Grading Breakdown

Semester Grades

Project Goals (40% of semester grade)

Weekly, each student will receive a grade that will be based on the completion of mutually agreed upon goals. Each student must submit a unique goal and not just a copy the goal of somebody else in their project group (though their may be exceptions to this rule). These goals will come from the project plan.

Each goal needs to be both specific and measurable.


  • Create a “Senior Night Poster” for all senior volleyball players
  • Broadcast 4 games on the “NEST” on 9/22, 9/23, 9/26, and 9/30.
  • Research 4 possible designs and sketch one design.

Students will be assessed on participation, progress, and performance

Project Evaluation/Presentation (40% of semester grade)

At the end of each project or at least once per quarter (approximately every 9 weeks), students will present their group’s progress toward the project to the larger class and possible outside visitors. This presentation will include both a group element (describing the problem the group wishes to solve, why this is meaningful to the members of the group, group progress, future plans, etc.) and an individual element (individual progress, quality of work, challenge and evidence of learning/growth and resources used, etc.).

Final Exam – Project Blog (20% of semester grade)

Each week students will have to update their class blog. More information can be found here: Class Blog Guidelines

What if my project is a failure?

In this class, there is a place for perfection, but done is better than perfect.

The world’s best entrepreneurs embrace failure.

The only truly failed project is the one that doesn’t get done. I want students to strive to show off a successful product, but I don’t want the quest for perfection to lead to an incomplete project. I want students to follow the advice plastered on the wall of Facebook’s headquarters.

This policy doesn’t work in all work-related environments. I wouldn’t want to see this poster in the dentist’s office or the parachute packing assembly line. But for creative projects where we’re trying to innovate, I find this idea compelling. For more on this topic read The Done Manifesto.

If you feel that your project is a failure, I want to hear about it. What did you learn about it? Think about your science fair project. If your hypothesis was wrong, was your project a failure? Watch Kathryn Schultz’s TED Talk: “On Being Wrong.”


Don’t strive for failure, but don’t be afraid of it either!