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Evaluation Criteria

Computation Image Requirements Evaluation
Effort Attendance   Tardiness Presence
Contact Stay or Go ? Incompletes

Factors in grading include: evaluation of the work itself, and also: involvement & enthusiasm, and the amount of effort put into the project. Also crucial to the grade: regular attendance, punctuality, and the appropriate use of class time.

Attendance is an especially important component of the overall grade, since new topics will be introduced consecutively. These will not be repeated, and since this is a fast-paced class, keeping pace with new information is critical. Also, improvement in art requires regular, concentrated practice.


The grade will be comprised of a number of projects. For Computer Art 266 students, ( Level 1 ), the first number of assignments will be exercises designed to familiarize them with the software and hardware in the lab.

Each level will also create larger efforts, to be presented at mid-quarter and at the end of the quarter - the two main projects. In addition, students are expected to participate in required discussion / presentations of your of your final projects.

Grading will be as follows:

A = 90 to 100 points

B = 80 to 89 points

C = 70 to 79 points

D = 60 to 69 points

F = less than 60 points

Students are expected to submit assignments on the dates they are due.  Late assignments:   one letter grade will be deducted for each week past the due date. Assignments that are more than TWO weeks late, will not be accepted.

Again, note that attendance and participation are factored into the grade.

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Image Requirements

Any image used in this class must be the student's own - either drawn, painted, or photographed by the student. Commercial images e.g. scanned magazine photos or commercial images from CD-ROMS , are not acceptable.

No Recycling !

While recycling used materials to preserve the environment is commendable, the same can not be said of utilizing the same image for more than one assignment.

The reason you're being assigned several major projects is to stimulate your creativity and challenge your imagination. Therefore, DO NOTuse an image for the layers project or the first of the two main projects ( landscape or still-life ), and then attempt to use it again for the other main project ( self-portrait ). A project will not be accepted if it contains an image already graded for another assignment.

Evaluation of work:

The following criteria will be considered when evaluating work for a grade:

* 1. A large part of the grade for any project in any class, is simply following directions and fulfilling the requirements of the assignment that the instructor asked for. Projects that do not meet requirements will result in a lowered grade, or, in extreme cases, a project that cannot be accepted.

If you have any questions as to what is required, do not understand the assignment, or otherwise need to have some aspect of the requirements clarified, please ask before beginning the project.

2. Striving for a higher aesthetic: students are expected to read the tutorials ( available on all systems in the classroom under the "Better Art" bookmark ) on Design / Composition and Color Theory, and apply these principles to the projects created for these courses. A quiz will be given on these topics as well. The composition and use of color in the finished pieces should reflect your readings on these topics and application of these concepts to your art, resulting in more professional and refined work.

3. Evident mastery of medium : all components of the work should show that they are created intentionally. Marks and shapes should be placed deliberately. It should be obvious that the student understands how to employ the software / hardware tools, and exercises control over the medium. The design and execution of image should be orderly, well-planned, and professional. It should appear that you have spent at least 10 - 20 hours of serious effort on the piece.

4. Coordination of composition and content : design elements should support the artist's purpose. The overall appearance of the final product should sustain the artist's stated intentions. In the case of the use of irony or paradox, the student should be able to articulate his / her intentional reasons for incongruity.

5. Students should be able to explain why they chose to create the image the way they did. Some considerations : why the final image appears the way it does, why certain elements were chosen, and what the artist hopes to convey through the piece.

This does not signify that there has to be a mysterious or obscure "hidden meaning" behind the work - any artist should be able to explain at least some basic motivation for doing his / her work, and to be able to evaluate whether or not the product achieves at least some of their goals.

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If you are new to making art, or unsure of your " talent " , rest assured that your work will not be compared to that of others, in determining your grade. Your effort , hard work and determination, as well as the quality of the work, will be main considerations.

If you are not satisfied with a grade just received , you can ask me how the work could be improved. Take note of my comments, re-do the work if you wish, and re-submit it - I will give you the better of the two grades .

Hopefully, this policy may alleviate some anxiety that those who are new to art - making, often feel: uncertainty about their given " talent ". I 've found that when students can approach an art class with anticipation and excitement, rather than dreading thepressure of grades, then the quality of their work is usually higher.


Another way in which I gauge effort is through class participation. There will be many opportunities for discussion in class, mostly about art, aesthetic issues, and your projects. Strong class participation indicates strong interest in the subject, and is a deciding factor in the final grade.

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Regular attendance of classes that one has registered for, is considered a requirement for successful completion of a course by the school. These Computer Art classes are no exception.

