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Final Project Rubric

The Suffolk LIT Lab is working on the Document Assembly Line, a project to rapidly automate forms for the court. I firmly believe that getting to work on a real-world project that will continue to be supported and maintained into the future has benefits over a pure classroom exercise. The Assembly Line project also offers regular meetings and support outside of class that will help your final project succeed. Most students who participate in the Assembly Line will see their final project eventually be available for the general public to view.

Therefore, I recommend that students adopt a form on the Assembly Line. However, every semester students create wonderful independent projects. You are welcome to use a tool of your choice. You could use a tool like QnAMarkup, Documate, or Microsoft Forms and Power Automate to implement a project of your choice. Please understand that if you do an independent project, the extra support and meeting structure that comes with the Assembly Line will be missing. You will not be penalized for that. Grading will adjust to the varying resources that are available for each kind of project.

Students may "adopt" an existing, incomplete form that was started a different semester, or start a new form from scratch.

Final projects can reflect a wide range of quality and capabilities. Before starting your final project, I recommend that you review the maturity model. For purposes of this class, you should aim at a minimum for the "useful prototype" stage. In the maturity model linked above, this equates to a level 1.5. Projects that exceed that level and demonstrate effort, skill, and fit for solving a real-world problem will earn an "exceeds expectations."

You are welcome to work in a group of two or three for your final project. Your grade for the final project will be shared between all members of the group. Expectations for the complexity and scope of your project will be higher if you work in a group. You are free to divide the work as you choose. It is not required that all participants in the project do any coding, for example. One student may take on working with subject matter experts, drafting content, conducting usability reviews or the like.

Other Final project ideas#

  • Triage tools -- direct someone to an outcome or resource
  • Advice tools -- evaluate whether someone's case meets a legal standard
  • Intake tool -- gather facts and send them somewhere. Should have some logic in it
  • Document automation -- get information and produce a legal form at the end

Final presentation#

You will be asked to present your work to the class during our last class session. This does not need to be a completed project. You will still have 2 weeks to finish your work. Your final presentation should be about 5 minutes, and include:

  1. A description of the problem you were trying to solve.
  2. A walkthrough of your ideation and research phases.
  3. A demonstration of your proposed solution.
  4. A discussion of your project's impact, and if applicable, testing.

You are welcome but not required to incorporate slides and a live demo. It's okay if you only demo a few screens. Errors are to be expected but your final product that you turn in should run through to the end.

Grading#

The final project can earn a total of 100 points, which will represent 50% of your grade.

Process (35%)#

CategoryExceeds expectationsMeets expectationsBelow expectationsScore
Framing: how well does the student define the problem?Enough detail for highly tailored solutionEnough detail for a well-tailored solutionDoes not fully describe the problem8
Research: how well are existing solutions reviewed?Substantial review of existing solutions, including relevant technical and content-based solutions (e.g., form banks) and involving consultation with practitionersSubstantial but no-exhaustive review of existing solutions, including relevant technical and content-based solutions (e.g., form banks). May involve consultation with practitioners.Cursory or no review of existing solutions, far below that done for other projects.5
Ideation and Prototyping: How well does the student explore the available space of potential solutions?Considers and weighs the costs & benefits of multiple technical solutions or design configurations. Creates prototype only after considering at least three alternatives. These may be the subject of A-B testing below.Considers and weighs the costs & benefits of multiple technical solutions or design configurations. These may be the subject of A-B testing below.Fails to consider and weigh the costs & benefits of multiple technical solutions and design configurations.8
User Testing: How rigorously does the student engage in user testing, and how realistic are such tests?Makes use of two or more of the following in close to real-world conditions: A-B testing, multiple testers other than themselves for each type of user, potential real-world user(s). Captures user feedback in a uniform comparable manner. Student provides copy of user feedback.Makes use of at least one tester other than themselves for each type of user in close to real-world conditions. Captures user feedback in a uniform comparable manner. Student provides copy of user feedback.Fails to make use of a tester other than themselves; or fails to replicate close to real-world conditions; or fails to capture user feedback in a uniform manner.6
Refinement: How well does the student integrate feedback from user testing into subsequent versions of their solution?User feedback is thoughtfully integrated into the final version of the solution (where the solution includes both the technical product and any documentation). At least two rounds of user testing were conducted with iterative improvements to the solution after each round. Use of multiple tests amount to more than testing for testing's sake.User feedback is seriously considered and used to inform the final version of the solution (where the solution includes both the technical product and any documentation). The final version is not the same as the original version (i.e., there are at least two versions).Fails to seriously consider user feedback in final version of solution or fails to create multiple iterations of the solution.6

