Course Work and Grading

Attendance and Participation:
At The University of Texas at Arlington, taking attendance is not required. Rather, each faculty member is free to develop his or her own methods of evaluating students’ academic performance, which includes establishing course-specific policies on attendance. As the instructor of this section, I expect attendance in all class and lab sessions. Since success in life, and especially your job, often begins with simply showing up (on time), and your teammates will depend on you being available as expected every day. The attendance grade will be reduced by 10% for every unexcused absence above 2.

Evaluation of class participation is based on contribution to class discussion and participation in in-class exercises throughout the term. Your participation will be recorded in class, as participation opportunities are made available, for the entire term. Your participation will be evaluated at the end of the term as follows:

Regular (almost daily) participation, almost always asks good questions and answers questions well
Frequent participation, but does not ask questions or answer questions on a regular basis
Average participation, and questions and answers do not reflect adequate preparation
Infrequent participation, and answers reflect inadequate preparation
points Rare participation, with little or no evidence of preparation
Group Deliverables:
The grade on team deliverables is based on the ability of the team to deliver an adequate deliverable on time. If multiple reviews of the deliverable are required, the grade on the deliverable will be lowered one grade level for each additional review. In general, an adequate deliverable passing review the first time will be given a grade of 90-100, depending on the number of changes required; passing on the second review will receive a grade from 80-89; etc. The overall team grade is based on the deliverable grades and the team's overall productivity. Performance on weekly team status reviews and all other assigned team deliverables will also be used as components of this grade.
Grading of Group Deliverables:
Grading of group deliverables is complex. Because of the nature of our business, grades are based on the effective and timely delivery of adequate deliverables. For this reason, the major team deliverables (charter/project plan, requirements, architecture, design and test documents) must be judged adequate before a team can proceed, which may mean multiple reviews to reach that state. After a review is completed and passed, the team must submit a revised document within one week to retain the grade assigned. Delays beyond this time limit are penalized. In general, grades are assigned based on the following matrix:
Review Result Max Score Update Completion Delay  
      >1 Week 1 - 2 Weeks 2 - 3 Weeks  
1st Review Pass without change 100        
  Pass with minor changes 95 85 75 65  
2nd Review Pass without change 90        
  Pass with minor changes 85 75 65 55  
3rd Review Pass without change 80        
  Pass with minor changes 75 65 55 45  
Individual Deliverables:
All other individual assignments made throughout the semester will be used in the calculation of this grade. These include homework assignments, individual status reports, class exercises and others as specified in class. Individual Engineering Notebooks will be evaluated on an intermittent, unannounced basis and used as a component of this grade. Additionally, individual performance on your team project is determined based on the value that an individual contributes toward project deliverables by use of the concept of "earned value." By nature of the tasks in Senior Design I this calculation will be somewhat more subjective than for Senior Design II. The details of this are explained in one of the early lectures in Senior Design I. Individual earned value will be calculated on a weekly basis and reported in the individual's status report.

Final Exam:
The Senior Design I Final Exam is the architecture gate review at the end of the Senior Design I semester.
Grading Policy:
The final grade will be calculated using the following policy:

Attendance and Class Participation 10 %
Group Deliverables 30 %
Individual Deliverables 30 %
Final Exam / Architecture Gate Review 30 %

Additional Grading Considerations:
In addition to the percentage grade calculated as above, the following additional requirements must be met to pass the course, regardless of the percentage grade earned:
Completion of the course in an ethical fashion. Attempting to cheat in any manner whatsoever, falsifying reports, etc. are all violations and will result in failure.
Satisfactory participation as a member of the team for the whole semester. Failure to participate satisfactorily will result in a failing grade. Satisfactory participation includes attendance at team meetings and completion of individual assignments in a timely manner.
Final grades for Senior Design II will be assigned only after a team has completed project wrap-up. Project wrap-up requires, at a minimum: producing a project “read me” file that describes any special instructions and other information that might be required to restart/resume/recover the project from where you leave it; archival of all source code, “make” files, detailed design documents and other “soft” materials, including the aforementioned “read me” on a CD/DVD; and returning the team’s cubicle space and surrounding area in the lab to a clean and “unused” condition such that it can be immediately occupied by another team at the beginning of the next semester. Specific, detailed wrap-up instructions are posted on the class website.

ABET Critical Assessments and their effect on grades:
As indicated above, Senior Design is used to measure your performance against two of the ABET Outcomes for your particular program (CS, CpE or SwEng). The evaluation of your performance as measured against these outcomes is a simple Pass/Fail. Please note that you must achieve a Pass grade on each of the outcomes in each semester. If you fail, or do not complete, any individual outcome you will fail the course regardless of your performance in other areas. Additionally, the several graded class exercises and/or assignments will be used to evaluate these outcomes. These assignments are scored as individual or group deliverables as discussed below and in class lecture notes.

Course Sequence Pass Requirement:
A student must successfully complete (i.e., pass with a ‘C’ or better) both Senior Design I and Senior Design II in two sequential semesters (i.e., same project, same team). Any student who fails to successfully complete, or withdraws from either Senior Design I or Senior Design II for any reason must restart the sequence with Senior Design I.
The university withdrawal policy will be strictly adhered to. Up to the initial withdrawal date, all students will receive a W. After that date, the grade will be determined by the student's current average, and a WF or WP assigned as appropriate. Note, as stated above, that withdrawal from CSE 4317 Senior Design 2 will necessitate repeat of Senior Design 1 as well as Senior Design 2.

Drop Policy:
Students may drop or swap (adding and dropping a class concurrently) classes through self-service in MyMav from the beginning of the registration period through the late registration period. After the late registration period, students must see their academic advisor to drop a class or withdraw. Undeclared students must see an advisor in the University Advising Center. Drops can continue through a point two-thirds of the way through the term or session. It is the student's responsibility to officially withdraw if they do not plan to attend after registering. Students will not be automatically dropped for non-attendance. Repayment of certain types of financial aid administered through the University may be required as the result of dropping classes or withdrawing. For more information, contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships (

Manfred Huber