CPSC 329 Software Development Fall 2009

CPSC 329 Assessment

Assignments and Evaluation

Readings: You will quickly notice that the Head First book is not a typical textbook - and while the reading assignments may seem like a lot of pages, the pages are not the typical densely-packed textbook pages. You will get the most out of the readings if you do them interactively - when the text presents a question or exercise, think about how you'd answer it before continuing on. Differences between your answer and the book's can be discussed in class.

Reading Questions: Class periods will generally be more discussion-oriented than lecture-oriented so it is important to come to class prepared by having done (and thought about) the reading. To encourage this, reading assignments will often be paired with a few questions.

Labs: Many lab periods will have lab exercises to complete. In many cases you should be able to finish most or all of the exercises during the lab period if you come to lab prepared by having read the handout; anything not completed during the lab period must be finished as homework. Lab assignments will generally be due one week after the lab in which they are assigned.

Homework: In the first part of the course, there will be a series of homework assignments in order to gain practice with the topics discussed. Some homework assignments will be written; others will involve programming. Many homeworks will build on previous assignments so it is important to complete each one.

Projects: The second part of the course will be dominated by two large projects where you will get to practice and apply your design and implementation skills. The first will be a team project; the second may be completed individually or as part of a team.

Final Exam: The final exam will be a take-home exam due in the registrar-scheduled time slot. More details about the exam will be announced later in the semester.

Final Grades: Final grades in this course will be computed as follows:

  • Reading Questions: 5%
  • Labs: 20%
  • Homework: 20%
  • Projects: 45%
  • Final Exam: 10%

Participation: Since class will be discussion-oriented, you are also expected to participate in class. This does not mean that you have to volunteer for everything, but you should be actively engaged in class - i.e. you are paying attention and contribute meaningfully to the class on a regular basis. Note that you will be counted absent - even if physically present in class - if you are not paying attention for significant portions of the class.

Coding Standards

Following reasonable conventions is important for readability of your code. The course coding standards specify the particular conventions you should use in this course.

Reading Questions Rubric

The purpose of the reading questions is to encourage thinking about the reading. Responses to reading questions will be graded on the following 4-point scale (√, √-, –, 0):


thoughtful response
  • completely addresses the question
  • evidence of thinking beyond what is directly stated in the reading
  • nuances and subtleties are noticed and considered
  • response is on the right track
  • rationale for answer is conveyed
√- superficial or inaccurate response
  • some aspects of the question are not addressed
  • little evidence of thinking beyond what is directly stated in the reading
  • nuances and subtleties are omitted
  • response is generally on the right track, but there many be some incorrect points
  • no rationale for answer
unsatisfactory response (incomplete or incorrect)
  • many aspects of the question are not addressed
  • an attempt is made to address the question, but much of the response is not on the right track
0 no answer
  • question is not answered
  • response is way off base

Approximate letter grade equivalents are as follows:

Amostly √
Bmostly √ and √-
Cmostly √-
Dmostly √- and –
Fmostly –

More than an occasional 0 will lower the grade.

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