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Our Solutions vs Theirs!
August 07, 2006 05:39PM
When I write a program and before I submit it I make sure that it works by thoughly testing it. For e.g. my algorithm to the ternary search problem of Assignment 3 was just working fine and had anticipated for full marks. But lost 2 marks there.

To my astonishment, I got the comment 'refer to solution'. Does it necessarily mean that I was supposed to do their way not my way even though it works? I have had this situation in a couple of modules now especially those ones which involve practicals. And I tell you, this is so frustrating after I had spent so much time working on these solutions.

Do you guys also receive such unnecessary comments?

However, all-in-all I qualified with a high pecentage.

Re: Our Solutions vs Theirs!
August 07, 2006 07:17PM
Well I was extremely upset after receiving back an assignment for Cos226...the previous one was written, 40 creds total...I got 10...was happy, because I lfet out about 3/4 of the assignment.
This assignment however, I really put an effort in...did all the questions...I waas flabbergasted to see that I got only 10 creds for it. The lecturer marking it just wrote "incomplete" at most questions.
Well I don't understand it!
Re: Our Solutions vs Theirs!
August 07, 2006 08:21PM

In fact I was supposed to post a thread voicing the same concerns. My frustration lies in particular with the programming courses. The markers should realize that programming is an "abstract art", it possesses carte blanche, and following a "paradigm" only stifles creative thinking.

I think that the markers follow the solutions to the textbooks (i.e.: author's suggested solutions) too strictly, and penalize any code that deviates from what they are familiar with. On a few occasions now in COS214 and COS211, I have been penalized because they cannot follow my logic or my style of coding is inconsistent with that of the author's! And what is ironic is that I submit a screenshot of test runs for all solutions to illustrate to them that the code works.

I have had ridiculous comments such as "How?", "Why?", "Will it work?" (this too- after submitting a screenshot!!!). My suggestion: instead of asking such questions: type out the code, compile it and run to make sure, but do not penalize us for something you "anticipate to be semantically incorrect" . If you have any doubt, and do not have the time to check that the code works- award the student full marks.


Anonymous User
Re: Our Solutions vs Theirs!
August 08, 2006 11:16AM

I think it's due to the backlog in marking assignments and the lecturers have resorted to getting assistants. I also received comments such as "?" as if the person has no clue even though i've
sent screen shots. I never had such comments last yr which is why
I suspect that the lecturers are not the one's doing the marking
Re: Our Solutions vs Theirs!
August 08, 2006 07:25PM
but this happened last year as well, I know in subjects like cos111 and happened often, the code would work and I would know that it is correct, but they do not award marks or say that it is incorrect.
So its def not because of the backlog
avatar Re: Our Solutions vs Theirs!
August 08, 2006 11:15PM
I think the lesson here is that for code that might be a bit suspect or that requires more than half a brain to understand, add comments.

There might just be something that you understand perfectly because you wrote it and you battled to get it right, but somebody else comes and reads your code and says,"huh?"

Anything complicated should have comments explaining exactly what's going on and why.
Re: Our Solutions vs Theirs!
August 09, 2006 12:27PM
I have always added comments to my code but still receive such comments 'refer to solution' as if it's only their solution that works (if ever it works!).

From such a comment, I can figure out that the marker simply failed to understand my solution hence cannot give a better comment other than that.

However, I understand that they are no angels hence, they can also fail to understand some of the logic in our programs even though the code is commented.

Regardless of all these problems, especially this year - we appreciate the good work they are doing.

Re: Our Solutions vs Theirs!
August 09, 2006 03:04PM
-at least they are making the effort to mark this assignments, albeit not to our satisfaction. What I find particularly frustrating is 90% of my work not marked with a note that it is impossible for lecturers to mark, so I am referred to a solution guide, and this is in a course that I am really struggling with!!!
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