# Self-Assessment: Linear Sequences

All assessments are conducted using the University's Blackboard system. You will need to log in using your ODU/OCCS login name and password, not the CS Dept account info that you use elsewhere in this course.

## Assessment Kinds

There are 3 kinds of assessments in this course.

Self-Assessments:
A self-assessment is provided to help you see how well you have grasped the course material, and/or as a means of getting you to think a bit about what you have read. Self-assessments do not affect your grade in the course.
Quizzes:
In this course, a quiz is simply an assignment that the instructor felt was best designed in a question-and-answer format. Quizzes do affect your course grade, and are treated the same as any assignment grade.
Exams:
Exams do affect your course grade. Exams are offered on a limited schedule, as announced on the course Topics page.
The course schedule will always indicate what kind of assessment you are taking.

## Operating Instructions

• When taking assessments, you can move forward or backward one question at a time using the controls and buttons provided within the page. It is important that you use these controls and not your web browser's forwards/backwards buttons.
• Use the "Save" button near the top of each question after you have entered or changed your answer. Otherwise, when you move from question to question, your work will be lost. (Actually, Blackboard's behavior is inconsistent. it will automatically save answers to true/false and multiple choice questions when you leave their page, but will not automatically save essay and fill-in-the-blank answer. So, just get in the habit of using the Save button to be safe.)
• Use the "submit" button only when you are finished, to turn in your assignment for grading.
• In the event that your browser should crash, your network connection gets lost, etc., you should never lose more than the answer you were working on at the time.

For long essay-style questions, you might want to consider preparing your answer in your favorite text editor, and cutting and pasting it into the exam form. That way, a crash won't cost you a great deal of time spent on that question.

• In essay questions where you are writing code, it is a good idea to use the "Formatted" paragraph style as it preserves your line breaks and indentation. Otherwise, all of your code will get run together into a sngle paragraph.

Unfortunately, there is bug in BlackBoard's exam tool that causes it to lose this formatting if you revisit the question before your final submit. Don't panic if this happens. I can generally recover the formattign i nthe instructor's interface when I am grading and, if not, it's my problem to deal with then, not yours.

## Typing Conventions for Mathematics

If a question asks you to enter a mathematical expression (e.g., a big-O epxression), you will need to follow the following conventions to express your mathematics in plain-text form.

Spacing:
In questions where you are given only a single line to enter your answer, please avoid inserting extra spaces as these will only confuse BlackBoard's automatic grading code. For example, type "O(n+m)" instead of "O( n+m )" or "O(n + m)".
Case:
Most of your mathematics will be describing properties of program variables. Upper/lower-case is therefore significant. "N" and "n" are not the same quantity.
Superscripts:
Use the caret character (^) to denote raising to a power. E.g., use N^3 to denote N^3 . Be sure to add parentheses, as necessary, to avoid ambiguous situations. E.g., to denote 2^(N+1), use 2^(N+1), not 2^N+1 (the latter would actually denote 2^N+1).
Subscripts:
Use the underscore character (_) to denote subscripts. E.g., use N_3 to denote N_3. Again, add parentheses, as necessary, to avoid ambiguous situations.
Sums:
Use the convention
  sum(variable, start, stop, expression)

to denote a sum. E.g., use sum(i,1,N,i^2) to denote \sum_{i = 1}^{N} i^2
Logarithms:
Always put the quantity of which you are taking a logarithm in parentheses. Although when typesetting mathematics, log N and log(N) are considered equivalent, the former is often ambiguous when typed in plain text.

If the assessment contains any essay and fill-in-the-blank questions, these will be graded by the instructor, some time after you have submitted your assessment.

For fill-in-the-blank questions, Blackboard may assign a preliminary grade, but that is based on a very inflexible character-by-character exact match to my answer key. If the question listing still says "Needs Grading", please do not send me panicky messages about how your answer is really correct and will you be able to get full credit.

## Ready to Take the Assessment?

Enter the blackBoard portal here.