Minutes of Meeting 13, 26th March 2014

Present: Alex, Kendal for ITO, student reps.

Randomness and Computation
Complaints had been received from students about the Lecturer Ilias Diakonikolas being 20 minutes late on a few occasions. This was raised with the lecturer who clarified that he was late on 2 occasions and only by 10 minutes due to personal appointments overrunning.  He has apologised for this.  It was also mentioned that Ilias uses the blackboard during his lecture, and there are no notes for the course. If you miss a lecture, the only fallback is the textbook.  It would be useful to have notes or at least a summary.  Coursework seems to be taken from a textbook and not put together by the lecturer. This has been raised and next session all coursework will be written by the lecturer.

Secure Programming
Students had asked David Aspinall if it is possible to have a revision tutorial before the exam, as this is a new course, it would be good to have some kind of idea of what to expect in the exam.  David Aspinall said that this wasn’t possible as the course has already exceeded its budget for this year. Alex agreed that it would be useful to find extra money for this, and this has since been done.

Natural Language Understanding
Issues with the TA have continued. Apparently he gives conflicting advice to different students. Apart from the issues with the coursework and TA this year, students felt that this was one of the most interesting and challenging courses for final-year students.

Introduction to Vision and Robotics
Michael Hermann forwarded a repsonse to student complaints about the quantity of coursework (which has been reduced considerably this year). He feels that students have failed to make use of the assistance provided for the coursework.  He ran supervised labs, and they were very poorly attended.

Informatics 2B – Algorithms, Data Structures, Learning
The complaints in the previous meeting about errors in the code in the first coursework had been reported to Kyriakos Kalorkoti. His reply was that this was an unexpected error, discovered only 3 days before the deadline. It was quickly fixed and an extension granted commensurate with the problem.

The Reps asked if we have some sort of policy about extensions being granted if bugs are found in coursework software.  Alex said we don’t, and it would probably be trickty to have a uniform policy covering all instances.  Nevertheless, it would be worth thinking about.

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Minutes of Meeting 12, 12th March 2014

Present: Michael, Kendal for ITO, student reps.

1. Courses

Informatics 1 – Cognitive Science
Michael spoke to Mirella Lapata about PPLS students struggling with the
mathematical and programming side of the course, so she is going to pair the students up with Informatics students which should help.  The Reps asked if they could set up a
meeting with just INF1-CG lecturers, Michael said they should just contact the
lecturers directly.

Natural Language Understanding
After the students’ complaints about the first assignment, Michael has spoken
with the lecturers Frank Keller and Mirella Lapata who said they had addressed
the problems by issuing an extension.  The students said the marks issued with
quite high, this has appeased many students.  The second coursework was
out on the 11th March and due on the 25th, and students felt the deadline was a
bit late.

Informatics 2B – Algorithms, Data Structures, Learning
The reps reported that faulty code had been issued for the first coursework, and that fixes
were not made available until 48 hours before the deadline.  An extension was granted
over the weekend.  It was stated though in the coursework that if the
algorithm doesn’t pass all unit tests 0 marks would be awarded and the
students don’t think this is fair.

Introduction to Vision and Robotics
Students complained that the coursework was too big and should be worth more
than 25% given its size.  Apparently the course has been cut down by 66% from previous years, but students still feel it is too big, and only a few managed to complete it.

2. Coursework and project deadline timing

The reps said that there are a lot of deadline due in March, all about a month
before the 4th year project is due and asked why they can’t have the same
deadline date as the MSc project deadline.  Michael said the reason for this
was students need to time to prepare for exams and if the deadline was any
later it would mean extending the teaching period and this is not ideal for
students who are starting jobs in the summer or need their grades back for
starting in other Universities.

3. Computing

The reps reported that the Latex installation on DICE machine lacks a number of packages useful for dissertations and project reports such as subcaption.
Michael said that those should be easy to add by Computing Support, students should request this via the normal support form. It is also possible to download the respective style files from the internet and simply store them in a local folder.

4. Other

Taught Programme Review
This review of all our teaching is done every 5 years by a mixed panel of external and internal reviewers, and is due to be done in the Spring of 2015.  Michael said it is important that the students engage in the process and would appreciate any input in the process throughout the next months. There will be a more specific process to engage students in the review, watch this space.

Next meeting: The next meeting will be held at on 26th March 2014 at 1:10pm in AT 4.14a.

