1. Predicted, approximate grade distribution
The grading will be based primarily on evaluation of 3 written lab. reports, together with
2 50minute quizzes. There will also be a number of worksheets that must be completed
for various labs, together with (very) occasional homework assignments.
These make up
the balance of the grade. The following table is given as an approximate guide only.
% of grade
Miscellaneous assignments
30
Reports
50
Quizzes
10
Lab performance and notebook
10
Total
100
Clearly, the most important component is the written reports. There will be smaller report
fragments preceding each full report, and we attempt to arrange the semester so that you
always get feedback from one attempt before another of similar style is graded.
Note that the Lab Performance contribution is nonnegligible. It is assigned by staff and
TAs throughout the semester, and is a measure of each student’s effort and contribution
during lab hours.
A detailed breakdown is given in §3, where the approximate, predicted weighting factors
for each assignment are given.
2. Computing the grade
The grade is calculated from a weighted sum of normalised grades for all assignments as
follows. For each ith assignment, each jth student is graded and given an integer
(usually) number out of some arbitrary total (like, 42, for example). Let us call this the
raw score, x
ij
. This score is then normalised by subtracting the mean and dividing by the
standard deviation,
σ
i
for that assignment:
ij
i
ij
i
xx
M
σ
−
=
.
So, the normalised score for the jth student is expressed in units of standard deviations
from the mean, and has a mean value of 0. A score of 1 is 1 standard deviation less than
the mean. A score of greater than 1 is better than 1 standard deviation above the mean.
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 Fall '07
 Pottebaum
 Standard Deviation, Student Judicial Affairs, Miscellaneous assignments Reports, approximate grade distribution, occasional homework assignments

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