Team project 2
1)Whats my grade?
2) Problem: Current methods for determining final grades are not comprehensive enough to provide a useful guide for future academic predictions. Blackboard does not provide enough detail and often times professors will not use it at all. Students should have an accurate idea of how they are doing in a class so they can adjust their behavior accordingly.
3) Users: There are three main classes of users that will be likely to use our final product.
Kristine is a sophomore business major with a concentration in finance and marketing. She is taking four classes but typically gets her homework done ahead of time so she can watch movies or go out with friends. She maintains a 3.5 GPA but this semester is more challenging. She will check her current running grade once before the midterm and once before the final to make sure she is on track to keep her grades. She joined an intramural broomball team and manages her time around the nights where they compete once a week. She will devote more time to studying for the exams she is farthest behind in to bring her grades to about even. Kristie is the typical student and a primary stakeholder for our product.
Justin is a middler communications major who is more concerned with social pursuits than academic. He was an engineering major but changed when the workload got to be too much. He rarely turns in a completed assignment and is often unprepared for tests. He spends his weekends at parties and wakes up in the afternoon on an unfamiliar futon. He needs to maintain his GPA in order to stay off academic probation so he can play lacrosse. He started with an academic scholarship but lost it after freshman year because he joined the team and he spent his free time between practices in other people's dorms watching various sporting events. He will check his grades before each big assignment or test so that he can calculate the minimum he will need to remain in college. He will put in just enough effort to pass the class and keep his lifestyle unchanged. He is a primary stakeholder.
Derek is a freshman computer science student who hopes to one day work for Microsoft. Every hour he is not sleeping or in class he is in the lab working on assignments and a few extra curricular projects. Midterms and finals week he will be unreachable and totally free of distractions. He spends his weekends in his dorm getting ahead in his classes. He goes to every available TA and professor office hour to supplement what he learned in class and will nitpick a returned assignment for every possible point. He will calculate his final grade at every possible opportunity and after every assignment or test is returned. He is a primary stakeholder.
Sandra is an academic adviser for the Northeastern University nursing school. She is 36 and has been a member of the staff for two years. She deals with students every day who come to her concerned about their GPA because they are doing poorly in a class. She will provide the students with their current GPA and look at their projected final grades for the class in question. She will then interpret the output to help them with focusing their studying or switching classes. She wants to be able to quickly look at their grades and get an accurate summary of their needs and goals. She is a secondary user.
4-5)For our grader, we have a number of use cases, all of them essential to the overall profile of our
product. Using these cases, we have a useful framework for the genesis of a utile and usable design.
The first task is obviously to add a class. This is the introductory step and as such should have an
interface that represents this fact. At our first turn of this task, we will have no other options to burden
the user with. As such we can leverage this fact to completely unclutter our interface and provide the
user with an immediate and easy to understand option. At later points our challenge is to formulate
an interface that allows easy use of the existing classes in the gradebook while also keeping the “add
class” feature well within sight. Some exceptions include adding a grade that is out of bounds or leaving it blank which will prompt them to discount the space towards their total or have them make a guess. The ultimate goal is to have the class there so it can be easily updated when future grades come in to be tabulated. It will happen frequently at the beginning of the semester and sporadically thereafter.
Removing a class is as well a task we must identify. This should exist in equal visibility to our “add
class” option. This ought to include a precautionary message or prompt that will dissuade an accidental
deletion of the user's data. Users will use this feature on completion of a class or they made a mistake in the adding class process. This will happen most often at the end of a semester or after a drop course or withdraw.
Dividing a class into its requisite grading areas is also a task. Upon first accessing an added class, the
interface should prompt for a single area, and its respective weight and how many assignments in this
area to calculate. There isn't any need to add any grades as the area is assigned. This as well includes
removing a grading area from the class, however this will also require a prompt so as to discourage an
accidental deletion. Exceptions will occur if the weight is below 0 or above 100 and it will take into account other assigned weights to ensure they add to 100%. This will occur often at the beginning of the semester and occasionally after that depending on the syllabus. The deletion will occur mostly after a mistake has been entered because they will be automatically removed with the class at the end of the semester.
Adding grades is the most atomic of all tasks to be considered. It should be obvious which area you are
adding your grade to, and to which class. For this task however, the deletion of grades does not come
with a prompt or confirmation window. The amount of information deleted is minimal and does not
contribute to a significant loss of information on the part of the user. It is worth considering to simply
implement a small window for the filling in of numerical grades. Depending on the number of assignments per class it could happen frequently to less often. Exceptions are limited to adding a grade out of bounds or trying to enter an empty field.
Computation of known grade thus far is a mandatory task for the gradebook. It is the one task that will
be most often used and thus should be very easy to use but also easy to manipulate. This deigns that
the methods used to provoke this computing of the grade should be easy to spot, preferably be a single
button to use, and the ability to be invoked anywhere. Depending on the person (question 3) this will happen at a wide variety of frequencies. The typical person might calculate their final grade two to three times a semester, the slacker: once or twice depending on their perceived progress, the obsessive: very often to the point of obsession. The counselor is a corner case where she may never need it or may need it weekly depending on her schedule.
The last of our use tasks is the calculation of needed grades to achieve a certain grade. Given an
incomplete list of grades among a stretch of different grading areas, the program is to compute what the
needed minimum grades that the user would need to achieve to attain the grade they have input into the
program. While this seems to be one of the more robust features of the gradebook, it may be delegated
to the background when it comes to saving interface space. Since it is possibly a feature for a power
user, it should possibly be invoked via a menu. Again this could happen very frequently or not depending on the personas described above.
6) The project roles for the team project 2 were mostly the same as we each helped in writing this report. Mitchell Drew was in charge of the hardest part, he wrote up some simple tasks that our users would do and he wrote the task scenarios. Dennis Warner was in charge of the next hardest step, describing the problem that our project would fix, and describing the users who would use our project.
I (Richard M. Van Buren) had the last 2 sections, however the usability component are no longer required at this time. I also wrote up the Team project roles. Team Manager, as of now, we are all currently working with each other and do not have just one. We did not need a Business Analyst, Software Architect, Designer, Software Developer, or Software Tester for this assignment and thus
did not assign one.
Problem: Often times students will not know their current grade in a class based on their submitted tests and assignments up until that point.
Target Audience: The target audience is students but could be extended to teachers to asses a students progress or overbearing parents can keep track of grades.
Solution: We are proposing to create an interface where users will upload grades and using a weighted average specifically for the type of the assignment and the class and will return their final grade. Alternatively, a user will upload their current grades and the final grade they are hoping to achieve and the required grades in the remaining areas will be returned.