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Thread: Grade My Site

  1. #1
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    Angry Grade My Site

    I would just like your opinions. How would you grade these sites?

    Here is my website. I designed it and got graded on it as well. Being graded finally gave me the incentive to update my site, as I finally had time to do it.
    http://japantown.awardspace.com/news/message3.shtml

    I was looking at all my peers websites as well, which all looked like the following.

    http://www-personal.umd.umich.edu/~a...S405/Home.html
    Unreadable text, everything misaligned, eyesore background, all text is centered, random spacing in navigation bar.

    http://www-personal.umd.umich.edu/~l...20%282%29.html
    CSS taken entirely from freecsstemplates.org. Stolen images galore. Stealing content when writing papers can get a student expelled, same goes for images. The assignment called for "proficiency in CSS".

    http://www-personal.umd.umich.edu/~s...n/web/bio.html
    Navigation sliding off to the left, text merging with the blue sidebar, non-validating code.

    http://www-personal.umd.umich.edu/~hilltr/contact.html
    No comment.

    http://www-personal.umd.umich.edu/~nalsafar/games.html
    Just more of the same.

    So if I got a B- on mine, how would you grade these sites? I have more examples if you want them. But I know you don't want them.

    I guess I'll never manage to bring my GPA up, no matter how much hard work I put into things.
    My Web Site
    Japan Town

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    ...was this a college assignment? UMD is teaching using xhtml transitional and tables for layout?

    I assume from your face that you didn't think you were graded fairly. If the other examples you give are representative, and they were accepted for grading at all, then I can understand your frustration.

    However, don't hang on to it - it's useless. In web design, for better or worse, your grades won't have much to say about your success (especially if you're like me, and never took any classes in web design or computer science or anything related). If you learned stuff (and I think you did), be happy.

    Edit:

    on a side note, the academic status quo never fails to impress me:

    Quote Originally Posted by http://www-personal.umd.umich.edu/~hilltr/blog.html
    This webpage, including everything but the video's, was created by me
    Video's were created and belong to their respected youtube members.


    Last edited by traq; 04-29-2011 at 10:25 PM.

  3. #3
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    Yes, it was a upper level college course.

    And yeah, the first day of class she said the class would be using XHTML transitional.

    And yes, those were all accepted for grading.

    I learned absolutely nothing from the course, besides that Justin Bieber is popular on Twitter. (We were required to use Twitter for the course. AND were graded on that, haha)

    I rebuilt my site from scratch based on prior knowledge, w3schools, and occasionally coming here for help. So I did learn some things, but not from the course itself. B- seems somewhat fair, but compared to my competition, I think I was the only one who passed the course, considering my grade. I find that hard to believe.
    My Web Site
    Japan Town

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    While I don't know anything about your specific situation, there are some particularly (or just somewhat) incompetent web design instructors out there, perhaps because those hiring them don't know what they're talking about. Of course at a university that seems less likely. What ends up happening is that they grade based on specific criteria and may be unaware of more advanced aspects of a site. To me, it just sounds like you're in the wrong class. Have you tried to speak with the instructor?
    Daniel - Freelance Web Design | <?php?> | <html>| espa˝ol | Deutsch | italiano | portuguŕs | catalÓ | un peu de franšais | some knowledge of several other languages: I can sometimes help translate here on DD | Linguistics Forum

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    I sent her a somewhat lengthy e-mail responding to all the points that she made. Since then I noticed my participation points went up by 3.

    I think the e-mail came off as a little too angry, haha. I have yet to receive a response.

    Professor Proctor,

    I have some questions and comments regarding my final project grade (.

    It was agreed that I could redesign my existing site. The grading sheet says that I do not meet the requirements, because I was supposed to upload it to my UMD account (does it matter that much?).
    Regardless, the chat room and message board are MySQL dependent and would not function on the UMD server. Not sure why I have points taken off for this.

