At a job or internship interview, no one will ask you what grade you received in Graphic Design Principles 1.  However, your portfolio will reflect how well you explored and integrated the basic concepts covered in this course.

Grading Policy

Grades will be awarded using the standard grading scale, but will be judged based on a rubric that takes into consideration effort applied, technical understanding, and creative use of resources.

Grades will be based upon:

  • 10% Participation & Dedication
  • 70% Projects & Experiments
  • 10% Research & Documentation
  • 10% Quizzes

Participation & Dedication

Participation & Dedication is worth 10% of total grade.
Students are asked to consider this class as an audition, interview, or internship. Assume that your professor and especially your peers will be in a position to offer you a job or recommend you for an internship in the not too distant future. How you present yourself in class and your dedication to your work will help you achieve your career goals. If during class you are observed taking phone calls, texting, checking email or social media, working on other projects, or talking during presentations, points will be deducted from your grade.

Participation and dedication to the class is demonstrated by:

  • Class preparedness (completing projects on time, bringing materials to class, checking class site for instructions)
  • Volunteering answers, asking questions, and helping other students
  • Paying attention during class demonstrations and presentations
  • Following project instructions and taking notes
  • Posting and commenting on the shared class site, such as contributing to the Visual Library.
  • Participating in critiques, presentations, and discussions – both in class and online
  • Turning your phone off during class


Each student will present their work for critique using design vocabulary.  The critique is a neutral, supportive dialog with members of the class. Students will present their work and discuss the strengths and weaknesses with regard to the project guidelines.

Visual Library

Every week throughout the semester students will post images to the shared Visual Library on the Ways of Seeing course site. This crowd-sourced collection of images will serve as inspiration for class projects and presentations and will support the culminating Ways of Seeing project.

Projects & Experiments

Projects & Experiments are worth 70% of the total grade.
There will be between 5-6 major Projects and several weekly in-class and take-home experiments. Only projects that adhere to documented project guidelines and are presented in a clean, professional manner will be accepted for credit. Projects will be collected or critiqued each class.

Student blog posts and comments will be used for documenting and sharing your creative process throughout the course. Posts documenting your research, inspirations, experiments, field trips, final work, and peer critiques will serve as a record of the effort and dedication you demonstrate throughout the semester.


Research & Documentation

Research & Documentation is worth 10% of  your grade.
Students will complete a semester-long, cross-disciplinary student project as part of their participation in the First Year Learning Community.

Ways of Seeing Research Project

This semester-long, cross-disciplinary student project will be a collection of words and images that support your personal creative vision. It will communicate your visual aesthetic, your inspirations, and what you care about most.

Drawing from a shared, student-created glossary of words and library of images, developed on the Ways of Seeing Learning Community OpenLab course site, you will choose words that inspire you and pair them with images, colors, patterns, lines, shapes, and illustrations that capture your unique voice and vision.


Quizzes are worth 10% of your grade. Quizzes will be used to test student’s knowledge of design principles and elements after the completion of each project.



Attendance is taken and is important to success in this class.  Both absences and arrival more than 15 minutes after the start of class will be marked. If excessive, the instructor will alert the student that he or she may be in danger of not meeting the course objectives and participation expectations, which could lead to a lower or failing grade.


If a student finds they will not be able to present or hand in a project on the scheduled day, it is their responsibility to notify the instructor PRIOR to the due date and request alternate arrangements.

Points will be deducted for late projects and missed critiques. Your grade will drop a letter grade for each day it is late. It’s better to turn in incomplete projects than late projects. If you turn in your work on time, you will have the opportunity to rework to improve grade.

Academic Integrity

All students are responsible for reading, understanding and abiding by the NYC College of Technology Student Handbook, “Student Rights & Responsibilities,” section “Academic Integrity Standards.” Academic dishonesty of any type, including cheating and plagiarism is unacceptable. “Cheating” is misrepresenting another student’s efforts/work as your own. “Plagiarism” is the representation of another person’s work, words or concepts as your own.

Students and all others who work with information, ideas, texts, images, music, inventions, and other intellectual property owe their audience and sources accuracy and honesty in using, crediting, and citing sources. As a community of intellectual and professional workers, the College recognizes its responsibility for providing instruction in information literacy and academic integrity, offering models of good practice, and responding vigilantly and appropriately to infractions of academic integrity. Accordingly, academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and at New York City College of Technology and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades,

Classroom Etiquette and Behavior

Learning is a group activity. The behavior of each person in class affects the overall learning environment. As a college student you are expected to act in a mature manner; to be respectful of the learning process, your instructor, and your fellow students.

Cell phone and mobile device policy

Cell phones will be turned off during class time and stored in your bag or at the class charging station. If you choose to store your phone at the chargings station, you will receive extra credit toward your final grade. That means you could boost your final grade up 15 points.

“To maintain an atmosphere conducive to learning and the free exchange of ideas, it is important that students and faculty treat one another with courtesy and mutual respect. Behaviors that interfere with the classroom academic atmosphere will not be permitted. Such behaviors include, but are not limited to, the following: talking or otherwise making excessive noise, using a mobile device during class, showing disrespect when a teacher or another student is speaking, repeatedly interrupting other students or the professor, refusing to interact with the members of the class when group work is required, coming to class under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.”

adapted from Goucher College guidelines