Grading Policies

I am dead serious about deadlines.
Assignments that are not completed by their deadline do not earn a PASS.

To earn the grade listed in this table, the student must COMPLETE all of the items listed under that grade.

Earned Grade Specifications
[#Tokens:#NO PASS]
Class Participation (frequency) [1:1]60%70%80%100%
# Weekly Quizzes (perfect score) [1:1]46810
# Blog Assignments (Complete) [2:1]67810+
Tests/Exams (minimum average score)67%75%80%90%

Class Participation (2 times a week) = 25% of the grade

In this course, we learn about theories and phenomena concerning visual thinking and visual communication. We learn by thinking about and questioning why we see what we see and by applying that knowledge to create effective visual artifacts. In most classes, we have activities that make us think, question, apply and create. Each activity is done in groups and each artifact will have on it the names of the people who created it. This evidence calculates the Class Participation frequency grade, e.g., if you are only in class half the time, you cannot have a frequency above 50%. If you are in class every time we do an activity, it follows that you will have a Class Participation frequency of 100%.

Weekly Vocabulary Quizzes (perfect score) = 25% of the grade

The 10 Weekly Vocabulary Quizzes are meant to help you identify where you might be solid or shaky on the language we are learning in class. They are based on the weekly readings as outlined in the syllabus. Quizzes are not optional, however, they are not graded in the traditional way.
  • Each quiz is PASS/FAIL — a perfect score is a PASS.
  • HOWEVER, if you fail to take the quiz at all, you lose a 1/2 point on your final grade for not meeting the criteria of this aspect of the course.

Blog Assignments (weekly) = 25% of the grade

There are 12 blog assignments in total. Each assignment is graded pass or fail. For each assignment, you must complete all the specifications for a pass. After the 3rd week of class, there are no second chances for failed or missed blog assignments.
  • A list is included in each Blog Assignment post with all the specifications required to pass that assignment.
  • The student will execute, and fulfill each specification by the assignment deadline to receive a pass for that assignment.
  • Assignments completed after the deadline do not PASS.
  • Your assignment is graded solely on the information found on your Portfolio Blog.

Assessments – Tests and Exams (average score) = 25% of the grade

There are two tests and a final presentation in this course:
  • A take-home Mid Term Exam based on vocabulary
  • Show Me Test based on the execution of visual communication styles
  • Final Presentation – Group Project

Students must earn the score listed above as an average of the two assessments under the grade in the table. Attendance to the Show Me Test and Final Presentation are mandatory and also count towards the participation grade.


Tokens are a means to recover from missed activities or failed assignments. To earn a token, students must fulfill the token specification for the activity, post it on their blog, and give a short talk in class discussing their work.  Token opportunities will be posted to the blog.

The number of tokens that can be used to replace a NO PASS is indicated in the table above. Students must indicate, by the last class of the semester, how the token is to be used.