Create PT Webinar 1/20 Recording

Hi Everyone,

Here is the recording of the Create PT Webinar we hosted on 1/20 [link].

In addition, below is a list of other resources we shared and referenced during the webinar:

  • College Board Student handouts [link]

  • College Board rubric [link]

  • College Board Online Forum [link]

  •’s Create Survival guide [link]

  •’s Forum Post Addressing Time Concerns [link]

  •’s Slides from this presentation [link]

We would also like to hear from you! How are you planning on helping your students prepare for the Create PT? Which students do you worry about most and why? What questions do you have for other CSP teachers about how they are preparing students for the Create PT?


This thing only lets me give one like so I will say thank you directly.

In terms of preparing for the create PT we are doing the lessons. The only unique thing is I have been taking some of the coding exercises and adding to them or improving them with the class on Zoom.

At my school we have the policy of nothing is ever late. So we have some serious procrastinators.

I am concerned about what happens when they are presented with a blank page and asked for a project.

The question I have going on my third year of concern is the no help policy. Prior to becoming a teacher, If a relative or friend asked me to help their child with a project I would agree. The Collage Board has yet to tell every computer programmer in North America not to help with the Performance Task.

I think we have all have experienced the level of frustration that comes with believing something should work and it doesn’t. We saw that frustration erupt here PLEASE HELPPPPPP i am not able to work through my app! what do i do? i think all of my code is correct but its still not working. can anyone help me find out why it wont run like i want it to?. Now try that with a brain that is flooded with hormones and not even fully formed! With the AP exam parents are laying down cold hard cash for a result. No pressure there.

And that brings me to my pet rant. We know that some communities have few computer programmers in them while others are filled up. So if a student finds themselves asking for help, and some will regardless of rules, getting that help will depend on which community they are in.

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Hi @jdonwells,

The Create PT certainly is a unique assessment in many ways and introduces unique challenges (aka frustrations).

I’m not sure to what extent your “no help” policy goes, but teachers are allowed to provide limited help of certain nature (and required in some cases, such as technical support).

In the past, I’ve given general guidance, just making sure I wasn’t assigning topics or giving feedback or debugging code or anything else that violates the PT rules.

For example, for students who struggled picking a topic, I would suggest that if they couldn’t think of something from scratch, they’re allowed to take an existing program (including ones we did in class) and add features - keeping in mind only the new stuff can be used to get credit for the task. Or if they were stuck on a coding issue, I counseled them that they could keep on working on debugging, or find a way around the problem by changing their feature.

Maybe stuff you already know of or already do, but since I couldn’t tell to what extent you interpret and implement “no help”, thought it worth throwing out there just in case.

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Your assumption is correct. I have been giving students exactly zero help of any kind. Perhaps I am adhering to an urban legend of sorts. I probably need to find the original Collage Board rule.

My students don’t usually lack in ideas. What I do find is that some ideas don’t lead down a path where the rubric is satisfied. It can also be the case that the algorithm used or the way it is coded may or may not satisfy the rubric. Just as an example Unit 7 lesson 4 (Rock Paper Scissors) can be coded with no if statements at all. That can screw up a code based rubric real fast. Fortunately the kids tend to brute force the code which seems to be expected in the rubric.

You may have already guessed I have many rants to draw upon. Thanks for pointing this out I will find that original rule.

I have found some things I didn’t know before.

AP Central will not be using the lockdown browser. YES! We have not been able to get that thing on all our student’s computers after months of trying.

Students taking the exam at home must have a camera. I am not sure that will be true for all my students. No camera, then paper and pencil exam at school. Digital Exams – AP Central | College Board

The student handouts have the following:

Once you have started your official administration of the performance
task, you may not:

  • Seek assistance in writing, revising, amending, or correcting your work,
    including debugging the program, writing or designing functionality in
    the program, testing the program, or making revisions to the program,
    from anyone other than your collaborative partner(s).


Once you have started your official administration of the performance
task, you may

  • Seek assistance from your teacher or AP Coordinator on the formation
    of groups and resolution of collaboration issues when one collaborative
    partner is clearly and directly impeding the completion of the
    performance task.
  • Seek clarification from your teacher or AP Coordinator on the prompts
    and submission requirements for the performance task when you do not
    understand the directions.
  • Seek assistance from your teacher or AP Coordinator to resolve
    technical problems that impede work, such as a failing workstation or
    difficulty withh access to networks, or to help with saving files or making
    movie files.

