Response to 2016/17 survey feedback for EPL.
I have taken note of the feedback from students in this course
survey, and have the following comments in response.
- I (and the TA/s tutors) are very grateful for the generally
positive comments which indicate that our effort in trying to create
an enjoyable course have been effective, though further improvement
is obviously still possible.
- Some students suggest that
weekly assignments would help students by reinforcing concepts more
frequently. In fact this is what we already do: there is a lab in
week 2 and tutorial groups (with assigned problems) in weeks 3-10.
- Some students suggest that it would be better for all
three assignments to carry some credit, instead of having two
feedback-only and one marked assignment at the end. This is a 10
point course, and according to School workload guidelines there
should be at most one marked assignment. However, the three
assignments build upon each other and completing the third without
first doing the other two is not recommended. This structure is
intended to give students greater flexibility to do the first two
assignments at a time of their choice, getting feedback on
whatever they have completed by the handin deadlines.
students indicate that they enjoyed the course but did not find the
course "100% challenging". Our goal is not to make the hardest
possible course that would be accessible only to students who are
already knowledgeable about the basics of programming language
design and theory (more advanced courses, such as APL or TSPL, might be
preferable for them). Instead we hope that the course serves as a
gentle, but rigorous introduction to these topics that may help
attract people who otherwise might be put off by a more "hard core"
course. Students who want to do something more "hard core" are
encouraged to take APL or TSPL instead, or get in touch with us
regarding UG4/MInf/MSc projects on more advanced topics.
James Cheney, September 2017