Professionalism

The professionalism portion of the course grade is intended to motivate students to think more about the impact of their questions before asking them. Unprofessional interactions consume time yet have no meaningful benefits. In the workplace, wasting time of your colleagues, your supervisors or your supervisorís supervisor will only discount you. When you are discounted, you just wonít be invited for new opportunities that you may or may not be aware of.

Everyone has responsibilities, and interruptions delay completion of those responsibilities. If the interruption has a tangible benefit of progress, all is well.

1% of the course grade is to account for demonstrating maturity and professionalism. By default, every student is assumed to be professionally mature and hence this component is awarded to every student at the beginning of the quarter. During the quarter, based on observations by the teaching staff and instructors, which includes but is not limited to one on one personal interactions, Piazza Q&A posts, and follow ups with your grader, your professionalism credit may be deducted in steps of 0.5%.

Interactions with meaningful benefits (no deduction from professionalism) include results that provide:

  • deeper insight into course material, course concepts, computer science and technology
  • clarification of course notes
  • assistance getting started, developing solutions and resolving programming problems
  • improvement in skill building and future opportunities
  • learning why full credit wasnít awarded where grading comments were insufficient (even if point loss was < 1% of the course grade)
  • a potential increase in points >= 1% of the course grade
  • a potential increase in points < 1% of the course grade after grades appear on TritonLink
  • information to the course staff regarding errors or problems in labs, assignments, your computer account or with the Autograder that doesn't involve potential point mistakes or potential point corrections
  • Note: Submitting a potential <1% of the course grade regrade request through the Regrades (not Followups) functionality of the Autograder does NOT earn a professionalism deduction since those requests are only seen by a member of the course staff when the potential total percentage of all requests goes above 1%.

    Interactions that have no meaningful benefits (deduction from professionalism) that should be avoided include:

  • a potential increase in points < 1% of overall course grade before your course grade appears on TritonLink
  • asking about a potential increase in points and telling us you don't need the points if they end up being < 1% of the overall course grade
  • when a member of the course staff must spend time to respond to an issue raised where the potential point gain is < 1% of the course grade
  • disputes about point deductions claiming they are too severe for mistake or oversight
  • questions asked electronically before first performing electronic search
  • asking questions when the information will eventually be known (such as will this exam be curved?)
  • ignoring the directions or requests of the course staff
  • falsifying your priority tag
  • Please note:

  • Errors in grading or tabulation are by definition errors made by the course staff
  • Correcting errors with a potential increase in points < 1% of the course grade likely won't have an impact on your course grade (and is therefore an unprofessional interaction).
  • The course staff does not have a goal of awarding you every point that you earned; rather the course staff does have a goal of you being awarded the course grade that you earned.
  • Examples:

  • "Finals grades have been out for a while. When will grades get posted to tritonlink or is there another way to know how -/+ are assigned?"
  • "Will this class be curved? What will be consdired an [insert grade]"
  • "Is the final exam curved or will it be?"
  • Problem: Impatience. Asking when the grades will be posted doesn't help them get posted any faster. Responding to this question has no benefit since this information will eventually be known.
  • "I know I made a mistake by being careless and not checking my code before I turned it in, but can you please reduce the amount of deduction?"
  • Problem: All assignments have been graded by tutors based on a rubric made and reviewed by the course staff. This means that deductions are made when the course staff has determined the mistakes demonstrate a lack of understanding, effort, or polish in a particular assignment and for that reason do not meet the standards of the course (likely meaning they would not meet industry standards). Asking for points back without a reason is decreasing your overall learning and asking for points that have not been earned.
  • "Is there a way to get those points back by showing what I have on my account is different than the one on autograder?"
  • Problem: The code present on autograder is the last code submitted before the deadline. Any code edited after that time was changed after the deadline, or was not submitted and therefore can not be considered in the course grade.
  • The bottom line: If an interaction has a benefit to you and your learning, then all is well. If the interaction has no benefit to you, you should spend your time in more meaningful ways.