The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.
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1:09pm on Tuesday, 28th March, 2006:
I'm marking assignments today.
This year, I gave my EE114 students an essay-style assignment, on the grounds that in previous years the programming assignments I'd given had not been, er, well received. The assignment consists of writing a partial design document for a computer game of their own choosing or their own invention. No programming is involved, the assignment is keyed to my weekly lectures so they can write it piecemeal; what can go wrong?
With programs, if you make a syntax error the complier complains and you can't run your program until you fix it. With essays, there is no compiler; you can write whatever you believe passes for English and carry on regardless. This isn't a lot of fun for the poor soul who has to read it, though, ie. me. I spend anything between 45 and 90 minutes on each assignment (I only managed 2 in 3 hours this morning) and being subjected to wave after wave of poor spelling, grammar and punctuation is not pleasant.
My students seem to fall into four categories:
Doubtless some of these students have pieces of paper saying they're dyslexic, but because the assignment is marked blind I don't know who they are. Thus, I have to treat them all as if they were dyslexic.
Maybe next year I'll just give my EE114 lot a picture to colour in...
PS: When I typed "assignment" into QBlog's Google-managed search facility, I was helpfully given three sponsored links to companies which will write assignments for you. "Custom Assignment by UK Writers. First-class standard guaranteed"; "UK University Quality 75%+ Prices from £9.99, 24/7 Support"; "Custom Assignment By UK Writers. 1st Class Level Standard Guaranteed". Damned RMTers get everywhere...
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