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Course Grades

The course grading system for GEN 230 emphasizes process, not product. It is designed to reward behavior that is professional and responsible in order to better prepare you for participation in group creative processes whether at work or in the community. It discourages behavior that is random, late, and hasty, that is, amateurish. A careful, thoughtful process is more likely to produce an attractive, engaging video.

The process is the most common professional process for making this kind of videos. The parts of the process are sequential and contingent — you must do them in order and you must do them all. If a student complains about a grade, I always send him/her right back here to this page, which I try to follow as closely as possible. You can always view your progress (see menu on left sidebar) and help me keep it accurate and up-to-date.

This grading rubric is best accompanied by a one-on-one evaluation. At any point during the process, I am happy to discuss with you how well your project is conforming to these expectations.

First video

I will score your first video differently than the other three. The purpose of the first one is to learn the software.

100 points – It has all the parts: title, several video clips, credits; music and voice-over.

If it is missing one or more of those, it will get a lower score. I expect everyone to get a 100.

Other three videos:


Project management

10 points for a complete set of documents: final script, final shot list, and treatment
7 points for two of the three.
5 points for only one of the three.


10 points for your own
8 points for an adaptation, part yours, part someone else’s
6 points for someone else’s

Video assets

10 points for enough clips to keep the pace moving.
7 points for so few that the video feels static, that is, boring.


10 points for a voice track of your own voice that is loud and clear.
9 points for voice that is in any way muddled.
7 points for computer-generated or source-video voice.
5 points for voice that is so hard to hear we miss what was said.

Trimmed clips

10 points for effective editing.
8 points otherwise.


10 points for at least 3 minutes excluding titles and credits (up to 450 spoken words).
7 points for at least 2 minutes excluding titles and credits (up to 300 spoken words).
3 points for shorter.


Text, transitions, special effects

10 points for effective editing.
8 points otherwise.

Titles and credits

10 points for doing them with an attempt at some style and flair.
8 points for doing them.
5 points for missing one or the other.
0 points for not doing them at all.

Audio track

Mix the voice-over and the music into an audio track.

10 points for a mix that is loud and clear.
8 points for a mix that is in any way muddled.
4 points for a mix that is so hard to hear we miss what was said.


Add the audio track back to the timeline and render the finished video on or before the deadlines for each. In other words, you finished the process.

10 points for a viewable video.
0 points for anything else.

Total 100 points per video

400 – 350 points = A course grade

350 – 300 points = B course grade

300 – 250 points = C course grade

10 points taken off for each absence in excess of 5.
50 points taken off for missing the “final exam”: Showtime, on May 1. That is, if you miss Showtime for whatever reason, you lower your course grade by one step.

50 points added for being one of the in-class selections that are shown to everyone at the end of the semester.

100 points added for placing in the top three in the voting for Best Picture.


Showtime during the final exam period in December is mandatory attendance. If you miss it, your course grade will suffer by at least one step (letters including pluses and minuses).

In addition:

0 absences, add 2 points to final grade

1 absence only, for any reason, add 1 point to final grade

2 or 3 absences only, for any reason, no change

4 or more absences for any reason, subtract points from final grade for each absence


If you are late with what you were supposed to do for the deadlines above, I will subtract 3 points from your score for that part of the process. I will subtract 2 more points for each late week. For example, if you finish it two weeks late, that’s 7 points, 3 for the late assignment and 2 for each week.

Late work, that is, unprofessional behavior, is the most common cause of low course grades in GEN 230. If you have a job that involves collaborative media production with deadlines, missing them can get you fired.