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> Some problems I've faced that I would appreciate some comments on
> (privately if you prefer) are (1) cost -- some projects have run pretty
> high in cost and while some more wealthy students can afford higher
> expenses, other students are really limited in what they can afford.
> (2) grading -- as an instructor what grade do I assign if the client
> loves it (its free!) but I would still recommend several revisions?
1. We have computers and laserprinters available, but suggest to the
students that the client pick up costs, and perhaps even help out with
travel costs for interviews, etc. After all they're often getting a
professional product, or at least one that's been professionally
We do not let students charge 'normal' rates for their work, mainly
because the work includes the Uni's equipment, and our expertise as
editors/reviewers. If a client wants to pay the usual rates, the money
goes into a dept fund, and used for purchases/activities relevant to the
course. We've found that clients who pay sometimes assume, wrongly, that
they're getting the instructor's expertise. For this reason, we try to
make it clear at the beginning what everyone's role is in the
documentation process, including the client's.
2. We mark according to established standards. The client is asked to
respond to a survey, and his or her remarks are used for a small
percentage of the overall mark. My colleagues and I are happy to get
clients' evaluative comments, but we're aware of the problem of
differences when one client is used to manuals and how they look and
read, while another may have little experience in this. For us, the
client's response is an opportunity for the person to act as an
evaluator, and go beyond the student to communicate directly with a uni
representative. This makes an important link, and helps to alert to any