Response to 2016/17 survey feedback for SDM.
I have taken note of the feedback from students in this course
survey, and have the following comments in response.
- NB this was the first year of this course. It will not be
presented in 2017/18, but I hope it will be in 2018/19.
- It's pleasing to see that most respondents liked the structure
of the course - but not absolutely everyone did. Students
considering this course should check out the web page first, and
especially, note the fact that there is a lot of reading, and that
keeping up with lab exercises is essential. (A bonus, if you do this
well, is that you can expect to do well on the mid-course lab
assessment, which tests the important but relatively straightforward
early material of the course, and counts for half the course mark:
many people this year went into the final exam knowing that they
already had enough marks to pass, which, I hope, lowered stress. The
main purpose of this assessment is to encourage everyone to be
thoroughly competent with that early material by half way through
the course, because anyone who wasn't would be lost for the second
half of the course; this is not a course where it will work to cram
at the end.)
- I will consider what I can do to make it easier for students
(especially MSc students) to tell if they have the prerequisites for
the course, and to fill any small gaps they may have.
- I will try to provide more self-checking lab assessments.
- This year labs were in Forrest Hill, which was not an ideal
environment: I expect Appleton Tower to be much better for
- I will revise the way DSLs are introduced - and probably make a
video which students can go back to if needed - to enable the quite
technical work we do on implementing DSLs to be better integrated
with the discussion of their use in practice.
- PS Two of the comments on the first page of the feedback
document were actually written by me, experimenting with the new
questionnaire interface. See if you can guess which ones.
Perdita Stevens, September 2017