Minutes of Meeting on 22/03/2017

In attendance: Bjoern Franke (Director of Teaching), Paul Anderson (UG1 Course Organiser), Neil Heatley (ISS Manager), Lindsay Brown (Computing Support)

Background: For several years Schools across the University have arranged Staff-Student Liaison Meetings towards the end of each semester, giving student reps the opportunity to feed back issues to year organisers and course lecturers. Within Informatics have felt this setting wasn’t ideal since course improvements could only be considered for the next year, whereas earlier and more regular meetings could initiate more immediate action. For this reason we have started our weekly meetings with the student reps, which turn out to be effective in identifying and eliminating course delivery issues. For consultation: Since the end-of-semester staff-student liaison meetings appear to have become redundant with the introduction weekly DoT/student rep meetings, should we discontinue with them?

UG1
No issues. The ,ock exam dates are out for INF1-OP and there aren’t any complaints, just the last date of the exam is the Monday after the week of teaching ends.

UG2
No Reps in attendance – due to deadlines

UG3
No Reps in attendance – due to deadlines

UG4/5
No Reps in attendance – due to deadlines

MSc
There are a lot of coursework submissions due this week. This is unfortunate, but it is up the to the student to manage their time to enable them to submit on time. Lecturers have limited options to stagger deadlines due to the short duration of the semester. The ITO could look into creating a submission calendar for students to see when they have to submit, this could be looked into for next year.

General
Forrest Hill is now being cleaned more regularly on a daily basis, but as the toilets are cleaned my males the female toilets will now be closed off when cleaning is in process enabling the cleaners to clean the toilets properly without interruption.  The cleaners have asked that no toiletries be left in the toilets, if they are they will be thrown away.
There will also be cleaning done on a Saturday and Sunday.

The dog stroking session has only 50% slots filled, if these slots are not filled by Informatics, it will be advertised to another School allowing for all the slots to be filled.

Bjoern is in talks with Gillian Bell (ITO Manager) to discuss the options of the students collecting their returned coursework in a more confidential way.

Neil is in talks with the MSc Students regarding the design of the new Hoodies.

 

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Minutes of Meeting on 15/03/2017

In attendance: Bjoern Franke (Director of Teaching), Christophe Dubach (UG3 Course Organiser), Paul Jackson (MSc Course Organiser), Jennifer Oxley (Computing Support)

Bjoern said that the some of the 10-credit point courses are soon coming to an end of their
teaching.

UG1
No Reps in attendance.

UG2
No Reps in attendance but the UG2 Staff Student Liaison was held in the morning.

UG3
No Reps in attendance.

UG4/5
AGTA the last coursework is due on the same day at the 4th year Project hand-in, Bjoern will talk to Kousha Etessami the lecturer.
ALE coursework 2 was 5 days late in being realised and the coursework is the same as last year, it hasn’t been updated. Bjoern will talk with the lecturer Helen Pain.
CN coursework 2 is quite overloaded with having 4 literature papers to read, the students feel it could be a bit more refined.

MSc
MLP deadlines was extended as there was an authentication error and the students didn’t have access to the cluster, so it made sense for the deadline to be extended. It was asked about the impact these deadline changes have on part-time students, Bjoern will look into this.

It was also asked about the late submission policy, at the moment these guidelines are set by College but each School has wiggle room in their own policies. Teaching Committee will discuss our current 0 mark for any late submissions, but the School is looking at ways to define “substantial parts of assessment” for which a 5% deduction per day of being late can be applied.

PM and CQI are very good.

It was asked if IRP tutorial attendance is mandatory, Bjoern will also look into this.

RC was discussed off-line with the lecturer.

General
The students are not happy when they collect their coursework from ITO, as some lecturers require the students to put their names on the front and other students are able to see their marks, Bjoern will look into this.

It was also asked if students were able to find out where in the ranking do they fall in the coursework marks being returned. The School deliberately does not provide this information for (at least) two reasons: (a) It does not support or enhance the students’ learning, and (b) it potentially increases pressure on vulnerable students, e.g. suffering from anxiety or other mental health issues, which could be exacerbated through continued comparative information related to one’s individual academic standing with respect to the overall student cohort.

