Assessment and Grading

Assessment #

Please note: what you see below is a reasonable approximation for how you will be assessed, but some of these policies may change over the next several weeks. We’re sorry for the delay, and will work to get a policy to you as soon as possible.

In a nutshell, your grade in this course is assessed based on your performance in the following categories:

  • Quizzes and Worksheets: 20%
  • Assignments: 20%
  • Midterm Project: 20%
  • Final Project: 20%

The assessment categories and methodology are aimed at measuring your growth in this course in a variety of ways while providing flexibility for students of different learning styles. Specifically, while each of the categories above will count towards your final grade, there are a few concessions we make in calculating your score in each of these areas (described in the section below). Also, whichever category in which you score the highest percentage will count as 40% of your final grade instead of 20%.

Grading Concessions/Late Policy #

Dropped Scores #

For quizzes and worksheets, your lowest quiz score and lowest worksheet grade will be dropped automatically.

Assignment Submissions #

Assignment submissions have deadlines each week as listed on Canvas. In any given week, there is an option to have one initial submission (having the assignment graded for the first time) and one resubmission (regrade request) in grading. Assignments 0 and 1 will walk you through the process of doing this.

Once an assignment has been graded for the first time, you may resubmit changes for a grade adjustment. You must document any changes you made since the initial submission; any other changes will not be reviewed.

Assignment deadlines are strict - there are around twice as many deadlines as assignments, so if you miss one, you can submit at the next one. You are responsible for staying on track with respect to deadlines; if you miss too many of them, you will not have enough submission deadlines left to have all of your assignments graded.

Late Submissions #

Late submissions are only allowed by agreement with the instructor. We generally do not grant late submissions except in the case of emergencies (see below), since the resubmission system provides a buffer for that.

Other late submissions will not be graded and will not receive credit.

Emergencies #

In the case of an emergency, we can override some of the policies above. It is ultimately your choice in what you choose to prioritize given your situation. In serious emergencies, SoftDes is almost certainly not a priority. If necessary, we will work out a reasonable solution.

We ask that if an emergency causes you to miss class or work, please notify us as soon as you are able to so that we can make the appropriate plans. You do not have to disclose details of the emergency to us if you are not comfortable - you can instead speak with the Assistant Dean of Students, Adva Waranyuwat (, who can also help you work out accommodations with all of your courses at once.

What does or does not constitute an emergency can sometimes be difficult to pin down. Sometimes a situation might not seem like an emergency, but is nevertheless eligible for an emergency extension. The best way is to ask, but here are some example scenarios:

  • One hour before an assignment was due, GitHub experienced an outage that prevented any changes from being pushed to repositories. For some users, the outage persisted to an hour after the deadline. In this case, we would extend the deadline for everyone, likely until the end of that day (11:59 pm).
  • A family emergency came up, and you need to leave campus for a week. In this case, we would grant an extension for all work assigned or due while you were gone.
  • You get stuck in a region with no/restricted Internet access due to travel issues, which prevents you from completing an assignment. In this case, we would grant an extension during your delay.

Here are some examples where you would likely not receive an emergency extension:

  • After the deadline, you realized you submitted an earlier, incomplete version of the assignment. You are responsible for double-checking your submissions on GitHub. In this situation, you can still resubmit after grading is done.
  • It is a very busy week of the semester, when many classes have big assignments due. You have not been sleeping much due to all of the work. We discourage you from overexerting yourself and going without sleep, but in this situation you should consider submitting at the next deadline.
  • You have an interview for a job/internship that will cause you to miss class or consume too much of your time before the assignment deadline. We wish you the best of luck on your interview, but you should submit at the next deadline if you really cannot make this one.

Note that submitting an incomplete assignment as your initial submission is allowed and is in fact a good way to avoid “burning” one of your initial submission deadlines. If things get very dire, we can have a conversation about alternate ways to move forward.