By enrolling in this course, you are agreeing to abide by the attendance policies stated here, which can be summarized thus: students are expected to attend each class, for the entire class period. Breaking this agreement has consequences for the final grade.

Attendance is an especially important component of the overall grade, since new topics are introduced consecutively. Demonstrations and lectures on specific topics will not be repeated, and since this is a fast-paced class, keeping pace with new information is critical.

Students are expected to notify me when they are absent from class. A sudden illness, or emergency, will be taken into account, as will the student's attendance, and work up to that point.

Attendance will be calculated into the final grade; it will be worth 5 points.

A total of 3 absences ( 6 for classes meeting twice weekly ) will reduce the final grade, by one full letter grade. In other words, students anticipating an "A", will not receive a "B" if they miss the number of classes specified above.

A total of 4 absences ( 8 for classes meeting twice weekly ) will automatically reduce the final grade, to "C".

A total of 5 absences ( 10 for classes meeting twice weekly ) will automatically reduce the final grade, to "D". MORE THAN 5 absences ( 10 for classes meeting twice weekly ) will automatically result in a failing grade.

Here is a table to illustrate the above:

Number of Absences Effect on Grade
Class meets weekly: 3
Class meets biweekly: 6
Final grade lowered by one letter
Class meets weekly: 4
Class meets biweekly: 8
Final grade = C
Class meets weekly: 5
Class meets biweekly: 10
Final grade = D
Weekly class: More than 5
Biweekly class: More than 10
Final grade = F

Punctuality is also important, and is factored in with attendance. Late arrivals disrupt the class atmosphere, esp. if a lecture or demonstration is in progress. Please arrive promptly.

If a student arrives more than 20 minutes late for a class, this is noted. Two such instances of arriving late, constitute one absence. If a student leaves more than 30 minutes early, this likewise is counted as one absence.

Exceptions are made only in cases of illness, medical emergency, or legal obligations ( court ). Otherwise, students are expected to be present in class for the entire session.

Note: For those that have Photoshop, Painter, or other programs used in class, installed at home:

This is NOT an independent study course. The fact that you have your own copy of software at home, does NOT exempt you from regular attendance of the class. Like any other college-level course, this class is based on the principle that attendance is an obligatory class requirement.

If you think that my policy on attendance seems strict, consider this - it's the same in the world of work. I can tell you unequivocally that very few employers would tolerate a new worker missing 3 out of the first 10 days of a job, or 6 out of the first 20. Nor would most employers appreciate their workers consistently arriving half an hour or more late, or leaving early each day.

Regular attendance, whether at school or at work, is part of your contract with that institution. Both schools and employers consider regular attendance to be an important symbol of your commitment.

Arriving Consistently Late

Regular attendance is one way that an instructor evaluates the seriousness with which a student applies him / herself to their studies, and is an important factor in calculating the final grade.

Note that it is a breach not only of common courtesy to arrive late on a consistent basis, it is extremely disruptive to the other students and the instructor, as important demonstrations are conducted at the beginning of class. Students who are tardy are thus depriving themselves of the information they're paying for.

Unless there is a compelling reason why a student repeatedly arrives late to class or leaves early ( both of which which must be explained to me ), all students are expected to be here in time for the beginning of class.

Arriving very late for class ( hour to one hour late or more ) on a regular basis, is absolutely unacceptable.

Such students have several choices:

  1. Depart from home earlier in order to arrive at school, find a space, and get to class on time.
  2. Attend another section of this class that may be easier for you to get to. I often have an afternoon section as well. ( Warning: the parking situation is not better at that time than it is in the morning )
  3. Drop this course and instead sign up with an instructor who does not care about attendance or punctuality.

Again, in no uncertain terms: anyone that attends this course is expected to be here on time.

All students must decide for themselves whether they can comply with this basic requirement.

If they are consistently tardy for class, especially if they are extremely late, they should probably not be attending the class at all.

Cutting Out Early

Sometimes I may leave to check my mailbox or use the restroom, and upon my return, occasionally find that student(s) have left early - conveniently, during the brief time that I was not in the classroom.

Note that leaving class early also counts as an absence, and if done consistently, will not be tolerated.

Exceptions are made only if a student feels ill, has a medical or family emergency, or other extraordinary situations - and the student must communicate the reason for leaving to me, prior to doing so.

Just as the instructor is expected to be in class on time and stay for the allotted class period, so too are students expected to follow this requirement.