 

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Minutes of Meeting on 08/03/2017

In attendance: Bjoern Franke (Director Teaching), Christophe Dubach (UG3 Course Organiser), Neil Heatley (ISS Manager), Alison Downie (Computing Support)

Bjoern informed the Reps that the late return of the AILP mark has now been escalated to the Head of School.  IRR feedback has now been released – this was late due to some tutors returning their marks late.  There was a Theon error that caused there to be a problem with the distribution of the ATFD and PM marks, this has also been fixed.  The April exam timetable has now been released.

UG1
No issues.

UG2
There was a problem with the INF2D coursework 1, the files were not up to date and this caused some confusion, the students had tried to contact the TA and lecturer with no response. It was asked if an extension could be given. Bjoern has now spoke to the lecturer and an 3 days extension has now been granted until Tuesday 14th March.

The Reps are happy with the exam timetable being quite spaced out between exams.

UG3
No Reps attended, due to a coursework deadline.

UG4/5
No Reps attended as the UG4 Rep meeting was being held with the Course Organiser.

MSc
The Reps felt that the RL coursework was difficult and very time consuming, and should be reviewed for next year.  Some students did not realise that the IRR course was just a pass or fail.  MLP coursework 3 has been returned but the students would have liked to have more feedback on the marking and the grades issued.  Steve Renals has emailed the DoT with more information on the marking – please contact the lecturer if there are specific questions.

General
The bins in Forrest Hill are overflowing, it was asked if there could be more supplied.  There is some concern over the well-being of some students. Neil will send out a general email about students taking care of themselves in the lead up to the exams.  It was also asked if showers will be available in Appleton Tower, but this would need to be looked into.

Neil also said that K9 (canine massage clinic) Scotland has invited Informatics to take part in a 20 minute dog stroking session, this would be held in Teviot with 100 slots available to book possibility around the 14th April.

There is still issues with students running jobs in the back ground on the PC’s, Computer Support have been checking the labs and kicking people of the PC’s who are stopping others from using them.  They are currently updating the CS web page with information on how students can log people of on their own and will put up more posters.

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Minutes of Meeting on 01/03/2017

In attendance: Bjoern Franke (Director Teaching), Paul Anderson (UG1 Course Organiser), Neil Heatley (ISS Manager), Alison Downie (Computing Support)

UG1
All appears to be running smoothly and the students have no issues.

UG2
Everything is running smoothly, INF2D coursework 1 was late in being released, it appeared to have information in it from last years coursework and the PDF was confusing.

UG3
AILP feedback has still not been returned to the students, Bjoern will talk to the lecturer again.  Software Testing lectures are running a week behind due to staff illness, Bjoern informed the Reps that all courses have additional room booking slots, that can be used to catch up for missed classes, revision slots etc.  COMN there was confusion about the submission due today on the course web page and Piazza page at 4pm, Bjoern suggested the Rep talk to the lecturer as soon as possible.

UG4/5
RLSC coursework had some issues and although the TA had replied to individual students, it was felt his responses would have been better being sent to the class.
There is a voluntary thing for the 4th years to produce a poster and Informatics would print them, as part of a demonstration of their 4th Year Project, but they would have liked more time to do this as the turn around was 3 days.

MSc
The project allocations have now taken place, and roughly 75% out of 350 were allocated one of their top 3 choices, despite extreme popularity of projects in Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning and limited members of staff covering these areas. To create more supervision capacity the School has allocated Teaching Assistants to assist the supervisors.  A few students didn’t not get their choice and they are currently being assisted. The Reps said they didn’t receive an email to say that their projects were allocated, Bjoern will look into this.

The students are still waiting on their IRR feedback but the ITO is still waiting on some tutors returning their feedback.

IRP: Students would like more topic tailored groups and examples specific to the topics. Bjoern said the students should talk to the Supervisors.  The School is looking at IRP structure for next year, maybe a split cohort between students who want to do either industry oriented development projects or research projects.

RL deadline was due on Monday 28th and then moved on Monday afternoon to Thursday 2nd, this was due to the environment having a bug, the students had asked on the Piazza page but there was no response from the lecturer.

AFTD the feedback is late and the students need it back as soon as possible so the can go ahead with coursework 2 and the students feel the lecturer is a bit unapproachable.

