VIP notebooks, whether electronic or hard-copy, allow students to track and document their efforts. In turn, VIP notebooks allow instructors to assess student contributions to the team. Notebooks are graded twice each semester and explicit feedback is given in categories including: completeness of meeting and design notes; maintenance and check-off of a to-do list; usability by future students who may need to understand why a particular design decision was made; etc.
The notebook does not have removable pages.
Outer Cover: Your name, your project's name.
Inner or Outer Cover: Your contact info and your team members' contact info.
Each Page: Numbered, dated and signed.
To-Do List Maintenance
Maintain check-boxes for items to be done that are then checked-off and dated when done.
Detailed meeting notes;
Check-boxes for items for which you are responsible;
Deadlines for your subteam and the overall team.
Detailed VIP/design notes, VIP/design decisions;
Copies of code you wrote, or pointers to where the code is stored in a repository;
Records of important websites;
Your ideas, even if they are only half-baked;
Will your VIP notebook be of use to people who join the team later and need to refer to it? This includes legibility, intelligible technical and meeting notes, and overall organization.
To the left is an excerpt from an excellent VIP notebook with the level of detail that you would encounter in industry. A longer excerpt is available here: sample notebook.
Many thanks to VIP Alumnus Rich Reece for allowing us to share his work!
The table blow provides more detail on good VIP notebook practices.