What is it?

A portfolio is a collection of what you consider your best work to date. It should not only be your best work, but also be representative of all that we learned during that period.

As your best work, it should have been through the corrections cycle at least once (hopefully two or three times). As a representation of your mastery of the current period's topics, it should demonstrate as many of them as possible. (Look through the topic lists either in the second column of the assignment page or those present at the top of each assignment to see what topics are possible to represent.)

A portfolio consists of These are available for your perusal from the main page for your course. (There are indeed a lot of them. Don't try to complete all of the These things consume too much time to be worth your extra exertion. See below for details on extra credit...)

How much should I do?

Choose no more than 5 labs to complete during any portfolio period. (Divide that out by the weeks per portfolio period to find your weekly pace and divide that by 5 or 7 to find your daily pace. Depends on how you like to schedule yourself. Just don't put it off and end up late. See below for details on the late policy...)

When's it due?

There are three portfolios due during the semester. The first is due at week The second is due at week The third is due at week (the week your final). (Don't forget, though, that the you choose to hand in should have been handed in for corrections at least once before the due date!)

What late penalties apply?

For you will lose credit for every day after the due date you hand it in. This includes ALL days (even Saturday and Sunday!) — except official school holidays.

The formula for the credit is rather complicated, I'll try to post a graph of it later. Essentially, it is linear for the first week (at a dropping rate of percent per day) and then a steeper quadratic is spliced on (at a rate twice as fast as the linear drop — so percent more off for day eight, thrice that for day nine, five times it for day ten, etc.). I don't go to a finer grain than half days. (That hourly or minute-by-minute stuff is for the birds!) If you want a specific amount, ask me and I'll look it up in my TI calculator. *grin*

What's a 'level'?

Each assignment is given a level to indicate approximately how difficult it is (1 is easy, 3-4 is moderate, 4-5 is a bit difficult, 7 is darn hard). Labs tend to have a base level 4 or under.

Some assignments have options you can add to increase the level of the assignment. Simply add the option level(s) to the base level for that assignment. For instance, if a lab has base level 1.5 and has options worth 1, 0.5, and 1 respectively, you could hand it in worth 1.5, 2, 2.5 (two ways), 3 (two ways), 3.5, or 4. Levels can quickly add up!

Some labs might be worth as much as level 10 — even though the maximum base level is 4 for a lab.

What is required to be in it?

Approximately a week before the due date, I'll post the requirements for the portfolio. They are listed under the selection of assignments on each assignment page Requirements tell you a maximum number of items you are allowed to hand in and a minimum difficulty level you must achieve. There will be a different item/level requirement for each portfolio category:

For example, if it were to say that the lab category had to have at most 3 items and they had to be at least 7 levels, how could you accomplish this? You could hand in 2 level 2 labs and a level 3 lab (2+2+3=7). That would exactly meet the requirements. However, you could hand in a level 3 and a level 4 (3+4=7). This meets the minimum levels and beats the maximum items. You could even hand in two level 4 labs (4+4=8). This beats the maximum items and the minimum levels! (This would actually earn a bit of a bonus for you.)

How do I hand it in?

Attach all your PDF files to an email to me. The usual subject line rules apply: name, course, section. (My email address is at the bottom of every web page...)

Remember that I do not accept Word files — the Word on campus can convert to PDF.

For further information see these more detailed directions.

What about extra credit?

If you hand in more items than needed to meet the requirements, I'll place them in your extra credit pile. At the end of the semester I'll review these and give you extra credit (as appropriate) wherever you need it most. So, if you handed in 3 2s and a 4 in the above example, I would place the 4 and two of the 2s in your portfolio and the extra 2 in your extra credit pile. Which 2 goes in the extra credit and which go in your portfolio grade is chosen at random — unless you clearly mark Xcred, EC, XC, or something along these lines on particular

There is also non-portfolio extra credit which you can hand in at any time.

Is there a limit on the extra credit I can get?

Yes and no. On non-portfolio extra credit, there is no limit at all.

On though, there is an economic model in effect. Basically, the more things you hand in, the less each is worth (like devaluing currency or flooding the market with too much of a product). So for it is better to hand in a few really good items of extra credit rather than pump out reams of items (well done or not). The more you hand in, the less each one is worth.

(The reasoning here is that the often cover similar or exactly the same topics. So if you did four labs [with all the same material], you aren't getting as much learning as you might think. *shrug*)

How much is my extra credit worth?

Extra credit is not equal in weight to the normal work you do. Extra credit labs are measured out of The questions from MyProgrammingLab are measured out of 3. Extra credit biographies are measured out of 2.5. (The percent values for labs do not account for the economic adjustment mentioned above.)

So for instance, if you did a [set of] lab[s] for credit and got a 75% on it, that would be 75 points (assuming all portfolio item sets are measured out of 100 points for simplicity). If you did a lab for extra credit that was level 6 and got 75% on it, that would be an 18 percent boost (75% --> 3 of 4; level 6; 6*3 = 18). So it would add 18% onto the score that helped you most out of all non-finals or portfolio items. (That's not an 18% increase in the current score on that item but rather 18% of the maximum for that item added onto your current score!) (The item chosen is usually the portfolio II project, but in some classes it might be a non-final exam.)

Note also that the level of the extra credit item weights the percent value. So a higher-level will help you more than a lower-level one. (The 'level' of your MyProgrammingLab questions is 1/33rd of the number of questions answered correctly. The 'level' of a biography is 2/3 of the [good] page count — remember there are style guidelines for page content including a 5 page maximum!)