CSE 142, Summer 2022: Assessments


Please make sure you've reviewed the following policies:

Take-home Assessments

Note: unless otherwise noted, all assessments are due at 11:59pm PT PT. If you have trouble submitting an assessment and the deadline is approaching, you should email all the files to the instructors and your TA before the deadline so we have your submission on record. Submissions received after the due date may not be accepted even if there were technical difficulties turning in the assessment if you did not email us your solution before the cutoff.

All assessments will be submitted and graded via Ed.

Assessment 8: Critters

Initial submission due Monday, August 15, 11:59pm PT

Revision and Resubmission Process

Once per week, you may revise and resubmit a previous take-home assessment to demonstrate improved mastery. Your resubmission will be graded and the new grades will fully replace your previous grades. (Note that this means your grades may go down.) See the full policy in the syllabus for more details.

While feedback from your previous submissions is an important starting point for improving your work, addressing the feedback you receive does not guarantee any particular result on your resubmission. We will make every effort to provide feedback on all areas that could be improved, but oversights may occur. In addition, changes to address one area of feedback may introduce new errors or concerns in other areas. It is your responsibility to ensure that your work meets all expectations. Be sure to consult not only your feedback, but also the assignment specification, code quality guide, and other course resources and materials.

To resubmit a revised assessment, follow these steps:

  1. Make any desired revisions directly in your assessment in Ed and click Mark. As with your initial submission, you can make changes and click Mark as often as you like.
  2. Fill out the appropriate Google Form (see below) for the current cycle. You will need to provide the Ed URL for the submission you would like to use. You will also need to to provide a description of the changes you made from your last submission. (Failure to do so will result in your resubmission not being accepted.)

You must complete both steps for your resubmission to be considered complete. Resubmissions in Ed in will not be graded unless the Google Form is also filled out correctly. If you are having difficulty accessing the Google Form, try following these instructions.

The resubmission period for each week runs from Saturday to Friday. Resubmissions must be received by Friday at 11:59pm PT to be considered for that week. You may only make one resubmission per week, though you may change which submission or which assessment you are resubmitting throughout the week by modifying your responses in the Google Form. Resubmissions received each week will be graded and feedback released by the following Friday.


Each week you will have a short Checkpoint assessment assigned on Ed. These are intended to give you more immediate practice with the content covered in class that week outside of the larger, more time-consuming Take-Home Assessments. Checkpoints will generally be released on Wednesdays and due on Saturdays, and may be worked on collaboratively with classmates.

Late Checkpoint Tokens

Checkpoints may be submitted late by utilizing a late checkpoint token and completing the checkpoint in Ed as normal. Late checkpoint tokens may be obtained by reading or watching an article/video discussing some current events or issues related to computer science and filling out the Late Checkpoint Token form with a link to the source and a brief summary of the article and what you found interesting or compelling.

Culminating Assessments

Culminating assessments are designed to give you an opportunity to engage with all the material covered during course up to the time of the assessment. Unlike take-home assessments, which primarily emphasize the most recent concepts, culminating assessments give similar levels of focus to all topics.

Details on culminating assessments will be released later on in the quarter.

While culminating assessments will include solving problems, and may have the look and feel of an exam, they are not graded on correctness or accuracy. Your grade on a culminating assessment is based only on your completion of the required elements (outlined below). Culminating assessment are graded SN—no grades of E or U will be given.

Simulated Midterm

The first culminating assessment will be a simulated midterm. This assessment will look similar to a traditional CSE 142 midterm exam, but you will not be graded on the accuracy of your answers. Instead, you will be asked to compare your responses to a published key, annotate your answers to indicate areas you made mistakes, and meet with your TA to discuss your work.


The simulated midterm will be conducted in Ed, and will consist of a series of problems of two types: mechanical problems where you answer questions about or predict the results of executing provided code; and programming problems where you write code to satisfy a given prompt. The assessment will also include a "cheat sheet" of notes that may be helpful in completing these problems.

