CMU 15-539: Computer Science Pedagogy, Fall 2017
Homework 10
Due Thu 16-Nov at 11:59pm

For this assignment, you will be designing and creating (in groups of 2), three problems: small (<10 lines), medium (10-30 lines) and large (30-70 lines). Problems can be either standalone, or embedded. Unlike last week, these won’t be different implementations of the same idea. Instead, each will be a separate problem - unless you can think of a creative way to tie them together!

This is a two-week-long homework, so there are higher expectations, but more feedback (3 meetings!) along the way. One of the biggest issues that came up on hw9 was that UX design feedback wasn’t implemented, so for this homework, implementing suggested improvements will be a significant portion of your grade.


Note - only one submission per team is required for each of the deliverables.

Idea submission (11/5)

Before Sunday (Nov 5) at midnight, submit your ideas here. One may be anything you want, and the other must not be a game*. Feel free to look at the ideation spreadsheet from last week for inspiration, but you’re not bound to those ideas.

After the deadline, your ideas will be reviewed, and you should expect to get feedback by early Monday morning. Then, iron out the details of the idea(s) that were approved, and be ready to meet with a UX designer on Tuesday to discuss your idea. Look out for emails from Helen and/or Matt (our designers on hw10) about the logistics of these meetings.

*If you have a second game idea that you’re super excited about, feel free to email Lizzy about it, and she’ll review it along with your other two ideas. We just want you to think outside the box of physics-based games - extra ideas are welcome!

Meeting 1 (11/7)

UX Design: ideation

In the feedback you receive Monday morning, you’ll see which idea(s) that you submitted were approved. Thoroughly think through the ideas (that were approved), and come to the UX meeting with your design plans for each. Things to finalize before this meeting include:

If more than one of your ideas were initially approved, the designer will help you decide which of them to follow through with, in addition to giving feedback on your ideas.

The day after these meetings (as well as for meetings 2 and 3), expect to receive a detailed list of things to improve/change, based on reports from the designers. Implementing these suggestions will determine your hw10 grade, so make sure to take them seriously!

Meeting 2 (11/9-11/11)

Peers: ideation, scaling, and pedagogy

By Meeting 2, you should have a demo-able first product. It doesn’t need to be polished visually or include every detail of every feature, but should serve as a solid proof-of-concept for your idea. You will be meeting in groups of 4 (two teams), and will be giving each other feedback on ideas and designs. This should include how engaging the activity is, if it’s simple enough for a CS1 student to implement, etc.

Lizzy will initially schedule all peer meetings during class time on Thursday 11/9. However, if your group feels you need more time for the initial implementation, you can talk to the peer group you’re matched with, to reschedule (the meeting report isn’t due until Saturday (midnight), so you have until then to meet).

By midnight on the day of the meeting, you’ll need to submit a list of improvements/critiques for the group you met with - details on how to submit will follow. As with meeting 1, you’ll receive this list the next morning, and how closely you follow it will be taken into account during grading.

Meeting 3 (11/14)

UX Design: usability, visuals, and product review

For the final meeting, your assignment should be complete in terms of functionality. You should be able to run it, and the UX designer should be able to interact with it the way that a CS1 student would. All feedback from meetings 1 and 2 should have been incorporated by this point.

The purpose of this meeting is to get some final design notes - specifically on usability, visual engagement, visual/media suggestions, etc. This will likely take place during regular Thursday class time, but again, watch for emails from Helen and/or Matt.

Again, the next morning, you’ll get a list of required improvements, which will factor into your grade.

Final Submission (11/16)

Submit your final product (small, medium, and large-sized assignments) to Autolab. We’ll send out an email closer to the deadline about specific formats/documentation. Be ready to potentially present these in lecture - details to come.

Feel free to email us if you have any questions! This should be a very fun assignment, and hopefully the constant feedback will help you build a more and more awesome product.