Marking Guidelines

Assessing 4th Year Theses

Approved March 2008

Summary

The method improves the simplicity, consistency and reliability of assessment. We define a small set of assessment criteria. Markers award a grade, not a mark, for each criterion, and supply a comment to justify the grade. The final mark is computed by the system by mapping each grade to a mark and computing a weighted-sum of the individual criterion marks. The process of assessing reports is intended to be analogous to the process of reviewing papers for journals/conferences (but, of course, the criteria/standards are different since we're dealing with 4th-year theses).

Grades

The following grades apply to all of the criteria mentioned below. The descriptions of the levels of achievment may need to be adapated for some criteria.

A+
  • absolutely top-quality work, best I've seen
  • publishable in good conference with little change
  • corresponds to a very high HD (>95%)
  • would be awarded rarely (maybe once per year)
A
  • excellent work, does everything required
  • results are good, could be published with some re-working
  • corresponds to a solid HD
B
  • good quality work, but with some minor deficiencies
  • would need substantially more work to be publishable
  • corresponds to a Distinction (DN)
C
  • adequate
  • the topic could have been treated much better
  • corresponds to a Credit (CR)
D
  • just satisfactory, minimal standard for a CSE thesis
  • corresponds to a bare Pass (PS)
E
  • not up to standard required of a CSE thesis
  • corresponds to a FL grade (around 40%)
F
  • very much below the standard required of a CSE thesis
  • corrsponds to a low fail (around 20%)

Thesis A Seminar

What's required to mark a Thesis A Seminar:

  • attend the seminar
  • assign a single overall grade for the talk
  • when determining the grade, consider the following criteria:
1. Technical quality
(50% weighting)
  • motivation of the work
  • quality of the literature survey
  • analysis of solutions considered, justification for choices
  • quality of the work-plan
2. Presentation
(50% weighting)
  • ability to communicate, clarity of description
  • structure of the talk, content/layout of slides
  • competence in handling questions

Thesis A Report

What's required to mark a Thesis A Report:

  • read it
  • assign a single overall grade
  • when determining the grade, consider the following criteria:
1. Presentation
(20% weighting)
  • quality of written english
  • structure of thesis (chapters/sections)
  • logical flow of arguments
  • effective citation and referencing
2. Background
(40% weighting)
  • clear definition/description of the topic/problem
  • literature review: comprehensiveness, citations and bibliography
3. Analysis
(30% weighting)
  • development of analysis framework; its application to work of others
  • summary and comparison of alternative approaches
  • identification of the core problems to be solved
  • for development thesis, detailed list of requirements
4. Proposal/Plan
(10% weighting)
  • effective plan for completing project
  • realistic timetable for carrying out project

Thesis B Report

What's required to mark a Thesis B Report:

  • read it
  • assign four grades and write a brief comment/justification for each criteria
  • a comment can be as little as just a couple of words or a single sentence
  • the four criteria for grading the report are:
1. Presentation
(20% weighting)
  • quality of written english
  • structure of thesis (chapters/sections)
  • logical flow of arguments
  • effective citation and referencing
2. Background
(20% weighting)
  • comprehensive description of problem space
  • reference to and analysis of other work
3. Own Work
(30% weighting)
  • originality of approach to the problem
  • quality of the final results or system
  • for a research thesis: original contribution
  • for a development thesis: quality of software
4. Evaluation
(30% weighting)
  • used appropriate analystical instruments
  • carried out analysis effectively
  • analysed results appropriately
  • realistic appraisal of achievements/limitations