 

 

 

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Minutes of Meeting 11, 26th February 2014

Present: Michael, Kendal for ITO, Student Reps, Alison Downie from Computing Support.

1. Matters arising

Machine Translation

Michael has spoken with Clemens Wolff to discuss this, has personally spoken to Barry Haddow about it, and there has been further communication between Clemens and Barry on the matter.

Informatics 2B – Algorithms, Data Structures, Learning
Attendance is still low, but there has been a slight improvement in
Hiroshi’s lecturestyle.

Facilities

The issue with the speakers in Lecture Theatre has now been resolved.

2. Courses

Informatics 1 – Cognitive Science
The INF1-CG Rep said that the course was great, but there has been issues with the quantity of the course content.  Students who are on this course are feeling like the coursework and the reading content is way too heavy compared to other courses.
Many students had to use the Innovative Learning Week to try and catch up with the course.  She said there is up to 3 articles per lecture and 5 books to read.  One student has reported that they had to drop an outside course they were taking to concentrate on INF1-CG.  Richard Shillcock focuses more on the Psychology side and Mirella Lapata is more Informatics based and a lot of external students struggle with this as they have no maths background.

Update:  Michael has relayed this feedback to the lecturers. Mirella has responded with various suggestions to improve the situation for her part of the course, including pairing up PPLS and Informatics students in labs, introducing a Unix crash course next year, offering more TA one-to-one advice and feedback/feedforward sessions. Richard has not responded so far.

Natural Language Understanding
The first assignment didn’t run well, the code wasn’t put on the course web page, and it was really bad quality.  The lecturers gave the students 2 extensions, but for 15% worth of the coursework it took too much time to complete.

Update: Michael has discussed this with the lecturers again. They acknowledge the problems and the inappropriate communication from the TA to some students, but believe the issues have been addressed with the extensions granted, and the apology issues by the TA.

3. Computing

The reps reiterated their criticism regarding the student compute server, which is very slow and makes using even normal DICE machines more appropriate for running experiments. Alison Downie confirmed that the server is due for upgrade
soon.  Students are also complaining about other students leaving notes in on lab  machines saying “Do Not Use”  when they are running experiments.  Alison said that other students are well within their rights to force a log of, the machines are a shared facility.  There is plenty of documentation on the Computing pages about how to to run programmes  in the background.  If students want to run programmes that are up to 16 hours long, this can be arranged via Support.  Computing Support will look into putting up information in the Labs that clarifies the rules.

Michael asked the students about their views regarding programming exams,
they said they were good but maybe having the option of using some US layout
keyboards in the exams would be good.  Michael said this could be looked at, but having a first-come first-served basis on the keyboards in the exams might prove problematic.

 

4. Facilities

There are complaints about the state of the blinds in the Appleton Tower Labs, more than half of the blinds are either broken or missing.  The sun glare through the windows can be a nightmare, this was looked into last year, but as the Tower is due for refurbishment within the next 24 months, repairing or replacing them is highly unlikely.

5. Any other business

The Informatics Conversations event will be held on 27th February from 12:30-2pm in the Informatics Forum, followed by a free lunch. All reps are invited to attend, and to spread the word among the student body.

Next meeting: The next meeting will take place on Wednesday 12th March at 1:10pm in AT 4.14a.

 

 

 

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Minutes of Meeting 10, 12th February 2014

Present: Michael, Kendal for ITO, Student Reps.

1. Facilities

It was reported that the middle speaker in the 2nd row of Lecture Theatre 1, Appleton Tower was still making a buzzing noise.

Updated: This was reported to LSTS, and the problem has now been fixed.

Students asked for a new whiteboard to be fitted in the West Lab on AT Level 5, which is already there. Having such a whiteboard also in the South Lab would be useful. The ITO will look into this.

2. Courses

Innovation-driven Entrepreneurship

The course lecturer has spoken to Michael and Information Services were trying to fix the bug in Learn. Some coursework is still missing but this is being looked into.

Update: Adam Bock has forwarded further information from Information Services confirming that this problem should now be under control.

Informatics 2B – Algorithms, Data Structures, Learning
The students reiterated their complaints about Hiroshi Shimodaira’s delivery of lectures. Michael reported that after discussing this with Hiroshi, he has promised to try and improve the quality of the presentation. Students reported a slight improvement in this week’s lectures, possibly as a result of this intervention.