To best simulate the circumstances of a traditional midterm, we recommend adhering to the following procedures:

  • Complete as much of the assessment as you can in 75 minutes, and note how far you have gotten at that time.
    • You should still finish the assessment, even if it takes longer than 75 minutes. However, if after a few hours you still have not completed the simulated midterm, you should move onto annotating your answers. For the problems you could not complete, in your annotations you should reflect how you would complete the problem given what you see in the published key."
  • Complete the entire assessment in one sitting.
  • Do not use any outside resources (notes, sample code, the textbook, internet searches, calculators, etc.) while completing the assessment.
  • Do all of your work in the Ed lesson for the assessment, and do not write, run, or debug code in any other environment.

These procedures will help to create a reasonable simulation of a traditional midterm and to provide the most accurate indication of your current level of mastery. They are highly recommended, but are not strictly required, and you will not be penalized for failing to follow these procedures. However, the further you stray from these suggestions (e.g. by utilizing outside resources), the less useful your performance will be in helping both you and the course staff evaluate your current mastery and provide meaningful support going forward.


To receive an S grade on the simulated midterm, you must complete the following three steps:

1. Make a good-faith effort to complete the simulated midterm
Work on the simulated midterm, ideally by following the procedures outlined above. You will not be graded on the accuracy of your respones. However you must attempt all problems with enough work to indicate a good-faith effort, and the activity will be most useful if your give your best possible effort. As always, submitting work that is not your own, including copying from the key, will be considered a violation of the academic integrity policy.
2. Annotate your work based on the provided key
After you have completed the assessment, compare your responses to the provided key. Annotate your work in Ed using the feedback utility to indicate where you made mistakes and what those mistakes were. You must include enough annotations to make clear that you have thoughtfully considered your work and where your responses were incorrect. Again, you will not be graded on the accuracy of your responses, so it is in your best interest to be honest and thorough in your annotations.
3. Schedule and attend a check-in session with your TA

After you have completed and annotated your simulated midterm, you will attend a 15-minute, one-on-one session with your TA to discuss your progress in the class. (Your individual TA will tell you how they will schedule your session.) In this session, you may go over some of the problems on the assessment and discuss both how you could have improved your work on those problems and how you can improve your mastery of the material going forward, you may discuss your current grades in the class and work to understand how they affect the final course grade you will receive at the end of the quarter, and/or you may spend time discussing how you've been engaging in the class for the first half of the quarter and considering how you should continue engaging in the course moving forward. You should come to your meeting with a plan for what you would like to discuss and/or specific questions you would like answered. Note that, in the 15-minute meeting, you will likely not have time to review every problem on the assessment. Be sure to decide ahead of time what problems, concepts, or topics you would most benefit from discussing.

Note that missing your scheduled meeting with your TA without notice will result in a grade of N on the simulated midterm. If extenuating circumstances cause you to need to reschedule your meeting, you must contact your TA ahead of time to do so.


Week of July 18 - July 22
Prepare for the simulated midterm however you see fit. Look for communication from your TA on how to schedule your one-on-one session. (Each TA will set their own process and schedule.)
  • To help you prepare, we are providing a database of sample problems (without solutions) that you can use to practice.
  • You can also try problems with a test suite at the website Practice-It (free to join, doesn't track email for anything other than an account).
  • A practice exam can be found under Practice Simulated Midterm in the Culminating Assessments module of the Lessons tab in Ed.
Friday, July 22, in class (12:00pm)
TAs will hold a review session to go over practice problems similar to those that will appear on the simulated midterm.
Friday, July 22
The simulated midterm will be released in Ed Lesson tab under Culminating Assessments: Culminating Assessment 1 Simulated Midterm.
Sunday, July 24
The key for the simulated midterm will be released (Solution tab for each problem) and you may annotate your work if you have already completed the simulated midterm. To leave annotations, you must submit the work on Ed, go to the Submission tab, select the submission, and go to the Feedback tab where you can add comments. This video has a walkthrough of how to get to the Feedback tab to leave annotations.
July 25 - August 5
Schedule and attend your one-on-one session with your TA. You will need to complete and annotate your simulated midterm at least 24 hours prior to your session to ensure your TA has time to review your work. Be sure to follow your TA's procedure for scheduling and attending your session.