General
The flies in the Drill Hall are still a nuisance, Neil Heatley will talk to Estates and Buildings again.

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Minutes of Meeting on 15/02/2017

In Attendance: Paul Anderson UG1 Course Organiser, Rik Sarkar UG2 Course Organiser, Christophe Dubach UG3 Course Organiser, Mary Cryan UG4 Course Organiser, Bjoern Franke Director of Teaching

Bjoern informed the meeting that from now on all Course Organisers will be invited to attend, enabling them to get more involved with any of their course issues.

UG1
No issues, the students are very pleased with INF1-DA, the course is very detailed and the communication channels are also very good.

UG2
Both courseworks are out for INF2D and INF2B and so far there don’t seem to be any major problems. Some of the students are finding the INF2D lectures very repetitive of what we did in first year CL, is it possible to review the course?

UG3
It was asked when the AILP (Artificial Intelligence Large Practical) results would be out since they are delayed for a month now.
The students are really busy with SDP and the match days are held on a Wednesday, there was an issue that the students couldn’t attend the Career Fare Day due to match day.  Also for SDP Garry was off sick last week and there was no-one available to assist the students, causing a bit of a delay in the work, it was asked if someone could be made available in the event of staff absences.
Operating Systems course is very good and the coursework was also very good.
Compiling Techniques coursework marks were quite low but Christophe said if anyone has any issues they can email him directly and he will respond, there is also a post from him on the Piazza group.
SELP feedback was very late in being returned.

UG4
No issues apart from students running jobs on the machines for days, stopping others from using them, this has been reported to Computing Support.

MSc
The project deadline has been extended until Friday 17th February, there are some student who still have not still not registered interest in any projects, they must submit 5 project interest and then they will be marked suitable or unsuitable by the Supervisors.  Some supervisors have said they would be willing to take on some extra students with the support from Phd’s students.
IRR feedback is late it was due back last Thursday 9th February.  NLP and RL lectures are running over time, causing students to run late to other classes.  CCN slides are not available on-line before the lectures, they are up 2 days after the lecture, could this be reviewed.  MT the slides are also not available on-line. IRP tutorials are late in being set up but hopefully the will be resolved after the project deadline on Friday.

General
It was asked if a link could be made available of the events being held in the Festival of Creative Learning week, Bjoern said he would put a link in the blog, but the information can be found by a Google search.

http://www.festivalofcreativelearning.ed.ac.uk/

 

 

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Minutes of Meeting on 08/02/2017

Neil Heatley (ISS Manager) and Paul Jackson (MSc Course Organiser) attended. 

Bjoern informed the Reps that from now on all Year Organisers will be invited to attend the weekly meetings. 
Teaching Committee meeting will be held today in which students are invited to attend, he will send out the links for previous minutes from meetings and agenda. This meeting covers things like late submission policies, new Course plans, exam viewing etc.  This is good to get opinions on such matters. 

UG1
No complaints, all courses are running fine. 

UG2
INF2D coursework was released on 3rd February but the skeleton file required will not be released until the 9th, not allowing the students to go ahead and make a start. Also the slides on the web page are from last year 2015/2016. 
INF2B and INF2D in both courses the students feel that some of the tutors are not confident in what they are trying to teach in the tutorials. 
DMMR had the same course topics currently being offered by the School of Mathematics, there appears to be an overlap in the course context, so students feel they are covering the same stuff they had done last semester. 

UG3
SDP is currently underway, so no students were present but are invited to email Bjoern with any issues. 

UG4
No general issues. 

MSc
The projects available are now online and students can now see what new projects have been recently added. Don Sannella has now emailed out with the Project Demo date. MLP has had guest lectures which were welcomed. RL lectures this week have been replaced by tutorials which is also welcomed. The School still has issues with the amount of students selecting certain supervisors the school is looking into selecting some PhD students to help support supervisors. Self proposed projects are still welcome but the students would need to approach supervisors and ask if they are willing. ( Bjoern this might be missing a few crucial points but the whole chat confuses me! If there is anything to add as I see a few emails went out after the meeting last week. I hope this makes sense, as working from notes and phone from home). Thanks Kendal 

General
It was asked if a fridge could be supplied for students to use, Neil informed the students we have to leave Forrest Hill by August and it could be considered when we move back to Appleton Tower. 