The students asked why the INF2B Lectures weren’t recorded and on-line. The reason for this is that lectures are held in a theatre that doesn’t have recording facilities.

Machine Translation

This course was discussed again, with reps relaying student complaints regarding the lack of teaching experience of the course team and the lack of guidance regarding assignments.

Update: These comments were relayed by Michael to the course team. A meeting has been set up between Barry Haddow, Clemens Wolff and Michael to discuss this in person with the responsible course lecturer.

MSc Dissertation / Informatics Research Proposal

Students are asking whether there is a budget for cost associated with individual dissertation projects. Michael confirm that it is possible to get some support where needed, this should be discussed with the supervisor in the first instance, who can then request support from the ITO.

3. Informatics Conversations
This event will be held on Thursday 27th February 2014 in the Informatics Forum.
Michael said he has sent an email out to the students and staff for assistance.
Two agenda items will be discussed, Student Interaction and
Employablity/Skills. A brief welcome will be made followed by two 20-minute slots to discuss each of the two themes. This formal part will be followed by an informal lunch for everyone.

4. Survey Season

Michael gave information about the various surveys currently going on, and explained that the School is keen to increase completion rates. There was some discussion over appropriate ways to approach final-year students by organising special events after project submission. Reps reported that students found it hard to find course questionnaires online, and that there was a lot of confusion about the various surveys conducted by the School and the University. Michael will look into improving the ways in which these are presented.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 26th February at 1:10pm.

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Minutes of Meeting 9, 5th February 2014

Present: Student Reps, Michael, Alex, Kendal for ITO.

Updates on items from previous meeting

On the student compute servers, Computer Support are aware of this and are looking into a system upgrade but in the meantime they are going to add an automated cronjob that will re-nice processes that are running for several hours automatically.

Tutorials for INF2B and INF2D that were held in 22 Buccleuch Place have now been moved to a more suitable room with tables and chairs.

The issues with clashes with the students doing the CS and Engineering joint degrees are still being looked at.

Don Sannella has sent out an email to the MInf students and supervisors explaining the differences in the new course structure, if the students have any questions they can email Don or Michael. The reps commented that many students don’t like the new structure, it forces them to do two projects effectively.

Response from Dave Robertson regarding the comments on  MASWS: The TA mailed all students on 29th January to check that they were aware of the coursework.  The first assignment is (as last year) just to make sure they have selected a dataset to work on so carries no marks (so if they missed it they can catch up easily).  The  “near final draft” on the Web site, but in combination with the TA’s email there should have been little ambiguity.

Facilities

It was reported that the back speakers in Lecture Theatres 1 and 3 in Appleton are making a buzzing sound (this has now been reported to LTSTS).  Also the temperature in LT4, 7 Bristo Square is still too high. This has been reported to Dougie Williams from Estates & Buildings.

Courses

Informatics 2B – Algorithms, Data Structures, Learning
INF2B students have been complaining to the class reps about Hiroshi Shimodaira teaching his half in INF2B, they claim that he isn’t familiar with the slides and notes, and spends to much time explaining things that are obvious and not enough time on the things the students don’t understand. Michael will look into this.

Update: Hiroshi has been made aware of this and will attempt to improve the quality of the lectures.

Deadline clashes in MSc courses
It was mentioned that CCN, CNV and AV all have the same deadline day, 20th March and the students asked if this was normal practice? Michael responded that while deadline clashes can’t be avoided, lecturers should leave 3 weeks between handout and deadline, wherever possible. He will discuss this with the relevant lecturers and the MSc course organiser.

Update: It was determined that this is in fact only the case for CCN, and the deadline for this course has now been shifted.

Innovation-driven Entrepreneurship

Student reps reported problems with Learn in this course, esp. regarding retrieving feedback, and with the audio of some presentations. The students acknowledged that the lecturer is aware of the problem and trying is to deal with it.

Update: The lecturer has responded explaining that these problems should have been resolved by now.

Informatics Conversations
Informatics Conversations will now be held on Thursday 27th February on the ground floor of the Informatics Forum.  It will consist of a 45 minute formal slot with an agenda and a 45 minutes informal chat with lunch.

Input from other students and ideas from the reps themselves have identified the two following topics for discussion:

1. Interaction in courses and peer supported learning (this should be led by the student who proposed it, maybe in collaboration with Amos Storkey as Student Support Coordinator).