You can view an alternate form of this information on this notion page.

Problem Solving Portfolio

The second culminating assessment will be a video problem solving portfolio. For this assessment, you will work on a few problems similar to those that might have appeared on a traditional CSE 142 final exam. However, rather than simply submit your solutions to these problems, you will create videos to teach someone else how to solve them!


We will release a pool of programming problems in Ed for you to choose from in creating your portfolio. From this pool, you will select two (2) problems to solve and explain. For each problem you chose, you will create a three- to five-minute video walking through your problem-solving approach and explaining your solution. You can think of these videos as shorter versions of the walkthrough videos your TAs have been creating for section problems throughout the quarter.

Your videos should include your voice (and, if possible, face) explaning your solution to the problems you choose. Videos must also include some way of showing your code–this could be a screen-recording, whiteboard, tablet, or any other material that works for you. The format is not important; what matters is that you are able to effectively explain your approach and show your work. Your videos do not need to include an explanation of the problem itself, but should mention details as they become relevant to your solution. Your videos do not need to be perfectly edited or narrated–we are more interested in the work that you've done to solve the problems rather than the production quality! (See the sample videos for examples.)

As on the simulated midterm, you will not be graded on the correctness of your solutions. However, your work must demonstrate a good-faith effort to solve the problems to the best of your ability. If there are aspects of the problems you struggle with, you should call those out in your video. (Explanations of errors or areas of struggle are very effective teaching tools!)

You can use any technology you have available to create your videos. There are no minimum quality requirements, but both the video and audio should be clear enough to understand what you are saying and doing. (We highly recommend Loom as a simple, easy way to create videos that include screen recordings, voiceovers, and optionally video. Zoom should also be capable of creating recordings.) As mentioned above, you will need to include audio, and you are encouraged, but not required, to include video as well. If you do not have access to technology capable of creating a video that meets the requirements, or if you are in a living situation that makes recording video infeasible, please contact the course staff immediately to make arrangements. The UW Student Technology Loan Program may also be able to help.


To receive an S grade on the problem solving portfolio, you must submit video walkthroughs of two (2) problems chosen from the pool provided in Ed. Videos must meet the following requirements:

  • Each video should be between three (3) and five (5) minutes long (inclusive) and cover a single problem. Your two videos should be no more than ten (10) minutes long combined.
    • We will not strictly enforce these limits, but please try to stick to them as much as possible (within about 10 seconds of the lower and upper limits). Videos that are too short are unlikely to meet the requirements, and videos that are too long will create a burden for us in grading.
  • Each video must include your voice, a visual of the code you are explaining, and, if possible, your face.
  • The work you explain must indicate a legitimate, good-faith effort to solve the problem to the best of your ability, and must be your own work.
    • You do not need to end up with a complete or correct solution, but you must have enough code to indicate that you tried.
  • In each video you should:
    • Identify the key elements of your solution.
    • Explain how you arrived at your solution.
    • Describe any mistakes, errors, or misunderstandings you encountered.
    • If your solution is incomplete or incorrect, describe where you believe the issues to be (in behavior and/or code).
  • Your videos should not simply be a line-by-line description of what your code does. Instead, you should be explaining your solution at a high level and only discussing the code details that are particularly important. The goal is not to prove to us that you understand what you wrote—we assume you do—but to describe how you went about developing it.

You do not need to "live-code" your solution in your video–in fact, you will likely find it easier to have your work already complete and simply explain what you have written. You do not need to fully script your video in advance (though you may if you prefer), but you will likely find it helpful to think about what you will say ahead of time and have a plan. You do not need to worry about creating "professional" quality productions–it's fine to stumble over your words a bit or back up if you make a mistake in your explanation. You also do not need to do any editing or post-processing on your videos.


The pool of available problems will be released in Ed on Friday, August 5. It will be Ed Lesson tab under Culminating Assessments named Culminating Assessment 2 Problem Solving Portfolio. Videos must be submitted by 11:59pm PT on Wednesday, August 17.