Arriving on time and staying for the allotted time period are basic conditions that students agree to when they sign up for a college-level class. If this seems like a tremendously onerous burden to anyone, then they are welcome to drop my class and find another instructor and / or course.

Regarding both tardiness and leaving early: please note that I may decide to withdraw any student from the course if they continue indulging in this behavior, so after a certain number of such occurrences, the choice to continue with this class may no longer be yours, but solely mine.

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Presence ( "Attitude" ) :

How students and instructors work together, determines to a large extent whether the class will be a positive or a negative experience. Obviously, there is no room for hostility, disruptiveness, or surliness, but just as damaging to class morale is an attitude of disengagement, or apathy.

As mentioned previously, there will be a large component of class discussion / participation. Students are expected to engage the instructor and their classmates in discussion of aesthetic issues and the work they create.

The entire group, not just the instructor, creates the learning environment here. We are all responsible for it. Your attitude affects all those around you, and you are needed. Like a sports team, we need everyone to participate fully.

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Maintain Contact

Students are expected to contact me when they are absent or anticipate being absent for circumstances beyond their control ( work-related, illness, family emergency, etc ).

Students who do not attend class, and who do not inform the instructor as to the reason(s) for their absence, do not have the same options as those who maintain contact.

If a student informs me of difficulties as soon as they occur, that student has more options than one whom I haven't seen, or heard from, in weeks. I may be able to help that student, or refer them to others that can.

On the contrary, students who do not contact the instructor, give the impression, ( whether true or not ), that they simply do not care. If a student does not attend class at all, and do not bother to contact me during the course of the quarter, they can be assured of two things:

  • At that point ( after mid-quarter ), they can no longer withdraw -- even with an instructor's permission.
  • If such a student did no work, never attended class, and never made the effort to contact me regarding these matters, they will receive a failing grade.

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If a student attends classes regularly, does all assignments to the best of their ability, and uses class time appropriately, that student is very likely to receive an above-average or excellent grade. Conversely, students who neglect any of these aspects, will receive less-than-optimum grades.

I have noticed that a small percentage of students each quarter, never show up for class or do work. As a result, such students receive a failing grade due to the following three factors:

  • Not showing up at all to class during the entire quarter, or missing many classes.
  • Not turning in any work, or failing to turn in important assignments such as final projects.
  • ( Worst scenario ) - A combination of the above.

If you find that your work schedule interferes with completing class objectives, or unforeseen circumstances hinder you from finishing the course, or perhaps that the course is not what you had expected, then you should consider withdrawing from the class as soon as possible.

All students have a decision to make - if they find, for whatever reason, that they do not wish to take the class, or cannot take the class, then they should withdraw from the class as soon as possible.

They can do this themselves until mid-quarter. An instructor may issue a "W" grade on the mid-quarter enrollment verification sheet. After mid-quarter, the school will not accept withdrawals, and the student will receive a failing grade.

So, ideally, this decision should be made as soon after the start of the quarter as possible. The school encourages fast decision-making monetarily - the sooner you withdraw, the more money you receive in your refund.

You do not even need to visit the Registration Office to withdraw. Simply call ( 630 ) 942-3948 to drop a class by phone.

If you wish to remain in the class, but unforeseen circumstances arise that demand your attention, do not hesitate to contact me. I may be able to help, or guide you to others at the school. Barring that, I can at least offer an incomplete, so that the work you have done, will count toward a grade when you can repeat the course in future.


As of Fall Quarter, 2000, the school's policy has changed: Neither students nor instructors may withdraw a registered student from a course after mid-quarter. I will therefore withdraw students for non-attendance, directly on the mid-quarter attendance form, if the student has not been attending class and/or submitting required assignments. If you wish to appeal for a grade of "incomplete", it is your responsibility to contact me before mid-quarter to do so.

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The school requires any incomplete grade to be made up within a year of its issuance. Beyond that, instructors have a considerable amount of leeway in making decisions about incomplete grades. Here is my policy:

I grant incompletes only in extreme cases of illness, accident, family duress ( death, serious illness, or accident in family ), or other severe physical / emotional crises. In other words, I grant incomplete grades only for students enduring stressful circumstances beyond their control.

  • I do NOT give incompletes to students who miss all or most class sessions, do not complete assignments, and do not bother to contact me, ( except for a quick call or visit during the final week, requesting an incomplete ). Such students, to reiterate, receive a failing grade.

  • I also do NOT give incompletes to students who take a prolonged absence from class, in order to take a vacation. A vacation to some delightful place, is not considered to be a "stressful circumstance, beyond the student's control".

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