 

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Minutes of Meeting on 01/02/2017

Neil Heatley attended this week’s meeting to inform the MSc students that the School will be looking into Hoodies for them at a discounted price and that there would be a standard School colour of blue.

UG1
No issues to report.

UG2
No problems so far with the course, but for INF2B the students said that they find the lecturer unapproachable and feel like they are unable to take notes or even any pictures of slides on their phones. The outside building work on Appleton Tower also makes it hard to hear in the lecture.

UG3
No UG3 students were present due to them all working on their System Design Projects.

UG4/5
The Reps asked when they would receive their informal feedback from their Intermediate Report. Bjoern said their interim report is read by your supervisor, who will give written or verbal feedback.

MSc
It was asked if it was possible for the School to have an MSc Fare bringing together students and MSc project supervisors, but due to the size of the class and 100+ staff this isn’t possible (venue size and scheduling constraints).

It was also asked if the deadline for project proposals could be extended, as the deadline didn’t give students enough time to decide, Bjoern will look into this. Update: I’ve discussed this now with the MSc project organisers and we have decided that we won’t re-open the system for self-proposed projects due to the risk of supervisors cherry-picking strong students, thereby disadvantaging weaker students in the project allocation process.

The web page that has all the projects choices, the students aren’t able to see what projects have been newly added.  Update: New date column has been added and project can be ordered by date now.

General
Neil said he had been informed by Geography about some incident between one of our students and a Geography student, we currently hold a CCN lab in the Geography Building, which is classed as a quiet lab for Geography but the CCN students work in groups which they discuss and this caused a heated argument.

If the students access their My Career in MyEd they will find an advert for an Intern, in which all can apply, this will be for the Summer of 2016.

All students are entitled to view their exam scripts, this can be done by appointment made via the ITO.  Please note that the opportunity to view your papers is for feedback purposes only and it should not be used to take issue with the exercise of the markers discretion in the award of marks.  We recommend that students read the following web pages as a guide to viewing their exam scripts for further clarification:

http://www.inf.ed.ac.uk/admin/committees/teaching/meetings/10-10-07/access.html

http://www.inf.ed.ac.uk/admin/committees/teaching/meetings/22-08-07/scripts.html

Further clarification of our policy will be published shortly.

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Minutes of Meeting on 25/01/2017

Bjoern informed the Reps that there would be a meet the Director of Teaching meeting at 2pm in the Mini Forum after today’s meeting at 2pm.  This is to give all students the opportunity to ask any questions that they may have.  He also explained to the students that the School has until 1st February to have the exam marks uploaded.

UG1
The Reps said the exams were all fine and they were happy with the additional information from INF1-CL and the revision lecture.  INF1-DA appears to have lots of media channels which the students find very helpful.

UG2
There was no issues with the exam diet, all went well.  INF2C-SE coursework 3 was very late in being returned. Bjoern explained that this was because at the start of the Semester the course had a team in place, however some decided not to take the jobs and that left the course without sufficient support, so Paul Jackson the lecturer had to do a lot by himself. Next year the School are hoping to have allocation of duties in place earlier, so we don’t have this issue again.

UG3
Students have now received their feedback from CSLP but were asking about AILP, as that is now 3 weeks late.

UG4/UG5
The final year students are happy with their new Informatics Hoodies. These were issued only to 4th/5th years as they have been part of the School for a few years, it is not feasible to hand them out to MSc students as the class is in excess of 350. Update: We’re looking into ways of offering Hoodies to MSc students at a discounted rate.

They also asked for any information on the project demonstration date, there has been no updates from Don Sannella.  SAPM is apparently being taught to slow and the students are concerned they won’t be able to cover the whole course.

MSc
MLPR was late in being returned but the students were happy with the feedback but it would have been good to get this back before the exam. Bjoern explained that as we do not have caps on our courses, as per University guidelines it is very difficult to judge how many students we have going onto one course, some courses from last year had an intake of 40 which now stands at 200, as we cannot predict enrollments, it is difficult for the School to know what teaching support it requires in order for a course to run without any difficulties i.e teaching space etc.

