Present: Michael Rovatsos, Kate Weston (ITO), Student Reps
Assessment Meeting: Michael updated the student reps on the recent Assessment meeting which was held the previous week. The main point that came out of discussions with the students was that they would prefer more coursework-only courses or least less emphasis on exams for the more practical courses that we offer, and exams in December for Year 3/4/5/MSc courses. Discussions on assessment will be on-going.
Update: Michael will submit a proposal to Teaching Committee in early December that suggests lifting the ban on year 3/4 December exams, so this can be trialled on a small number of courses.
Peer Support: Michael confirmed that Amos Storkey has been appointed as Student Support Coordinator for the School. Currently he is looking at reviving Cascaders, the CompSoc led peer support scheme and is also in the process of introducing a new scheme to help support students on the core first year Informatics courses. UG3 and UG4 students have been approached to act as volunteers, however, uptake has not been very good.
Informatics Conversations: Michael updated the reps on the upcoming inaugural Informatics Conversations event (27th November) and asked if any of the reps would be willing to help lead discussions in the following areas, Feedback and Assessment, Programmes and Courses, Student Support, Employability and Skills. Nantas Nardelli, Connor Stuart, Dale Myers and Clemens Wolff signed up to help.
2. Publishing Code on Public Repositories
An email was sent to students from the School Academic Misconduct Officer regarding publishing code in online repositories, stating that this is against regulations. Two of the student reps met with the SAMO to discuss this following disagreement from the student body. As a result of this meeting, the SAMO will bring an item to the next Teaching Committee meeting to revise the policy/guidance on this matter. It should be noted that the current policy still stands until any updates are approved and so students should not be publishing code until further notice.
3. Feedback on Hardware Paragraph for Incoming students
Michael asked for feedback on draft text for incoming students regarding hardware requirements, should they wish to purchase a computer for their studies. The reps had a number of suggestions that Michael can incorporate into the text.
Update: The input received was fed back to Computing Strategy Committee and will be included in the relevant guidance for publication.
4. Course Specific Issues
Automated Reasoning: The release of the AR coursework was delayed due to the strike action; however, the date of submission was not extended accordingly. Michael will raise this with the lecturer.
Update: This has been resolved in the meantime.
Introduction to Java Programming: Some MSc students, particularly Cognitive Science students, are struggling with the IJP course. As IJP is compulsory for those students who have not met the programming requirement for the Masters, those who lack programming knowledge/experience must take it. However, it is felt that this is not an introductory programming course and some previous knowledge/experience is assumed. Michael asked if they had considered taking the programming course offered by PPLS as this is also an option for Cognitive Science students. Apparently guidance suggests that IJP should be taken over the PPLS option. Michael will look into the guidance and have this updated if appropriate. It was suggested that students are not making full use of the IJP Lab sessions where demonstrators are on hand to answer questions. Michael recommended that anyone struggling with the course should make full use of these sessions.
Update: Discussions about how we deal with this in the future are ongoing, most likely the guidance will be changed in the future.
Discrete Mathematics and Mathematical Reasoning: DMMR is receiving bad feedback from the students regarding one of the lecturers. Michael confirmed that the Head of School will raise this issue with the lecturer. The reps asked if any revision lectures for DMMR could be taken by the other lecturer to help students catch up with material that they have struggled to understand from the second half of the course.
Update: Head of School is going to raise this with the lecturers and we will try to provide suitable revision sessions.
5. Next Meeting
The next meeting will take place on Wednesday 20th November at 1:10pm in Appleton Tower Room 4.14a.