15 January 2020 Minutes

Minutes for the Informatics Board of Studies Meeting at 14:00hrs-16:00hrs, Wednesday 15th January 2020, Appleton Tower, Room 7:14

 Welcome to all members 

Present - Sharon Goldwater(Convener), Anne MacKenzie (Administrative Secretary), Paul Jackson, Andreas Pieris, Mohsen Khadem, Benjamin Bach, Vicky Mactaggart, Gillian Bell 

Apologies  -Jane Hillston,  Iain Murray and Tim Loderhouse 


DRAFT Minutes of Previous Meeting  - 11th December 2019 minutes approved 


Matters Arising

15012020_BoS Item 1 New Course Proposal - Foundations of Databases - Andreas Pieris

Andreas presented the resubmitted new course proposal for ' Principles of Data Management' now re-titled as Foundations of Databases. The course description is clearly about theoretical principles with a more detailed description of what is expected from the student. The assessments are 50% for 2 essays and 50% for 1 take-home test.

Sharon reported that Stuart Anderson's feedback was that the main issue was concern about the take-home test - at 25 hrs expected effort it is a high proportion of the overall course of 100 hrs. Andreas responded the expectation is that the work would be done over 2 weeks at roughly 2 hrs per day.

Gillian Bell raised the question  - when will the take-home test take place? Policy deadlines are different for coursework only courses (see link: http://web.inf.ed.ac.uk/infweb/student-services/ito/admin/coursework-projects/semester-time-coursework-deadlines

For a Semester 2 Course, the test cannot be submitted during Exams - but can be submitted up to the start (Monday) of Revision Week. Students have to submit everything after the Easter vacation and this should be checked re the IPP deadline (Mon 20 April 2020 at 4pm). Students need to know the deadline from the beginning of the semester.

Andreas explained that students will be given progressively harder exercises from 3 main themes in preparation for the take-home test.


Outcome: Approved


15012020_BoS Item 2 New Course Proposal - Data Visualisation Upskilling - Benjamin Bach

Benjamin presented his proposal for an online course aimed at upskilling the Scottish workforce. This will be a level 11 course that will run during the summer as a mirror of the current Semester 2 course. The plan would be to stick to current cycles of BoE - (beginning of October BoE target)

The programme, recruitment and admissions will be managed by Bayes (as a container programme) along with the Introduction to Practical Data Science course (BoS 11122019 Item 3) being run by Adam Carter.

ITO will be required to create the course and to enrol the students (acting as a Personal Tutor to enrol these students). Bayes will help with the online platform.

The timeline for running this course is Semester 3 - May to August.

Sharon commented that if there are any in-person tutorials planned then these will need dates set and rooms booked. Benjamin confirmed that they would not need to hire teaching support staff as Tutors and that rooms and Tutors would be provided by Design Informatics.

Gillian and Vicky commented that if the course is level 11 then it could go to the MSc BoE - Course/Dissertation Board.

Gillian asked about the data entry of marks and Sharon asked if we would need a quota for students? Benjamin reported that the intention is to hire a FT person for the development and delivery of this course (and Adam Carter's course?)

Sharon asked if the course could be delivered by block seminars over a week - Benjamin replied No - not for now.

Benjamin outlined that the course will be 80 to 90% coursework without an exam as part of the assessment - unless an exam is preferred by the students. Gillian commented that it is more complicated to manage with an exam - need online invigilators which add cost ($25 per student per exam)

Outcome: Benjamin to submit a full course proposal to the February BoS

Action: By 5th February (2 weeks before the 19 Feb BoS)   Benjamin to submit a draft of the full course proposal to Sharon Goldwater 


AOCB (Any Other Current Business) 

Paul Jackson provided an update to his actions from  November BoS 20112019 Item 5 . He reported that work is ongoing and there is an intention for the course organisers for SDP to update the BoS for running the course in 20/21