Mon 26 Oct 2015 15:40 - 15:50 at Ellwood 1 - Session 4 Chair(s): Eli Tilevich

Art and architecture schools have a strong tradition of critique and iteration which they use in studio courses to teach design. Software design can be taught in a similar manner, and practitioners frequently use agile, iterative methods to do their real work. However, in my experience, undergraduate CS students struggle with the iterative process of critique and improvement when building software design products. If design feedback is in the form of ungraded comments, then students see it as an opinion they can ignore, rather than using the feedback to improve their designs. If the design feedback affects their grade, then students complain that the grades are unfair, expecting them to be expert designers at the very start of their career. Of course, novices are expected to make rookie mistakes and not make use of design techniques they haven’t yet learned. However, I think it is a big mistake for novice designers to receive an A on designs that need a great deal of improvement. To address this issue, I use a weighted grading scheme, where grades given at the end of the semester are worth more than grades given at the beginning of the semester. With this scheme in place, I can give harsh grades to sub-optimal first drafts, and students are highly motivated by these scores (often below 50%) to improve their designs. If they improve their designs by the end of the semester, they will receive high final draft scores that count more towards their final grade. I have used this scheme for two semesters of a senior-level user-experience design course with good results. I find that being vague about the particulars of the weighting scheme is key to getting students to repeatedly try their best rather than schedule their effort for only one part of the semester.

Mon 26 Oct
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15:30 - 17:00: SPLASH-E - Session 4 at Ellwood 1
Chair(s): Eli TilevichVirginia Tech
splash2015-splash-e15:30 - 15:40
Yadran EterovicPontificia Universidad Catlica de Chile, Jorge BozoUniversidad Católica del Norte, Chile
File Attached
splash2015-splash-e15:40 - 15:50
Vibha SazawalUniversity of Maryland
splash2015-splash-e15:50 - 16:00
María Clara GómezUniversidad de Medellín, Carlos ZapataUniversidad Nacional de Colombia, Yadran EterovicPontificia Universidad Catlica de Chile
splash2015-splash-e16:00 - 16:10
John PetersonWestern State Colorado University
splash2015-splash-e16:10 - 16:20
splash2015-splash-e16:20 - 17:00
Day closing
Eli TilevichVirginia Tech