2. Employability and practical skills (especially programming). This will be led by Nantas Nardelli, maybe in collaboration with Hugh Leather and Paul Anderson who have been interested in these issues in the past.

Michael mentioned that an outcome of these discussions might be student-led proposals for the Principle’s Teaching Awards, which are particularly encouraged by the University this year. These awards support projects to enhance teaching, and the deadline is around a month after the Informatics Conversation event.

Other
The Board of Studies meeting will take place next Wednesday 12th February and Nantas encouraged students who are interested in Research to support the Undergraduate Research Project course that will be discussed at the meeting again.

Next meeting

The next meeting will take place on Wednesday 12th February at 1:10pm in AT 4.14a.

 

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Minutes of Meeting 8, 29th January 2014

Matters arising

Alex explained that Michael was away and would provide a definitive update on issues from the previous meeting next week. However, according to Alex’s understanding, the situation was as follows.

* The issue from last wee’ks meeting with the 2 hour Computer Communications and Networks lectures cannot be changed for this Semester but has been noted and can be looked into for next year.

* 7 Bristo Square Lecture Theatre 4 was an issue last week with the heat and the noise. Michael has looked into this and it is to late in the Semester to find another room, but a note of this will be kept for  next session.

Course-related issues

A 1st year Rep said that there was some concern about the INF1 Cognitive Science Coursework assignment being issued in week 2, it is a 3000 word essay in which the students said it would have been better being issued in week 1 to give them more time. The 1st coursework is also worth more than the other 2 assignments (cw1 20%, cw2 10%, cw3 10%), and students thought it odd to have a higher weighted coursework right at the beginning of the course.

Update: The lecturers have extended the deadline for the first assignment by 1 week (this was done independently of the SSR meeting). They will reconsider the timing and weighting of coursework for next year. (As a result of the SSR meeting it was noticed that this year’s coursework weightings were misrecorded on Theon. This has now been corrected.)

INF2B students said that KK had failed to turn up up the INF2B lecture on Tuesday. There was a planned strike which ran from 2pm – 4pm, and the students wondered if it had been due to that. Alex said that he thought it highly unlikely that this was due to the strike since the lecture was due to start at 4.10.

Update: KK has now emailed the class with an apology and an explanation as to what happened (there was a mix-up in the scheduling).

It is the MSc Project choice deadline today and some of the MSc students asked if they had to go with the 4 choices of projects, could they just go with 2? It was advised to try and pick four so you don’t end up doing some random project that you don’t want.  It is also advisable to try and meet up with all the project supervisors, which would help a great deal in making choices.  If a student has a particular area they would like to work in, they could meet with a lecturer who also has a combined interest and possibly work on a self proposed project, in which a handful of students do successfully. Both MSc and UG students felt that it would be helpful if they were given more time to choose projects. (This year, MSc students had just 9 days to make their choice.)

Update: The MSc and UG4 project organisers have both been contacted about the amount of time given to students to choose projects. The MSc project organiser will look into this for next year. The UG4 project organiser is aiming to give 3rd-year students at least 2 weeks to select projects this year.

Other business

Alex asked the Reps if they felt that the planned strikes had much of an effect on them, the general feeling was that it hadn’t.  They said that the strikes last year had more of an effect as some coursework feedback deadlines were set on the strike days which led to the feedback being late.  Alex informed the students that the deadline dates were set before the strike days were planned.

The National Student Survey is now up and running and Alex discussed the issue of trying to get the final year students to complete this.  If the School gets less than 50% of responses we will not be included in any of the league tables dependent on the survey  Alex also asked if the reps were aware of any major issues that might result in negative feedback. The Reps said that feedback is still perceived as an issue by some, although it is much better than before, and than in other Schools in the University. Allan Clark was mentioned as being one of the best lecturers in the School for returning very informative feedback.

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Minutes of Meeting 7, 22nd January 2014, AT 4.14a

Present: Michael Rovatsos, Kendal Reid, class reps.

  1. Administrative issues

The Reps mentioned they felt that the course choices deadline was to quick and wasn’t giving the students much of a chance to choose, the third lecture is usually when the course content comes into effect and by then the students have to make their decision.  Michael said the deadlines need to be as tight as things like tutorials and labs have to set as soon as possible.

