Proofreading Assignments

At least one week prior to the release of an assignment to students, instructors will release a draft to ISAs for feedback. Ideally, each ISA should both proofread and complete the assignment, then offer feedback to the instructor. There will be times, of course, when things get busy and some ISAs will have other tasks that take precedence. In this case, an ISA pressed for time should at least proofread the assignment well and offer some initial feedback.

Things to Keep in Mind

Here are some things to keep in mind when reading through and completing the assignments:

Are there any typos, grammatical errors, or instances of ambiguous language? Can the vocabulary and grammar used in the assignment be understood by a student whose first language is not English?

Are the HtDP practice exercise links on the Instructions page all correct? Are the exercises relevant?

Are the list of permitted functions for the assignment too limiting or unbound? Do they make the assignment too easy or too difficult?

Are the module references and other links given all correct?

Consider the assignment from an autotesting perspective:

  • Are there any questions or components that might be particularly difficult to test for?
  • Could small changes to the questions make the autotesting process easier?
  • Will a question be difficult to write scripts for Check Tests/Cases?
  • If there is a component that is difficult for autotesting, can it be easily handmarked?
Consider the assignment from a handmarking perspective:
  • Considering the emphasis of the assignment, is the allotted percentage given to design recipe too small? Too large?
  • Think about what sort of things can be handmarked? Will anything be too difficult for ISAs to implement in the marking scheme? Will anything be too difficult for TAs to wrap their heads around?
  • Consider important design recipe components such as purposes and contracts. Are there any ambiguities in the questions that would lead to complications in marking for these?
Consider the assignment from a student perspective:
  • Is the assignment too short? Too long? Generally, depending on your speed and the assignment, of course, the assignments should take ISAs between 1.5 - 4 hours (including proper design recipe, not including any bonuses). Keep track of the amount of time it took you to solve each question, as well. Perhaps some parts are much harder than others?
  • Is the assignment conceptually too easy or too difficult? Did you find the questions very complex to work through? If so, most students will likely find it near impossible. Alternatively, perhaps some questions are too easy and we can ask more of students.
  • Are the examples to revealing? How about too vague? The examples should clarify for students what the function must produce after they read the question description. They should not cover edge cases or other weird tests.
  • Can the order of questions be changed to make things easier for students? Ideally, parts (a, b, c, ...) of a question should be in order of increasing difficulty or grouped together by relevance.
  • Is there anything else that we could add to clarify things?


Topic revision: r1 - 2021-12-22 - AdamAbdulhamid
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