INSTRUCTIONS FOR TA or GRADER:
PLEASE READ THIS CAREFULLY and always refer back here. The most important thing about grading is to be CONSISTENT. Of course, consistency alone is not sufficient: it has to also agree with the nature of the subject matter -- but that is outside our scope here. Have a system of assigning points. Usually, I will give you an initial guideline, and you can give me feedback on this while grading. Make an initial list of items to look out for, and distribute points to each item. I may have already made an initial cut at this. You can refine the system as your experience with the assignment grows: do not be afraid to go back and regrade any question in hindsight! HINT: to avoid frequent regrading, allow yourself some discretionary points (say at most 10 percent). ``Get the word out'' -- COMMUNICATE to the students any general rules you have, so that they know what to expect, and how to maximize their performance. If many students have the same mistake, this may be a sign that you may need to communicate to the class. STRONGLY RECOMMENDED: create your personal webpage for your class. (Well, I suppose it could be a blog.) Give partial credits. If an item gets 4 pts, you might want to give a student 2 pts if he/she got it half-correct, etc. But I prefer not go see small fractions (1/2 point is probably OK but not 1/4 point). Feel free to give individual feedback to students (this may take a lot of effort, but use your judgement). E.g., if you really like a solution, write "Good", "Nice", etc. The more specific the comments, the better (e.g., ``Your argument here is elegant'', ``It is a common mistake to forget X'') You can note down such information in the grade sheet for my attention. Feel free to say "I do not understand your solution, please come to explain your answer to me to get full credit". Give the instructor (me!) feedback: Please keep a note book and jot down information about various points about the hw, and/or about individual solutions. We can discuss them. I am interested to know how individual students are performing. [The extremes of performance, either very weak or very strong ones, are useful to take note of.] GRADING PROGRAMS The rule is: if it does not compile, it gets 0 points. Every program must have a brief introduction about: (1) its purpose, (2) how the program works (what algorithms/data structures, etc) (3) how to use it In addition, it is sometimes important to: (4) describe some important classes/functions/variables (5) provide sample data sets Reserve about 10--15% of the points for comments, readability, elegance, etc. Encourage the use of BOTH multiline comments (/*...*/) as well as single line comments (//...) Invariably, I require that each submission be put in a single directory that contains a README file and a ``Makefile'' with the default target to compile the program. (So we just have to type "make" to compile.) Moreover, it should have another target called "run" or "test" to test the compiled program. (So we can just type "make test" or "make run" to test the program). You should tar the entire directory and send us a single tar file. If you need to send us updated information, you must re-tar and resend the entire directory again.
HOW TO HAND IN HOMEWORK:
NOTE: As grader, you should know the general instructions that I give to students on handing in homework. Beware that the instructions may be modified for individual homework or classes! There are two basic ways to submit your homework: (1) Non-programs must be handed in as hardcopies. -- These are due during class hours. -- It should be properly bound (stapled or in an envelop). (2) Programs must be handed in electronically, in ONE single file. -- These are due by midnite of the due date. -- If you have to re-submit one of the files, please resend the ENTIRE set in one email (so that we can just delete your earlier email).
Unfortunately, we need to discuss this issue which rarely arises. (A) For the student: First of all, remember that the university and also our department has clear guidelines about this topic. Please consult these rules. What constitutes cheating? Basically any work you submit with your name on it says ``THIS IS MY OWN WORK''. Cheating is when this is false. If you partially copied from someone or some source, you must acknowledge this in the assignment. When in doubt, ask me. Note that this is different from DISCUSSING the material with other students in the class: you can freely do this (I encourage this!). But once you start to write up your solution, you are on your own. Abetting cheating is just as serious -- if you knowingly let a friend copy your work, you are also responsible for cheating. (B) For the Grader: I do not expect you to deliberately look out for cheating, but when you get a sense of something unusual, please consult me. Do not attempt to contact the students directly.
HOW TO RECORD GRADES
THIS SHOULD BE OF NO INTEREST TO STUDENTS. FOR GRADERS WHO ARE USING THE NYU BBOARD, YOU CAN ALSO IGNORE THE FOLLOWING. Please record grades in an electronic ASCII file. I need this file in the strict format specified below since I use several programs to process grade files (to compute averages, ranking, sorting, etc). Feel free to ask me for these programs (written in AWK) if you want. Basically, each student has a line. The grades for each assignment goes into its own column. THERE SHOULD BE EXACTLY ONE TAB SEPARATING ANY TWO CONSECUTIVE COLUMNS. HINT: If necessary, insert space to force the columns to line up (but do not use additional tabs!) HERE is the typical set of columns. (you can add more columns as the semester progresses): # GRADE FILE FOR V22.0201, Fall 1997. # ====================================================================== # NO. NAME ID HW1 HW2 MID HW3 FIN # (MAXIMUM SCORES) (30) (45) (100) (25) (200) # ====================================================================== 1. Mistry, Ravi 123456789 29 -1 100 22 184 2. Yap, Chee 987654321 8 24 68 25 131 ... ## ====================================================================== ## COMMENTS: ## --Mistry had an valid excuse for missing HW2. ## --Yap had a very nice solution to Q2 in HW3 (he used loops!) ## ====================================================================== ## END OF GRADE FILE REMARKS: 1) All lines that do not correspond to a student begin with the ``#'' sign (like a comment). You do not need to obey the TABBING constraint for these lines, obviously. 2) Use a grade of ``-1'' to indicate that no assignment was received. E.g., Mistry missed HW2 in the example. Do not use ``0'' (since this may be an actual grade!).
Comments? Email to yap(at)nyu.edu