Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Making the Grade(s)

Two of the Web Systems classes I teach are ending on Sunday.  That's the day the students should be handing in their final projects - complete websites built with quite a bit of JavaScript.  Grading their final projects can be a hair-raising experience because I need to finish within a week, but I always look forward to them anyway.

One or two students will probably do the bare minimum (or a little less), building strictly utilitarian sites with two or three pages.  Those are easy to grade because I have no difficulty seeing whether they included all the elements required by the assignment.  On the other hand, a few students always turn in designs that are completely over the top, full of stunning visuals and complicated code.  Some of them are very talented graphic artists; others have been IT professionals for years and could probably teach the class better than I do.  Those projects are much more difficult to evaluate but they're also much more fun.  I'm always awed by their creativity.

Some of the students build sites for their families, their hobbies or their businesses.  Others set up sites for a friend, their church, or a deserving charity.  I've seen a stunning portfolio for an online comic book artist, a quirky Renaissance Faire-themed site, and an online ordering facility for a seafood restaurant, complete with photos that made me ravenous.  This time I have an extremely varied group of pupils; I can hardly wait to see what they come up with.  I'm going to consider their websites as a veritable wealth of Valentine's Day presents, just for me.

"Home computers are being called upon to perform many new functions, including the consumption of homework formerly eaten by the dog."  ~Doug Larson

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