitted in full or in part for assessment in a second class.
Breakdown of grades
Final grades for the course will be broken down as follows:
- 10% - Attendance & Participation
- 10% - 5 x Discoveries (2% per discovery)
- 20% - Readings, Summaries and Reflections
- 20% - Weekly Creative Projects (4 x 5%)
- 40% - Final Project incl. presentation and demonstration
Note: this is subject to change. Follow the links to find out specific information on each graded component with the exception of participation which is discussed below.
Participation grade will be based on three components; but generally it boils down to being a good citizen during the course: be engaged, ask questions, contribute your insights and support your peers.
a) Attendance - being present in classes and maintain a strong record of attendance over the duration of the course;
b) In-Class Engagement - being engaged in the classroom activities, actively and productively contributing to in-class discussions and project critiques; and
c) Online Engagement - being an active and productive contributor to the classroom slack, supporting peers online, sharing knowledge with the class, etc.
An excellent grade will be earned for the following (on and offline) characteristics:
- The student is always respectful of his or her self, others, and teacher, has a positive attitude, and does not criticize anyone else’s ideas or work.
- The student initiates contributions more than once in each session;
- The student’s comments are insightful & constructive; uses appropriate terminology. Comments balanced between general impressions, opinions & specific, thoughtful criticisms or contributions.
- The student listens attentively when others present materials, perspectives, as indicated by comments that build on others’ remarks, i.e., student hears what others say & contributes to the dialogue.
- The student routinely shares with, and supports the efforts of others.
- The student brings needed materials to class and is always ready to work.
- The student is awake and engaged in class on a daily basis, and shows no disruptive behavior.
Grading Standards / Rubric
A: Superlative or exemplary work, initiative beyond the description of the problem. Significant understanding of the problem. Conceptual clarity. An attitude of self-motivated exploration, open-mindedness, and a willingness to benefit from criticism.
B: Very good, some exemplary work, a thorough understanding of the problem. Project displays conceptual foundation, well crafted. Competence and mastery of skills. Open, inquisitive attitude.
C: Satisfactory or adequate work that meets the minimum requirements of the problem and course. Shows understanding of the problem, with some deficiencies. Reasonable mastery of skill and concepts. This grade is seen to represent the average solution.
D: Passing, work that is complete, but does not show an understanding of the problem or expectations, and demonstrates deficient skills.
R: Failing work that does not meet the requirements of the studio, shows a serious deficiency in skills or is incomplete.
The grading scale for the course is as follows:
A - 90 - 100%
B - 80 - 90%
C - 70 - 80%
D - 60 - 70%
R - < 60%
Opportunities for extra credit will at one or more times throughout the semester. These will be discussed in class.
As the course is designed for in-class review and discussion of almost every assignment (readings, research, creative projects), late work is not accepted. Without delivering your work on time, you will not get the benefit of in-class feedback, discussion and critique that it brings. More importantly, it can hold up the progress of the class as a whole.
The only exceptions will be in the case of medical or family emergencies or other pre-arranged university-approved absences.
Grading, Assignments and Your Wellbeing
Besides all of the above, your health and wellbeing is first priority. Particularly as the semester comes to a close and there are many competing deadlines, assignments and priorities, first and foremost, take care of yourself. Do your best to maintain a healthy lifestyle this semester by eating well, exercising, avoiding drugs and alcohol, getting enough sleep and taking some time to relax. This will help you achieve your goals and cope with stress.
All of us benefit from support during times of struggle. You are not alone. There are many helpful resources available on campus and an important part of the college experience is learning how to ask for help. Asking for support sooner rather than later is often helpful.
If you or anyone you know experiences any academic stress, difficult life events, or feelings like anxiety or depression, we strongly encourage you to seek support. Counseling and Psychological Services (CaPS) is here to help: call 412-268-2922 and visit their website at http://www.cmu.edu/counseling/. Consider reaching out to a friend, faculty or family member you trust for help getting connected to the support that can help.
If you have questions about this or your coursework, please let me know.