Late Project Policy

Here is our course policy on late work, as well as some of our underlying rationale.

This class moves quickly and getting even a few days behind can be hard to recover from since it can propagate into the following assignments by domino effect. Late work also makes extra work for the staff since we try to get things graded as soon as possible. However, recognizing that juggling this course and all your other responsibilities can get tricky, we will give you a little flexibility in deadlines via late days. We designed our policy to empower you to make your own choices and while trying to protect your interests and keep things fair for all students.

Self-granted extensions (AKA "grace" or "late" days)

Late days are "self-granted extensions". Unexpected things come up-- you get sick, the network slows down, you accidentally delete a critical file, etc. Usually you then ask the instructor to grant you an extension. To save this step, we have given you the privilege to grant yourself a total of 4 days of extensions without getting our approval first, however an email to your instructor would be appreciated. A day extends the deadline by 24 hours. Late days are no different than extensions. We give you late days to cover real problems: illness, disk crashes, bike accidents, and so on. We don't intend them to cover ski trips and planning oversights, but truthfully, you can use them as you choose and we don't check up on you. We think this is a generous allowance. Be fair here -- we doubt few of you would ask for or require that much grace in classes where you needed the instructor's approval for it.

Instructor-granted extensions

Your first recourse for handling a crisis is to invoke your own power to grant yourself an extension. If you have already exhausted all your late days on legitimate causes and are in further need, you can request extra accommodation via an instructor-granted extension. These are rarely granted except under extenuating circumstances, and never granted until your own late days have been used. It is not just the latest crisis that we consider, it is the combination of how you used your self-granted extensions and the current need. In particular, your situation over the entire quarter needs to be unexpected and different enough from other students that it will be fair to give you something beyond what everyone else gets. Remember that most students take the policy at face value and work things out one way or another: staying up late, ignoring their other classes, missing events they wanted to attend, working when sick, turning in unpolished programs when they are out of time, or taking penalty late days as a last resort. All of these students need to be considered when giving something special out. Ask yourself how they would feel if they knew that you were given extra late days-- would it seem fair to them? If so, we will work with you to make special arrangements.

This policy is not intended to be unforgiving, just fair to all students. Most students schedule as best they can and often make heroic efforts to avoid using late days, it would be unfair to dole out extra days to those who used their late days less carefully.

Handing in late work

The timestamp on your electronic submission that determines the assignment's lateness. The absolute deadline for on-time submissions is midnight of the due date. Late days are counted in 24-hour periods, so an assignment submitted one minute past midnight until midnight of the next day is one day late, and so on. If you are choosing to use one of your self-granted extension days, you do not need to confirm with us, just submit your work normally and it will be time-stamped accordingly. Note that no assignments will be accepted more than 5 days past the original due date.

If you use all available grace days and submit a project late without instructor permission, a 10% deduction per late day will be assessed. This may be worth your while if you have significant work to complete, but not for last minute polishing.

Just for your own planning, you will probably not be able to turn in the final assignment more than one day late, since it will be due near the semester's end and we need to get all assignments in so we can grade them in time.