Grading Criteria for Term Projects
Your team projects take a great deal of work over the semester. They deserve careful review! In respect for your work, I work hard to grade them, which takes me several days, but I love doing this and am usually impressed by the projects students have done.
I don’t have a fixed template for components of grades. I like to read all the projects once, putting annotations on the papers about what I like and what could be fixed. Then I will return to review each, since seeing different projects reminds me of what I might have missed in my first reading. I write typed reports for each groups with my detailed comments. I assign grades and review again to ensure I have been as fair as possible. I consider which groups to push towards a conference or journal submission.
Here’s what I’m looking for in a great project:
- Ambition in terms of what the group takes on, but I expect a completed project (ambitious goals that are not reached trouble me greatly)
- Innovativeness of the design and application, with clear statement of contributions
- Complexity of implementation and its maturity
- Availability of a demo version: How close to a functioning system that might be usable by others. How scalable along appropriate dimensions, e.g. input size & diversity
- Extensiveness of evaluations: Size & extensiveness of usability test or case studies. Whether more than one round of evaluation was conducted
- Quality of the written report:
◦Well-organized report that clarifies the contributions (I note spelling, grammar & idiomatic English usage, but don’t count these in grading)
◦Readable figures & organized tables with strong captions that highlight the contributions
◦Clear description of the problem and background literature review
◦Presentation of the design, refinements based on evaluation
◦Conclusions and future directions
◦Correctly & consistently formatted references
◦Sections on credits (indicating who did what) and acknowledgements
◦Videos are really helpful (sometimes essential) to understand the project features, but I use videos more to understand the report.
In some classes there may be a project that has a really poor report that omits some of what I expect or makes unreasonable claims for their success. I have been known to go back to them and give them 24-48 hours to revise. I’m eager that all the reports on the website are something that I and they can be proud of – good enough to show to employers, send to colleagues, and inspire future students.