NLU the students are pleased with the way the course is being taught.

MSc Dissertation topics: Bjoern suggested that the students should pick at least 5 topics in case they don’t get the one that the want to do. Update: Please spread your project selection across multiple supervisors and projects and make sure you also include less popular projects. Some areas such as Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing are very popular – in fact, the demand for projects in these areas exceeds the School’s capacity for project supervision.

General
There is not enough soap in the dispensers at FH.

 

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Minutes of Meeting on 23/11/2016

This week’s meeting was attended by Alison Downie from Computing Support.

UG1
INF1-CL has improved and appears to be more organised.  INF1-FP Mock exam allocations for next week have been realised.

UG3
Computer Security was slightly delayed in the realise, it came out in parts over the weekend and the students couldn’t start on the coursework until the Sunday evening instead of the Friday.  It was asked if a extension would be allowed, but the School can’t have extensions after teaching has finished in week 11, due to various reasons, i.e student plans for travel etc.

IAML has seen improvements (in particular, Q&A sessions delivered by a tutor).

MSc
Neural Computation is behind in the course, this was due to issues at the start of the course.  Extensions have been requested, Bjoern will talk to the lecturer.

IRR many students are not happy with the course, they claim it is a very vague course and expectations and delivery varies a lot between tutorial groups.

General
There appears to be some machines that have log in issues, all computing issues should be reported to Computer Support.  There are also reports of some students being logged on the machines hall day when there is no-one using them.  Alison will send out another email, as this is not acceptable.

It was also reported that the printer in the drill hall won’t print. Alison said the printer had originally had a configuration issue, but all further problems should be reported to Computing Support and providing sufficient information on the problem.

Alison also said that Computing Support are looking into making on-line videos of help explaining how run jobs, printing, VPN, NX etc. Any other suggestions would be welcome.

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Minutes of Meeting on 09/11/2016

This week’s meeting was attended by Alison Downie, User Support Manager,  Computer Support; Neil Heatley, Head of Student Services; Don Sannella, Honours Project Co-ordinator and Heather Walker, Communications Officer.

Don wanted to discuss with the students about the final year Dissertation Workshop and Project Feedback Day, that he had circulated to the students in a previous email. This is something new for this year.

Don asked the students about the timing of these events, would ILW Week be good, Wednesday’s or early evenings, there is space to hold these events on Thursday and Friday of ILW week, Heather Walker will do a Facebook Poll to gather opinions. The students generally think this is a good idea and especially for the student doing their project to let
others see and it would be good if this could be opened up for other years to attend to give them an insight of what to expect in their final year.

Update: Link to the survey https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ZJWLT8W

UG1
INF1-CL lecture recordings are now all available on-line. There was a good response to the mid semester surveys.

UG2
INF2C-SE the feedback was good for coursework one. The second coursework for INF2C-SE was 8 hours late in being issued, which wasn’t too much of a problem but the students are saying that the Piazza page has contradicting posts from both the lecturer and TA, which is causing confusion (Update: The lecturer has emailed students about this issue subsequent to this meeting). Still waiting on the feedback for INF2A and INF2C-CS
courseworks one.

UG3
AILP still doesn’t have a Wiki or Piazza page set up and the second coursework is due this week 11th November, maybe one can be set up for the next coursework submission on the 21st December. CSLP still no feedback yet, but the lecturer has been unwell, the students are concerned that the second coursework is due on Friday 11th and as it is worth 50% and they have no feedback to work with. IAML there is a delay in the feedback for coursework one and two. (Update: Further issues regarding flipped-classroom lectures have been raised after the meeting and how lectures could be more interactive. The lecturer has been made aware of the concerns and I will try to meet with him and discuss possible solutions).

UG4
MLP coursework apparently requires much more time than what is written in the course description. DS coursework is vague/difficult to understand (Update: Clarification has been provided both in class and on Piazza).

General

Can more staplers be provided outside the ITO, this has now been fixed.

The students mentioned that there has been printing problems in the Drill Hall, with the command printing, the printers appear to print 2 copies and there are also problems with Cloud printing. Web print keeps saying it is unavailable and logging into DICE asks you for your password twice. Alison asked the students to report all problems through the web site, so they can keep on top of all problems the
students are having.

 

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