Deliverable (65%)#

CategoryExceeds expectationsMeets expectationsBelow expectationsScore
Final Presentation: A five-minute presentation, with slide deck, that introduces the problem the student aims to address and a close to complete draft of a solution.Clearly presents a problem facing legal practitioners or consumers, including: (1) a definition of relevant stakeholders / users; (2) options currently available to users, remember doing nothing is an option; (3) an introduction to their partner; and (4) a clear explanation and walk through of how the draft addresses the problem. Quality, clarity, and focus of presentation and slide deck greatly exceed that of other presentations.Clearly presents a problem facing legal practitioners or consumers, including: (1) a definition of relevant stakeholders / users; (2) options currently available to users, remember doing nothing is an option; (3) an introduction to their partner; and (4) a clear explanation and walk through of how the draft addresses the problem.Fails to clearly present a problem facing legal practitioners or consumers, including: (1) a definition of relevant stakeholders / users; (2) options currently available to users, remember doing nothing is an option; (3) an introduction to their partner; or (4) a clear explanation and walk through of how the draft addresses the problem.8
Complexity/Robustness. To what extent is the project taking on a substantial process?Involves non-trivial use of at least two of the technologies we learned in class.Involves non-trivial use of at least one of the technologies we learned in class.Fails to make a non-trivial use of any of the technologies learned in class.14
Impact & Efficiencies: Does the project offer the prospect of greatly increasing the efficiency or expanding the reach of existing practice?Expands the reach of a single practitioner by more than 100 or decreases the amount of time expended on the automated task by more than 50%. Note: expanded reach must account for all work flowing from the solution such that this work will not result in new work for a practitioner. That is, it assumes the practitioner is already working at full capacity. So increased lead generation doesn't count. More efficient selection of high-value clients, however, can count when this is reasonably projected to lead to a more than 5% increase in revenue.Expands the reach of a single practitioner by more than 10 or decreases the amount of time expended on the automated task by more than 10%. Same reach considerations as Exceeds Expectations. More efficient selection of high-value clients, however, can count when this is reasonably projected to lead to a more than 2% increase in revenue.Fails to expands the reach of a single practitioner by more than 10, fails to decreases the amount of time expended on the automated task by more than 10% and fails to improve selection of high-value clients. Same reach considerations as Exceeds Expectations.7
Fit/Completeness. How well does the project address the stated problem and known needs of the identified users? Does it do what it was designed for?Produces viable output. UI is intuitive / well-documented. Directly addresses the stated problem for the stated user types such that it is reasonable to assume almost all users of any user type would find the solution a great improvement over the status quo in nearly all conceivable use cases.Produces viable output. UI is intuitive / well-documented. In broad terms, the solution address the stated problem for the stated user types such that it is reasonable to assume most users of any user type would find the solution an improvement over the status quo except for a small set of edge cases.The solution as executed would reasonably be expected to create confusion or frustration when used through poor design or incompleteness.18
Real-world viability: How far is the project from production?Ready for real-world use as is. This includes a working technical solution and all supporting documentation. It need not include placement on a server or user authentication.Identifies what steps are needed before real-world use, and such steps are estimated by the instructors to be less than two days' work, excluding placement on a server or user authentication.Fails to identify what steps are needed before real-world use, or such steps are estimated by the instructors to be more than two days' work, excluding placement on a server or user authentication.8
Project description: A short written description of the project's development, structured to address each of the enumerated categories in this rubric, minus this one. May also include a video presentation (if aiming to exceed expectations).Sufficiently descriptive to answer almost all instructor questions regarding the above categories when combined with a copy of your working solution, user documentation and user feedback. These materials alone would be sufficient to grade the project on the preceding categories.Sufficiently descriptive to answer the majority of instructor questions regarding the above categories when combined with a copy of your working solution, user documentation, and user feedback. Only a few follow-up questions are needed in addition to these materials to grade the project on the preceding categories.Insufficiently descriptive to answer the majority of instructor questions regarding the above categories when combined with a copy of your working solution, user documentation, and user feedback.10

Sample grading sheet