Software Design and Modelling (SDM)

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 them.
  • 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