Your grade on each assignment and at the end of the quarter is supposed to reflect your individual effort. But unfortunately, there is a wide variation in the amount of collaborative effort on assignments, making it difficult to reward individual effort. For this reason, the great majority of your credit will be based on work you do in the classroom.
Your understanding of how to translate concepts into computer programs will be based primarily on code you write or analyze on paper on tests. This is not to say that the programming projects are not important; it only says that they are difficult for us to assess. Many of you are used to having a programming book in front of you at all times or correcting many mistakes that the compiler catches for you or by fixing problems found at run-time. This course is different.
The best way to practice for code writing on these tests is to write lots of code without the benefit of a book, striving to get programs that compile the first time and run correctly. So all the programming you do for your assignments will help you on the tests. In describing Java, I will stress the structure of the language. Once you understand the structure, the details of the syntax will seem much less arbitrary.
Only about 10% of your grade will be based on your homework and programming projects. The other 90% will be based on quizzes, tests and exams. Your numerical grades will be mapped onto letter grades approximately as follows: 90s, A's; 80s B's; 70s C's; 60s D's and below 60, F. Some adjustments to the grades may be made at the end of the course for various reasons -- people near a grade border, marked improvement over the quarter, an isolated bad grade, etc.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Even though the outside work is not a large percentage of your grade, you must do all the outside assignments in order to pass the course (just as you must take all the tests). After all, this is a Computer Science course involving programming.
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