Never try to be too clever in an asignment.

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SteveDH
Posts: 464
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:30 pm
Location: Harrow

Never try to be too clever in an asignment.

Post by SteveDH »

unless the marking scheme says something about extra marks for ingenuity etc.

I don't think I have posted this before although it has been a few years since my daughter completed university, also this probably only make sense to programmers, however when I was trying to sleep last night I remembered this.

My daughter had a task to code a thread safe queue. She thought she'd be clever and do a lock free version so items could be added to the queue at the same time as items are read.
She however got marked down because she wasn't using mutexes to lock the queue.
I had a look at the code, and they weren't needed, and there were plenty of comments in her code explaining exactly why not. It had also be extensively tested.
She emailed the marker trying to explain, but again got told.. missing mutexes, so just left it there.
I expect there was a marking scheme saying x points for mutexes etc.
so basically if you want to get full marks, give them exactly what they want, don't try to be too clever.

I also made the same mistake in my university years, but in my case I deserved to lose marks. I thought I was being clever doing a coding assignment with a single line of code, however in my case it was pointed out that this made the code hard to read..

anyway just thought I would share.
PerpetualStudent
Posts: 516
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:52 am

Re: Never try to be too clever in an asignment.

Post by PerpetualStudent »

My DH, once a programmer nodded at this story but added it probably applies most in large courses where there is a clear marking scheme to ensure fairness. Smaller courses are less likely to need a rigid marking scheme.

I am reminded of a friend who did a taught Masters in library science and discovered, to her dismay, that original research was discouraged and the ability to parrot back lectures was rewarded. I believe this was likely because the course had been designed around an older technical course and not a research based qualification as many of them are.

It really helps to take a close look at what goes into the design of the course of study to be sure it does what you want it to do.
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