This page provides an explanation of how this course will be graded.
Your grade in this course will depend to varying degrees upon several aspects of your work. The specific breakdown is as follows:
Please note that participation is factored directly into your grade. Please see the participation section below for details.
Details of all the other grading opportunities may be found elsewhere within this presentation by following the links above.
There are two important measures of participation that will influence your success in this course. You must participate in class meetings and contribute to your team’s efforts. Although a lack of participation in either area will have an implicit detrimental effect on your grade, the grading is set up to explicitly penalize a lack of participation as well.
See the weightings above to learn precisely how participation will impact your overall grade.
Each student begins the semester with the full 10% participation portion of the grade represented as 10 participation points, and must work to maintain them throughout the semester.
Each student is allowed one (1) unexcused absence from mandatory class meetings for the semester (not including the dates of quizzes or the exam) without penalty. Once this allowance has been exhausted, however, each subsequent unexcused absence from a mandatory class meeting will cost one participation point (to a maximum of 10). Class meetings are the regularly scheduled meetings of the entire class and may include lectures, presentations or other activities. All class meetings are mandatory unless explicitly announced otherwise.
Class meetings start promptly at the scheduled time, and attendance will be taken at the start of each meeting. If you arrive after a class meeting has begun (or leave prior to its end), you run the risk that I will record your participation for that meeting as partial. For every two partial participations, you will lose one participation point.
Simply being present at a class meeting is a good start towards maintaining your participation grade, but I do reserve the right to deduct participation points when I notice that individual students are not fully engaged in the activities taking place during class. For example, excessive talking with neighboring classmates, obsessively focusing upon one’s laptop, phone, tablet, or other gadgets rather than the class itself, and various other disruptive or distracting behaviors may result in you losing participation points even though you have strong attendance.
It is also possible to lose participation points by not contributing fully to your team’s efforts. See the team project for complete details.
The loss of participation points can be avoided by establishing valid excuses for absences from class meetings and team responsibilities. In the case of excused absences from class meetings, I will be the one that determines the validity of each excuse. All requests for excused absences from class meetings must be submitted to me by e-mail. Submitting such a request in advance of the class meeting in question and/or providing official documentation (doctor’s note, etc.) will generally improve your chances of being excused. In the case of excused absences from team responsibilities, the other members of your team will decide the validity of your excuse. See the team policies for complete details. Please note that there is a difference between an excuse and an explanation.
There will be a variety of deadlines that will need to be met throughout the semester. As in the real world of professional Web design, some of them will be essential to success, and others will be less critical.
Failure to meet any deadline will have a detrimental effect on your grade. However, failures to meet essential deadlines will weigh more heavily on your grade than failures to meet less critical deadlines. Whenever possible, I will make it clear which deadlines are essential.
Penalties will be at my discretion, but the more time that elapses between the deadline and the submission the greater the penalty is likely to be. No submissions will be accepted more than 72 hours after the deadline without prior permission.
You are responsible for getting your submission to me somehow (or, in the case of online submissions, notifying me that it is complete and ready for grading). I will determine the penalty based upon when I learn that the submission is complete. Please plan accordingly.
Online submissions will be assumed complete at the stated deadline. If you are not going to have it done by the deadline, you must notify me by e-mail prior to the deadline. Then, you are responsible for notifying me again by e-mail as soon as the assignment is complete and ready for grading. If you fail to notify me that an assignment will not be complete at the deadline, I reserve the right to either grade it as it stands at the deadline or not grade it at all.
All of the above is negotiable if you have a valid excuse. However, it is your responsibility to get special allowances from me by e-mail. Even if we discuss such allowances face to face, they will not be considered official until you get me to confirm them in writing. As a general rule of thumb, the sooner you contact me about a difficulty, the more flexibility and forgiveness I am likely to have. And, remember, I will be the one to decide the validity of your excuse, and I will do so in consideration of fairness to your classmates as well as you.
The reading quizzes and the exam will be announced so that you can plan and study accordingly. Makeups may be allowed at my discretion, but only if you contact me before the test is administered. Be sure to get confirmation of your makeup from me by e-mail to make it official!
The intent of this course is to model for you the Web design process in as realistic a way as an academic environment will allow. Much of that process is collaborative, and therefore much of your work in this course will be collaborative. However, even in the collaborative professional arena, it is unacceptable to take credit for work which is not your own or to which you did not adequately contribute. Taking false credit in this way typically has a variety of detrimental effects on one’s professional career and reputation, and you can expect it to have similar detrimental effects on your academic pursuits.
