Information for Faculty

Syllabus TemplateRubricsPeer EvaluationsOnboarding New Students Outline | General Grading Guidelines

Syllabus Template

Syllabus template for VIP courses.


Access the simple notebook rubric and the detailed notebook rubric.

Peer Evaluations

Template for end of the semester peer evaluations

Onboarding New Students Outline

View the onboarding new students outline.

General Grading Guidelines


Set the right tone for students during the first semester and to ensure that grading standards are maintained across teams.

Grade Twice

Grading takes place in the middle and at the end of each semester. In both cases, all aspects of each student's performance are evaluated. In the mid-semester process, each student is given a grade range (say B+ to A+, or C to B) and explicit advice about what they are doing well and in which areas they need to improve. They are invited to talk with their advisor if they disagree with the assessment.

Graded Categories

  • Documentation 33%

    • This evaluation is for individual students which includes: Notebooks (Rubrics are attached in the folder, same notebooks), Wiki, Github, other repositories.

    • Suggested software: labarchives

  • Teamwork 33%

    • Effective teamwork and leadership: communication, helpfulness, time management, and assertiveness.

    • Peer evaluation: attendance and participation in team and sub-team meetings, contributions to team presentations, interaction and coordination with teammates, assisting teammates, and participation in the peer-evaluation process.

    • Suggested software: miro, monday, Slack, Microsoft Teams

  • Accomplishments & Contributions 33%

    • Contributions to the process of the team; graded assignments (quizzes on start-up assignments, presentations), pursuit of knowledge needed for the project and engagement. For more experienced members, this may also include contributions to project management.

Common Student Issue

Students often have skills targeted at lecture courses and lab assignments. The idea that the instructor (employer) does not know the precise answer and often not even the optimum approach to a posed question leaved many students confused, yet it is a common workplace issue. Instuctors need to encourage students to approach problems without explicit procedures.

Lacking explicit procedures, students can fall idle or become consumed with work in other courses. Students need to learn skills in self productivity, including when to ask questions, how to self-engage in new areas, and effective time management. VIP teams work best where new team members have some structured assignments to help bring them up to speed on team topics, but the transition from assignments (onboarding documents) to self motivated productivity requires guidance from team advisors, to assure students make this transition.



  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.