    "For an unfamiliar user, the landing page feels unfinished"
    The copyright at the bottom of the pages is a signal for the user that the page has finished loading, and everything is indeed there. Google, being one of the most popular sites in the world, is the exact same way. The only reason Google (and my site) have a copyright at the bottom is to let the user know that the page has finished loading. Pages are copywritten regardless of this text. Adding a description on the main page could potentially make the landing page scroll vertically for some users, which is not always a good thing in certain designs. And as mentioned in my design statement, I wanted a minimalistic design. Not only that, a description is not necessary at all. The drop down menu provides more than enough information about the site. Very simple, very intuitive.

    "Otherwise, a user has to navigate through menu items that may not make sense just to get to a page with content."
    But that's is the point of navigation menus entirely - to get to a page with content. The home page is just that, a home page. There shouldn't always be content on the landing page.

    The grading sheet also mentions lack of content. The purpose of the assignment was focused more on design, not content. Instead of spending hours and weeks adding content, I focused all of my efforts on fine tuning and perfecting the design and CSS, as the assignment called for.

    "The header remains well-designed but does not reflect an evolution in your design to a new site, as has been the goal throughout the semester."

    In the first month of class, it was said that the designs should all be from the same brand, but adapt accordingly to what is being designed. I got a higher grade on my Tumblr but a lower grade on my Blogger, but the headers/design of those two projects were virtually identical. My website's header had a built in navigation bar along with drop down menus, and a news billboard as well.


    "The discussion board and chat board are valuable additions to the site, though I’m not sure I could consider them sub-pages"

    I do not know what the definition of a sub page is then. And if those are not, then what about the News section? And as mentioned in my self-evaluation, the message board was not to be counted as a sub-page.


    Out of curiosity over the weeks I have checked out my peers sites. To put it bluntly, they were all pretty horrible in their own ways. Only one other site comes to mind that was worthy of an A. That being said, I find it hard to believe that out of all the sites, a B- is the highest grade, since my coding and design or superior to all but one of them. If my site got a B-, then basically all of the other sites should have gotten D's, which I find way too hard to believe. Just to name a few examples, (no need to name them all, these 5 sum all of them up pretty well)


    http://www-personal.umd.umich.edu/~l...20%282%29.html

    CSS taken entirely from freecsstemplates.org. Stolen images galore. Stealing content when writing papers can get a student expelled, same goes for images. The assignment called for "proficiency in CSS".


    http://www-personal.umd.umich.edu/~a...S405/Home.html

    Unreadable text, everything misaligned, eyesore background, all text is centered, random spacing in navigation bar.


    http://www-personal.umd.umich.edu/~s...n/web/bio.html

    Navigation sliding off to the left, text merging with the blue sidebar, non-validating code.


    http://www-personal.umd.umich.edu/~hilltr/contact.html

    Has hand drawn pictures. Aside from that, no comment.


    http://www-personal.umd.umich.edu/~nalsafar/games.html

    Just more of the same.


    http://www-personal.umd.umich.edu/~b...al/resume.html

    This guy, like me, knows what he is doing. I point this out since it is the only site besides mine worthy of an A.


    I guess the point I am trying to make here is that none of these sites follow any web 2.0 standards, they all look like sites made in the 90's on Yahoo! Geocities. So, for my own reference, which of these sites are "A" worthy, and what makes them "A" worthy, and mine not?


    Not to mention code validation, which was also supposed to be part of the grade, but not mentioned anywhere in the grading sheet. Code organization as well. I can't find one other site that doesn't have randomly indented and spaced out code that is all over the place.


    Throughout the "strong, excellent" parts, I randomly get "strongs" as opposed to "excellents", which I am assuming is part of why I got a B- on this instead of an A.


    "Attention to web development standards"

    My code is validated, I cannot get any more standardized than that. My site looks virtually the same in all three major browsers. That cannot be said for others.


    "Attention to Web 2.0 trends"

    Standardized code written with CSS, gradient colors, minimalism and rounded corners. What else is there? And which of my peers sites follow these trends better than mine?


