By the end of this week (Oct 30), each of our teams has to propose a grading scheme they’d like used for their term’s work. To do this, they’ll have to decide (a) what they’re going to deliver by Friday December 4 (our target wrap-up date) and (b) how much of their grade will depend on the team’s accomplishments, and how much will depend on individual contributions. Experience shows that the latter is much harder to decide than the former: most people want their grade to reflect what they’ve done, but clients care about what’s delivered as a whole.

I can’t tell students how to make this decision [1], but I can suggest that everyone read Oakley et al’s paper “Turning Student Groups into Effective Teams“. I can also suggest that teams think about grading schemes they’ve had in other courses that they thought were ambiguous or unfair, and try to make sure that what they hand in on Friday doesn’t have those faults: I’ve always hated things like “software is adequately tested: 10%” because I never knew what the prof meant by “adequate”.

[1] Well, I could, but that would defeat one of the main aims of the course…