Download the grade contract.

This course is about learning techniques for accessing, formatting, and creating information objects. It is as much about practice as it is about conceptual learning. The only way to develop good practice in any applied field is to try and “fail.” Failure is a crucial aspect of succeeding. In this course the only way to fail-fail is not to try

The grading for this course is simple: the more work you complete, the more commits you make on GitHub, the better your grade. If you are ever wondering about how you are doing in the course, just keep track of how much you are doing. As your instructor, I will be.

This doesn’t mean that quality is not a consideration, but quality is also something that happens through iteration and refinement, not from doing something one time and stopping.

Mandatory Assignments

All mandatory assignments must be completed to assignment specifications to receive a grade in the course. Failure to complete any one of these requirements will result in a failing grade for the semester.

Basics (5%)

Website (15%)

Formatted documents (10%)

Data sheets (5%)

Database (10%)

Presentation (15%)

Variable Assignments

Quizzes (10%)

Every day, there will be a simple (usually single-question) quiz about something we covered the day before. These will be available at midnight after class until the next day. These are not “gotcha” quizzes or even graded based on your response. They are simply meant to reinforce a key concept from each session or indicate to you something that you really should know without having to think too hard about it.

Table 1: Quizzes

Quizzes Undergrad Grad
22-23 A H
20-21 B P
18-19 C P
16-17 D L
15 or fewer F F

Share online resources (10%)

These are simply posts to the class blog either linking to resources that you find useful for completing your assignments and other technology-based tasks for the course. You are expected to engage in this activity over the course of the semester.

Table 2: Sharing online resources

Resources posted Undergrad Grad
6 or more A H
4-5 B P
2-3 C P
1 D L
0 F F

Attendance (10%)

There are 24 sessions in this semester including the final exam day. This is how the attendance grade breaks down. You cannot participate if you are not in class. About half of our time spent in class will be hands-on, so it behooves you to take advantage of this time to work with your teams.

Table 3: Attendance

Class sessions attended Undergrad Grad
24 A H
23 B P
22 C P
21 D L
20 or fewer F F

Commits (10%)

GitHub commits indicate that you are working on and tweaking things of your own accord and as a member of any team to which you are assigned. All work for the course will be managed through GitHub. Since there is no objective number for how many commits a given person should make, I will evaluate this in terms of the number of commits compared with the average number of commits for the entire class. This is sort of like “grading on a curve” but slightly more complicated. It breaks down as follows:

Table 4: Commits

N = your number of commits
μ = class mean (average) number of commits
σ = standard deviation from mean number of commits

Number of commits relative to class Undergrad Grad
N > μ + σ/2 A H
μ < N > μ + σ/2 B P
μ + σ/2 < N > μ C P
N < μ + σ/2 D L

Regardless, more commits = more work. If your commit history is blank, then you are not engaged in the workflow. So, commit commit commit.

Evaluation -