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Final Project

The goal of the final project is to give students in-depth knowledge of one tool. Besides the technological aspects, completing a successful project also requires effective written and oral communication skills. During the process, you should develop skills and processes for how you will approach learning and evaluating new-to-you tools.

Some Inspiration

From the last time the course was taught (Winter 2022):

Deliverable 0: Tool Preferences

Email me with your top three preferences in tools to explore, and I will arrange you into teams to explore the tool. Your subject line should be CS397: Tool Preferences

You should not have prior experience with the tool.

The options for tools were presented in class.

Deadline: Monday, March 21 at 11:59 p.m.

Deliverable 1: Preliminary Tool Exploration

Email me with the above information, with all team members included in the email. Your subject line should be CS397: Tool Exploration

Deadline: Tuesday, March 29 at 11:59 p.m.

Deliverable 2: Presentation

The presentation should demonstrate that your team knows the tool well, that you have digested the jargon, and understand the strengths and limitations of the tools. The presentation should be well-organized and accompanied by appropriate visual aids. Be clear in your delivery and remember that the rest of the class does not know the tool nearly as well as you do.

Presentation Requirements

The presentation will also give the rest of the class the opportunity to ask questions that will help inform the remaining deliverables.

Due: Last week of classes

Deliverable 3: Web Page

Create a web page on that explains the tool.

Web Page Content


This could take a variety of forms. It could be a Markdown file in a public GitHub repository, or on GitHub pages, or part of your Wordpress portfolio (although need to make sure all team members can access.)

Due: Tuesday of Finals Week Email me and CC your teammates with a link to this web page with the subject line CS397: Tool Web Page

Deliverable 4: Analyses

Finally, you will provide a written analysis of the tool as well an evaluation of your team and an individual reflection.

Tool Analysis

Write a final assessment of the tool. I want to hear your take on the tool. (If your team explored more than one tool, just talk about the tool you focused on.) This will have some content similar to other deliverables, but should have some unique analysis that brings together your experience with the tool.

Summary/Introduction: Summarize the tool to remind yourself later about the tool's purpose, goals, and typical use.

Quantitative analysis: Assign a letter grade for the following aspects of the tool. Provide a justification for your grades.

Are there other quantitative measures you'd like to add? Please do!

Qualitative analysis: Consider if you were the technical manager for a project in which the tool is relevant. Would you recommend that your team adopts the tool? Consider and address the following questions (when relevant) to guide your answer and add more, as appropriate:

Final Thoughts:

Submit on Canvas.

Team Assessment

Describe how your team worked together. Specifically, I am interested in learning:

Submit on Canvas.

Individual Reflection

Throughout this process (including learning tools throughout the semester and reviewing your classmates' presentations), you should be developing your approach to exploring and evaluating new tools. Describe your approach, addressing at least the following questions:

Evaluation Process

Recommendations for the Other Side

What can tool developers do to convince you that you should adopt their tool?


What are your biggest takeaways from the course/the final tool project experience?

Submit on Canvas.

Grading Breakdown

While most of the deliverables are graded as a team, if a team member is not contributing to the team's efforts, the individual may not receive the same grade as the rest of the team. Similarly, if a team member is not a good collaborator--e.g., the team member is working on the project but is not working with the rest of the team--the individual may not receive the same grade as the rest of the team.