Set aside class time to check in with students when they’re working on large (2-3+ weeks) group projects in order to catch them before they get derailed and create a project that doesn’t demonstrate assignment requirements.

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  • Have an in-class checkpoint halfway through large assignments.
    • This is incredibly valuable to students and groups that get stuck or off track with their project.
      • You can address any questions that they have at this midpoint and diagnose any way students have gotten derailed to get them back on track.
  • Make sure their projects demonstrate sufficient complexity by interacting with students at this midpoint.
    • Using complex elements demonstrates mastery of course content.
    • If projects are not complex, you could ask students what elements they could add to make their projects more complex or suggest your ideas as well.
      • Here, complexity refers to having well executed code or using advanced internal algorithms.
      • Examples of complexity in design include:
        • how code is organized and used for different sprites and blocks,
        • successful implementation of a difficult programming task,
        • well coded complicated algorithms (such as Dijkstra’s Algorithm, the A* algorithm, and many others),
        • and/or statistical analysis programs.
  • This in-class meeting is a great opportunity for students to realize that they already used up half of the time for this project.
    • Pointing out to students that they’re at the halfway mark can help students realize just how much time they have left to complete the assignment.