Grading Policy

This page defines the course's grading policy. In essence, everything to do with grading, including ethical issues. See the course's about page for a description of the course itself.

The material on this page is organized as follows:

  1. Access to Grades
  2. Participation
  3. Late Homework Problems Policy
  4. Extra Credit
  5. Final Grades
  6. Letter Grades
  7. Cheating and Plagiarism
  8. Teamwork, Cooperation, and Discussions

Access to Grades

You can access your grades through Webcourses@UCF.

Late Homework Problems Policy

The late policy for homework problems is designed to encourage you to:

but to hand it in eventually in any case. To allow the staff to grade what you have handed as soon as possible, only one version of any problem, the first you hand in, will be accepted.

Like all homework, late homework problems must turned in using webcourses@UCF. Email will not be accepted.

Note that you can turn in just the problems that you have finished; we don't require you to turn in entire homeworks at once. The late penalties only apply to those problems you turn in late.

We do give partial credit for homework, so you will have to balance the gain from waiting to get a good version of a problem and the loss from handing the problem in late. In general, we encourage you to hand in a good version of each problem, but if you are late (and have been trying), consider that as a sign that you need help on the concepts, and get help from us!

Homework problems that are late receive points based on the following table.

When Handed In Percentage Penalty
by 24 hours after the time the homework problem is due 5%
by 48 hours after the time the homework problem is due 10%
by 72 hours (3 days) after the time the homework problem is due 20%
by 96 hours (4 days) after the time the homework problem is due 40%
later, or during last week of classes 100%

For example, if a homework problem is due on Tuesday at 11 PM but you turn it in by Wednesday at 11 PM, you will have 5% of what would have been your score subtracted; thus if the problem was 25 points, and you earned 20 of them, your score would be recorded as 19 points (= 20 - (0.05*20)), due to the 5% penalty. If you turned the same thing in by Thursday at 11 PM, your penalty would be 10%, so your score would be recorded as 18 points.

Absolutely no credit for late homework problems will be given during the last calendar week of classes (or later!), or for homework problems turned in later than 4 days after the time the homework is due.

Extra Credit

Some homework assignments may have a few extra credit problems. These will only be used for purposes of recommendations and for deciding on borderline cases. For borderline cases, if your grade would otherwise be between two other grades, then doing some extra credit will help you get the higher grade.

No extra credit work will be received during the final week of classes or thereafter.

Final Grades

Final grades for the course will be based on your performance in the homework and project assignments during the semester. You can anticipate between 4-6 homeworks. The project have a draft and a final report. There are no exams.

Final grades are based on the following weights.

Component Weight
Homework assignments 30%
Exam(s) 30%
Project 40%

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Letter Grades

Your grade is independent of anyone else's grade in this class. That is, we do not grade on a curve, and everyone can get an A. Our purpose in grading is to uphold a standard of quality and to give you feedback: it is not to rank students.

Although we will not always make fine distinctions in points the nominal minimum standards are given by the following table. (We will only assign +/- grades for borderline cases.)


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Cheating and Plagiarism

The simple rule of thumb is:

Never give or use someone else's presentation or written answers.

Such exchanges are definitely cheating and not cooperation. This includes taking answers from the web.

If you use reference materials to solve a problem, you must give a citation. Furthermore, use of more than a few words from any source (including the course texts) must be properly set off with quotation marks ("...") or in an italicized block quote and a proper citation given. This definitely includes material from the web. Not attributing material as described above is plagiarism, which is a form of cheating. This includes arranging sentences from other sources without proper use of quotation marks and citations for each quote. We take plagiarism quite seriously, so note this policy well.

Here's a standard statement (from the UCF FCTL web site) about our use of

"To detect cheating we may use, an automated system that can quickly and easily compare each student's assignment with billions of web sites, as well as an enormous database of student papers that grows with each submission. Accordingly, you may be expected to submit assignments in electronic format. After the assignment is processed, as an instructor I receive a report from that states if and how another author's work was used in the assignment. For a more detailed look at this process, visit"

If we catch you cheating on a test or exchanging code or written answers, you will get no credit for that test or homework, and you may be reported to the Director of the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Read the section on academic dishonesty/cheating in the Golden Rule.

If you honestly believe that certain problems are too much busy work, then bring it to the instructor's attention; or failing that, only do the part of the problem that you think you need to do to learn the material and explain that to us.

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Teamwork, Cooperation, and Discussions

Some assignments in this class will be done in teams. When working with other team members, you are expected to cooperate and collaborate and that is not considered cheating.

You are encouraged to discuss this class with other students, including those outside your team. Such discussions about ideas are not cheating, whereas the exchange of finished presentations or written work with people outside your team is cheating. However, when you have more than casual discussions about assignments, you must cite the other person as described below.

When you cooperate on solution ideas or collaborate on producing final answers, you must cite the other people you worked with as follows. This must be done for each problem on which you cooperate or collaborate. (That is, if you work with someone on a problem, you don't need to work with them on the entire homework.)

Note that substantial collaboration on solutions which is not cited as described above is considered cheating. In particular, if you are part of a group that divides up the problems in a homework, and some do each one, without actively contributing during the solution of each problem, then this is just an exchange of finished answers--i.e., cheating. Such cheating will be dealt with as described above. It should be clear that you will learn less by such exchanges of finished answers.

Be careful, not to get involved in an unequal collaboration, where you are doing less work than someone else. Part of what you need to do to learn the material is to struggle with it; if you deny yourself that struggle, you will learn less and remember what you learned less. So beware of this trap.

Also, as a kindness to your classmates, you should terminate an unequal collaboration where you are doing more than the other person. The other person will learn the material better if you help them but don't collaborate so closely. In this case it's better to help them only by discussing problems with them, and not by jointly collaborating on solutions.

If you have questions about the details of cooperation vs. cheating, please see the professor.

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Last modified Wednesday, October 19, 2022.

This web page is for CIS 6614 at the University of Central Florida. The details of this course are subject to change as experience dictates. You will be informed of any changes. Please direct any comments or questions to Gary T. Leavens at Some of the policies and web pages for this course are quoted or adapted from other courses I have taught, in partciular, COP 4020.