From the course and exam description

Once students have started their official administration of the performance task,
teachers may not:

  • Assign, provide, or distribute to students specific topics or a program to develop.
  • Write, revise, amend, or correct student work, including debugging the program,
    writing or designing functionality in the program, testing the program, or making
    revisions to the program.
  • Allow students to submit practice performance tasks for AP assessment scoring.
  • Suggest answers or provide feedback on answers to prompts.
  • Allow students to collaborate during the creation of their video or completion of
    written responses.

Once students have started their official administration of the performance task,
teachers may:

  • Oversee the formation of groups.
  • Clarify the requirements and prompts for the performance task when it is clear
    students do not understand the directions.
  • Designate consecutive or nonconsecutive class hours to complete the
    performance task.
  • Continue whole-class teaching of course content and skills during time not
    designated to complete the performance task.
  • Resolve collaboration issues when one collaborative partner is clearly and directly
    impeding the completion of the performance task.
  • Inform students that the scoring process that occurs in the AP Reading is different
    from the one that may be used in the classroom; the AP score that students receive
    may be different than their classroom grade.
  • Review the final submitted files for each performance task component. These
    files should be returned to students if they are the incorrect file or are corrupt or
    not readable. Teachers may not return a file to a student due to the quality of the
    work submitted.

Ah, fantastic - I came here just now to post a link to the CED and the relevant sections and see you found everything I was just about to post for you :joy:

So yes, there’s a lot the teacher can still help with that doesn’t go against the letter or spirit of the no-no list.

Something I felt was commonly appreciated by teachers in the past was that it doesn’t seem to be violating any rules (again, in letter or in spirit) to pause work on the Create task and do some general whole-class instruction or clarification of task requirements.

So I just want to double check here: in the college board webinar a few months ago, she mentioned for teacher help that if a student is stuck and wants help from another CSP student, that we can help with finding someone. Does that mean that students can enlist the aid of peers who are not working on the same project? What about pairs who are working on different projects? Can they talk to each other when they need help? I don’t want to tell my kids the wrong thing here. I’m a little worried about the students in my class who are working independently but hit a bad bug. I have the feeling since we have been remote all year that a lot of students will opt to work by themselves. Thanks!

Hi @eklaka ,

I didn’t attend the webinar, but I interpret that to mean you can help the student find a partner to collaborate with - but both partners must still follow the collaboration rules. For the most part, the parts of code students write about in the Create Task must be individual contributions without debugging assistance. If the instructions say it that part should be done individually, that means no help from the teacher, other students, posting for help on the internet, etc.

So to clarify - there are parts of the task where collaboration is allowed, parts where collaboration is not allowed. Refer to the exam materials in the Course and Exam Description

Certain rows in the rubric also specify some parts where collaboration is allowed: Scoring Guide

For instances where students hit bugs, I gave some advice earlier in this thread.

Interesting @frank_w_lee ; Crystal explicitly said in the webinar that you could code the whole project together as a pair programming exercise with your “collaborative partners” and submit the exact same code, so I interpreted that to mean you can debug stuff together, including the code you end up writing about. The only thing that is must be done completely independently is the video and written response. This is my first year teaching this, so perhaps the collaboration rules have changed from previous years. Check out the video here (25:00):

Also check out 54:15, which was where my inquiry came from originally. She says that someone may say “i’m stuck on an issue, who could I collaborate with to solve my problem?” and it must be a CSP peer…:thinking: But nothing more specific; it sounds like they would be working on a separate project already by this point, so could we pick anyone in the class?

Ah yeah, sorry, forgot this year’s rules seem looser about the collaboration in code development. Like you pointed out, there are still certain parts that must be done individually.

Generally for clarification of rules, I suggest going to the source, so maybe the AP community forums where College Board staff like Crystal sometimes respond.

Our community here can respond, but not sure how confident you can be in an answer (case in point, my previous response) unless people include their sources.

What I heard on the video and what I get from the rules is that a student working alone receives no help in debugging. They can only get debugging help from a partner they have already paired up with.

@jdonwells @frank_w_lee So I went straight to the source, and I got confirmation from Crystal that students can help other students with debugging, even if they are not working on the same project. So the solo students can get some level of help from other CSP peers:) Check this out for details and nuances of what is allowed for collaboration.


Thanks for finding out and reporting back so others with the same question will know. :slightly_smiling_face: (and especially for citing the source and including a link!)