To some extent, this will make your ethical decisions in this course more realistic as well. In a more “traditional” course, I could tell you unequivocally, “Do your own work at all times,” and we’d be clear on what I expect of you. However, in this course, there will be some work on which you are expected to collaborate with others, and other work which you are expected to do on your own. If you are assigned work to be done with your team, you may safely assume that it is meant to be collaborative. You, of course, need to do your part, but you need not worry about submitting work which is not wholly your own.
However, you will be expected to treat other coursework, such as the quizzes, the exam and the individual project, as more traditional academic tasks and do your own work on them. Specifically, all work which you submit and/or display as your own original work must in fact be your own original work. If any portion of the work which you do for this course is an exact replica or derivation of the original work of another, it is your responsibility to obtain the creator’s permission to utilize his or her work and indicate the extent of the creator’s contribution to your work.
Unfortunately, experience has demonstrated that a handful of students find this simple statement ambiguous. Therefore, I have composed a Code of Conduct for my classes. Please be sure you read and fully understand this document. You may be asked to submit a signed copy to me.
It is also your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the University’s Code of Ethics regarding the use of campus computing facilities and adhere to it.
Likewise, you will be expected to act as a good citizen within the networked society you are able to access as a UNH student. Use your common sense and good taste and remember that you will be held accountable for all network activity originating from your account.
Potential penalties for failing to abide by these rules can range from zero scores on coursework, to failure of the course, to loss of University computing privileges, to (in extreme cases) legal action.
Although I may use various grading strategies throughout the process, projects will be assigned letter grades upon completion. The exact criteria for grading will vary somewhat with the requirements of each project, but in general you can expect letter grades to mean the following:
Throughout the semester, you will receive grades for the work that you submit. At the end of the semester, I will use these grades to determine the actual letter grade you earned for the semester. I can make the following promises about the assignment of those final grades:
I would also like to dispel some common misconceptions about final grades:
Final letter grades are based strictly on the grades you have earned throughout the semester. Final grades are NOT based on any of the following considerations:
That’s not to say that these issues are unimportant. They may be extremely important considerations during the semester. They simply have no direct bearing on the assignment of final letter grades.
In fact, I am always willing to discuss any of these issues and help you to work out strategies and solutions for dealing with them at any point during the semester. However, at no point during the semester will I wave my hands and magically change your grades as a result. Therefore, it’s very important that you contact me sooner rather than later so that I can assist you in improving your future grades, since there’s nothing that can be done with the grades you’ve already earned. And when it comes time to assign final letter grades, I will do so without regard to any of these considerations.
If you need to achieve a specific minimum grade in this course to attain a personal goal or satisfy an academic requirement of some sort, it is your responsibility to ensure that you act in pursuit of that goal throughout the entire semester. All too often, students have an unfortunate habit of underachieving throughout most or all the semester and then trying to retroactively “rewrite history” at the end of the semester when they realize they have not achieved the minimum grade they require.
If you have a documented learning disability, I will be happy to work with you and the ACCESS Center to develop an approach that will facilitate your learning process. But it is extremely important for you to communicate this fact to me in writing at the beginning of the semester. The longer you wait, the less I will be able to do to assist you.
And, of course, I am always willing to explain the details of how I arrived at your grade after the semester has ended. I will not, however, change it.
So, in short, when I assign final letter grades, I do so by considering the grades you have earned throughout the semester; no more, no less.
Most final grades will be relatively straightforward to assign based
on the grades assigned throughout the semester. The hardest decision
I must make, however, is when to assign an F.
According to the University grading guidelines an F is intended to
performance so deficient in quality as to be unacceptable for credit. Therefore,
when deciding whether or not a particular grade should be an F, I
must ask myself the question:
Do the objective measures I have of this student’s performance (that is, their numerical grades) demonstrate a level of mastery of the course material that I feel justifies their receiving credit for the course?
And if the answer to that question is
no, then I am
obligated to assign a grade of F. While it is never pleasant to
assign a failing grade, as an educator I have a responsibility
to a larger community that takes precedence over individual situations,
and when I assign grades I must fulfill that responsibility.
If the answer to the question is
yes, then I may assign that student
a passing grade. Fortunately, the issue of whether to pass or fail
a student is a rare one.