Assignment Redo

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Grading Quirks

Here I list various quirks regarding how I grade assignments.

Unofficial Grading Policy

Take what follows with a bit of levity. It is half fantasy and half real.

I am a very liberal grader. If you turn something in that vaguely resembles what I requested, I almost always give you significant credit for it. Here is an unofficial, at times tongue-in-cheek, guide to the way grading often goes for me:

I have, on rare occasions, given a student a grade between 5 and 59, but as a rule, there is a precipitous drop from a bad grade to a zero grade when you don't turn in anything. The point is that turning in almost anything is better than not turning in anything. Why? How can I justify this? I'm just looking for a pulse. Employers don't want employees who won't show a consistent effort to perform.

Please forgive my use of humor at points in the above. Remember: this is an unofficial guide. I do deviate from it significantly at times.

My sincere apologies to students who either:


My workflow is usually like this:

So usually, these days, the most useful information is branch and folder. But if the link you provide points to branch and folder in the cloud, then that works too.

In general, just saying you are done with the assignment works, but details can be helpful, particularly if you did not do your work in the expected folder and branch.

Assignment Redo

If you get a 5, or any other very low grade for an assignment, this generally means that I want you to redo the assignment. Depending a little on circumstances, you may lose a few points for having to redo the assignment, but usually not much, and in some cases I won't take anything off. There are some circumstances, of course, when I will ask for a redo and still dock you quite a bit, but those cases are rare. In general, getting a grade of 20 and a request for a redo is just a routine thing, and no cause for concern.

When you see any grade of 5 or below, you can assume that I am asking for a redo unless I specifically state otherwise. Please read my comments on the assignment before letting your emotions creep into the issue. Assume all is well unless you read my comments and specifically see that I really intend to give you such a low score as a final grade. I very rarely give out very low scores as a final grade. Zeroes, of course, for missing assignments, but not fives, tens or twenties.

Just to be clear, I give out these grades frequently, so if you find you got a 5 on an assignment, don't panic or feel that you are being singled out. I'm simply saying: "Look, there was some kind of misunderstanding or carelessness here, let's just try again."

Suppose there are 30 students in a class. In order to check if anyone has made a new comment on an assignment, I would have to go through 30 student's assignments, perhaps once a day. Since there are 20 or 30 assignments in a typical course, that is not practical. By the end of the course, that would require me to look through 400 or 500 assignments each day.

Think of it this way. When you resubmit, that tells Canvas to send me a message saying that I need to look at your assignment and see what needs to be done. If you also add a meaningful not when you resubmit, then I can usually asses the situation quickly, thereby getting you your grade in a (hopefully) timely manner, and then I would be able to go on to the next student's work and grade it as well.

If you did not resubmit, then I would have to go through all of every student's assignments on a regular basis to see if something had changed. It would probably take me several days to complete that task, leaving me little room to actually grade assignments or prepare for class. But if you resubmit, I know just where to go and can usually see just what I need to focus on.

I understand that all this is not always obvious from a student's perspective. Hopefully, this explanation helps you understand why I put so much focus on student's resubmitting the work. It helps me, it helps the student, and it helps the rest of the class.

You Must Resubmit the Assignment

Let me try to explain a bit more about why I do things this way. I need a way to mark that I have processed an assignment. Given the way Canvas works, the best way to do that is to give the assignment a grade. If I want a redo, then I give you a low grade, and Canvas stops bugging me to grade the assignment. My part of the job is done for now. Now the ball is in the student's court. It is up to them to redo the assignment. When they resubmit it, then it will appear on my to-do list again, and I can go back and regrade it. The low grade is designed to motivate the student to complete the redo, but it is not meant to scare anyone, or to single any one out for unfair treatment.

Remember that I will probably not know that you have redone the assignment unless you press the submit button. That is the signal to notify me that you have completed the redo or have some message that you want me to read in regard to the assignment. Be sure to append your message to the comment area of the assignment itself. Don't try to communicate to me private information about a particular assignment through any other mechanism. All public communications about an assignment go in the discussion area.

As far as dates are concerned: If I'm going to get fussy about dates, I'll look at the dates in Git. I often don't pay excessive attention to the submission dates in Canvas if I can look up the real submission dates in Git. I don't ignore Canvas dates, but they are not the final arbiter. It's Git that knows how to tell me exactly when you turned in what. It's not that Canvas is buggy in this regard, only that it is not as precise or detailed as Git.

Nested Folders

I don't like it when students needlessly nest folders. Suppose I ask for an assignment to be turned in in the Week05-Foo folder. For various reasons, students sometimes do this:


Don't do that. It will cost you up to 3 points.