    And as for participation, I got a 75%. I did not attend two classes, due to them being in-class work days, and honestly a waste of my time. I made better use of my time during those two days working on my site at home, as opposed to being in class and learning about things I have already known about for quite some time. As for Twitter, I was one of about 8 people who consistently used it for class. I do not know where I get knocked down 25%. The whole point of "participation" is to make sure students don't miss out on learning things, which I did not. Even 10% would seem like too much.


    Thank you,

    My Web Site
    Japan Town

  6. #6
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    Well, I'll tell you two things as someone experienced in academia: 1) the professor is always right. For better or worse, the professor is always right, not you. For this reason, questioning them directly rarely helps things, and it might just make them mad. They might actually be wrong for one reason or another, but in reality there's basically nothing you can do about it. 2) There's a fine line when it comes to questioning other student's grades. Be careful when approaching it.

    My recommendation would have been to ask for clarification about your grade and point out that you did follow (most of) the assignment, such as focusing on the valid code, etc. (Some general points about the other students' sites might help, but not to make it sound too negative about them.) Then you might want to ask about the general curve: maybe it's just a very hard class.

    Beyond that, there's not much to say. It seems clear enough that you have a strong case, but now it's entirely up to whether or not your professor wants to listen and change the grade.


    Another thing to remember is that other students might have gone to office hours more and worked more directly with the instructor, following specific advice. In other words: they did what they were told more than you did (I'm not sure if this is true), and now they get a better grade for that. In fact, maybe your instructor is aware that you are better at web design and therefore expected more from you than the other students. That may or may not sound fair, but it's not completely insane.


    The big problem with your site might be that it is not on their servers. If that was in the directions, that is entirely your fault. I realize it seems silly, but if the instructor made that clear, then it was your job to follow it. In fact, you may have gone significantly outside the scope of the assignment by using databases, a chatroom, etc. The assignment was possible only within the school's servers, so maybe that means you were supposed to limit yourself. For this reason alone, the B is justified, though only from a very narrow-minded perspective.
    Daniel - Freelance Web Design | <?php?> | <html>| espa˝ol | Deutsch | italiano | portuguŕs | catalÓ | un peu de franšais | some knowledge of several other languages: I can sometimes help translate here on DD | Linguistics Forum

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    Except that when I wrote my final website proposal, she said it would be okay for me to redesign my website that I had linked her too, which I did.
    My Web Site
    Japan Town

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    Was it explicitly agreed upon that you would not move it (at least for grading) to the school's servers? It sounds to me like you had different understandings.

    (I'm not suggesting you're wrong, I'm just trying to understand the perspective of your instructor as well.)
    Daniel - Freelance Web Design | <?php?> | <html>| espa˝ol | Deutsch | italiano | portuguŕs | catalÓ | un peu de franšais | some knowledge of several other languages: I can sometimes help translate here on DD | Linguistics Forum

  9. #9
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    unfortunately, Daniel's right. it's the teacher's class.

    I had a similar situation in an English Composition class - the teacher knew English (I'm not being sarcastic, here, he really was very well learned and enthusiastic about the subject), but had absolutely no skill or talent in teaching (or any other form of communication with students). Each class, after he got everyone throughly confused and ticked off, I ended up teaching most of the assignments in study groups. I got close to ridiculing him in an essay towards the end of the semester, but I realized partway through that I should "tone it down" and just get the class over with.

    If you need the grade, it might be worth pursuing the argument. Make sure:

    1) you have a well-formed, well-referenced debate; and you remain calm and clear throughout.
    2) the teacher is willing to listen to you.
    3) the faculty/dean knows something about web design and coding (if they don't "get" what you're talking about, they'll simply defer to the instructor's judgement).

    You'll notice that two out of three points have nothing to do with whether you're "right" or not, and the other is only marginally related.

    Otherwise, find another place to do your learning and forget about the grade.

    BTW: re: w3schools
    Last edited by traq; 04-30-2011 at 07:40 AM.

  10. #10
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    I didn't know W3C and W3Schools were not related. I still think they have some pretty nice tutorials. I'll keep that in mind in the future.

    This whole situation just reminds me that college is a working experience, not a learning experience.
    My Web Site
    Japan Town

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