Design Projects and Submissions

Overview and policies


Design Project Overview

A number of design projects (and possibly a final project) will be assigned througout the course. Your class website will list the assignments that must be completed together with their due dates.

The projects generally begin with a guided tutorial that is intended to illustrate some new aspect of hardware or software design, or perhaps some new feature of the design tools. After you complete this first section, a sequence of several additional design requirements are presented, with each new design extending the concepts intrduced in earlier designs. Each design task ends with a “deliverable”, or a checkpoint that requires you to demonstrate your work to a lab assistant.

After the required design tasks, many projects will list additional challenge design tasks. These challenges are generally presented with less guidance and less structure to give you an opportunity to test the depth of your understanding. After the challenge projects, some projects will also offer extensions. There are no requirements for extensions, other than extending the previous designs in some new and interesting way.

A submission form is provided for each module. The submission forms have table entries for each project and its requirement(s), challenge(s), and an extension checkpoint(not all projects have an extension checkpoint). The lab assistant will use the submission forms to record scores you earn.

Requirements, Challenges, and Extensions

In each design project, you must complete all the required tasks to receive full credit. Required tasks are marked with a “check mark” . You may additionally complete as many challenge tasks as you wish. Challenge tasks are marked with a “plus sign” . Challenge tasks are always extra credit – you are not required to complete them, but if you do, you will earn extra points. On some design projects, you are also encouraged to go “off script”, and design any additional features (or extensions) that you find interesting. These extra extensions will also receive extra credit as awarded by the assistant. In general, the more challenging the extenstion design, the more extra points you will receive.


You must demonstrate your completed projects to the lab assistant to receive credit. To receive full credit, you must demonstrate your solutions for all required tasks, and answer several questions designed to gauge your understanding of the project and your solutions. You will be awarded points for the successful completion of the design tasks, and for answering questions competently and confidently.

The project submission forms have checkpoint entries for all design tasks, and the lab assistant will enter your scores during your demo. After you have completed all the tasks you intend to complete (including as many challenges or extensions as you want), you must submit the signed and dated submission forms in a timely manner. The instructor will then transfer your scores to the gradebook.

Grading Criteria

The assistant will complete the project submission form during your demonstration (you should print the submission form prior to meeting with the lab assistant).


If your submission is exemplary, meaning it is neat and well organized, well commented, and well-engineered, it may receive 4 points. Likewise, if your answers are complete and show a mastery of the material and your design, you may receive 4 points.


You will be awarded 3 points if your design includes all required features and meets all required specifications, and for concise and competent answers to questions. It is then considered complete. Most submissions will earn three points most of the time – this is considered full credit.


If your project meets some, but not all requirements, it is then considered incomplete and it will receive 2 points; if your answers are on-topic but tentative and incomplete, you will receive 2 points.

Minor Effort

If you started and made an honest effort, but did not implement any features or meet and requirements, it is then consdered minor effort and you may be given 1 point.

Not Submitted

If you do nothing you will receive 0 points.

Problem Sets

Some projects include problems, which will also be examined and graded by the lab assistant. Your earned points will be recorded on the submission form.


Completed forms must be submitted on time according to class policies to receive full credit. Late submissions will be subject to a 10% per week deduction in points.

An example of a submission form is shown below.