After the AP Exam Project Rubric?


Hi, All! After the AP Exam is over, I still have 6 weeks of classes before the school year ends. I am planning on letting my students choose their own programming project using a different programming environment. I have a list of suggestions that I have been accumulating:

  1. EarSketch project
  2. MIT app inventor project
  3. Google script project using Sheets, Docs, Calendar and a script
  4. Thunkable project
  5. App Lab project using Data

I would like them to choose an environment, plan out their project, follow their plan to complete their project and then present their projects to the class.

I am looking for ideas on a solid rubric that would encourage students to plan well, work independently and not leave everything until the last minute.

Has anyone done something like this? Do you have a rubric that worked well?



I tried this once after AP CS-A and…it didn’t go very well because the kids needed more structure. If I was still in the classroom I would now try the following:

First of all, I would put students into pairs who are planning to use the same language/environment. They can make independent projects, but they should also be expected to be thought partners and help each other. Second, I would propose two weeks of planning (which might include investigating other languages). Check out the Stanford Design School resources for activities around design thinking: I would do some of those activities to get brains churning since students should be programming with a purpose toward a goal. Also, this will help them choose their tool.

Also, they will inevitably not finish or get (anywhere) close to what they thought they could do. So having a design plan is at least an artifact you can grade, and you can also ask students to make small lists of task from their design plan to prioritize to work on. So in the end I would have students turn in (1) design plan (2) checklist of tasks showing how far they got (3) actual program they wrote.

Best case you have some “demo days” at the end of the course for students to show their stuff. If you do that, I would also do a dry run with their thought partner a week ahead of time so students can see what they’re up against. I would actually have them do a weekly progress check-in with their partner once a week.

As for a rubric - make it as much about the design, progress, and demo day as possible. You do not want to get stuck in June grading programs in variety of languages that you might not know, and probably don’t work anyway. I would honestly mimic the Create PT to some degree – have students submit their code, of course, and also a video of them using their program. I did that, and it worked. What I said was: (1) you need to make a 60-second video of you using your program (2) provide instructions for me about how to run your program, and what to do to see EXACTLY what’s in the video (3) Make a giant obvious comment in your code that highlights the portion you are most proud of having written, or you think is the most interesting/important part.


Thank you for your insight! You highlighted many of the “fears” I have about giving this type of assignment. I hadn’t thought of having them work in pairs, but that is a good idea. I also agree that I do not want to be grading programs in a variety of languages in June!

I have been looking at “genius hour” rubrics to get some ideas on how to assess this type of project. They seem to focus on:
Design (Design Plan, Checklist of tasks to be completed)
Progress / organization (I am thinking a weekly progress report highlighting where they are in their checklist)
Presentation / Final Product (I like your suggestion of video, instructions on how to run, “giant obvious comment in code highlighting portion you are most proud of”)

I am going to try to formalize this over the next couple of days.



@fallone do you have a rubric you could share? I love your ideas and this conversation here!



Here’s a link to my project files:

After the Exam Folder

I ended up using a “hodgepodge” of rubrics I found online - primarily “genius project” rubrics. I am grading them at several “checkpoints” along the way so that by the end of the year, I am just grading their presentation. If you look at the google slides in the folder above, it will give you an idea of what I came up with.

I don’t know how it is all going to work. I haven’t really worked with the suggestions that I gave them for tools so we will be learning together. It may be a disaster :slight_smile:

Good luck! Feel free to “borrow” anything you find useful.

– Eileen