Michael asked the Reps if they felt that the SSR blog was useful and the Reps said that the students don’t really know where the Blog is linked to, maybe putting the link on the Year Guides, alongside the course Reps information would be useful. Michael reported that the School has now employed someone to look into the structure of the School’s web pages, hopefully things like the blog will be easier to find for students in the future.

There is a timetable clash that affects many joint degree students who take courses from  Engineering and Parallel Architectures.  Michael will look into this.

2. Course-specific issues

KK is not allowing students to use their computers in the INF2B lectures. Michael said that this is up to KK’s discretion, however he will forward this feedback to the lecturer.

Students are complaining that the Computer Communication and Networks 2 hour lecture is too long, especially with the lecturer.  There is a 10 minute break in-between but a lot of the students don’t go back to the second half.

3. Informatics Conversations

Michael asked the Reps on their thoughts of holding another Informatics Conversations in week 6 of Semester 2, similar to the one that was held in November.  He suggested
that a possible half-formal and half-informal session would be best.  He has asked the Reps to collect ideas for the agenda by 5th February, to be finalised on 12th February.  The students mentioned that EUSA is not popular with many Informatics students and puts other students off attending these things.

4. Survey Season

We are now approaching Survey Season which means the students will be asked to complete numerous surveys, one being the National Student Survey, the results of which are important for league tables. Last year Informatics only just got over 50% in responses, which is the required minimum to appear in the survey results.  Michael suggests that the students complete this as soon as they can, and there will be further publicity from the School about this.

5. Industrial Action

As the University is holding planned strikes, the students asked if they could get advanced warning from lecturers that their coursework feedback is going to be delayed. Michael pointed out that the School cannot require staff on strike to do this, however we always try to encourage colleagues to inform students of adverse effects as a courtesy.

 

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Minutes of Meeting 6, 20th November

Present: Alex Simpson, Kendal Reid, class reps.

Issues with courses

While DMMR was progressing much better, Nantas said that the class would appreciate it if Kousha were to cover the 3 revision lectures starting next week, as the students would prefer to see the material from Richard’s lectures summarised from a different perspective. Alex will talk to Michael Rovatsos about this request.

Update: Kousha presented the DMMR revision lectures.

Nantas also mentioned the marking of INF2A some of the students weren’t happy about apparent inconsistencies between different markers.  Although most of them were happy with their high marks. Alex pointed out that students had been invited to attend lab sessions for extra feedback, and to discuss any issues with him, and that very few students had taken this opportunity. Alex will also send out an email to students clarifying the procedure used in marking.

Update: Email about marking sent to Inf2A students.

The MLPR first assignment was due last week, and this was the 1st coursework issued. The students felt that Week 9 was far too late in the course. For example, students dropped out due to having discovered too late that their programming skills were not up to the standard required, or that they lacked mathematical knowledge.  An earlier assignment would be better to give the students a chance to obtain earlier feedback. Overall, the course is quite mathematically challenging.

Update: Comments relayed to the course lecturer, Charles Sutton.

The Extreme Computing coursework deadline is on the 4th December, although this is a late deadline the students are happy with this, as most deadlines finish next week and it is giving them a chance to concentrate on this.

General

Alex asked the Reps if they thought their meetings with year oprganisers had been useful.

The main comments were:

UG2 – thought the meeting went well and was good to chat to lecturers over course issues.
UG3 – Students felt the meeting covered much of the same as the weekly meeting, it would have been better to meet more lecturers and get the lecturers point of view on the courses.  No lectures showed up – but every year is different, depending on the year organiser – he/she may or may not invite the lecturers
UG4 – No lecturers again but Don Sannella came along to talk about Projects.

Informatics Conversations is going ahead next Wednesday 27th November in the Informatics Forum, this is to give the students and lecturers a chance to have some free food and an informal chat.

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Minutes of Meeting 5, 6th November 2013, AT Room 4.14a

Present: Michael Rovatsos, Kate Weston (ITO), Student Reps

1.Matters Arising

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.

 

 

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Minutes of Meeting 4, 23rd October 2013, AT Room 4.14a

Present: Michael Rovatsos, Kendal Reid (ITO), Student Reps

Apologies: Alex Simpson

1. Matters arising

Actions from last week meetings, such as the noise of building work being carried out in Forrest Hill are still on-going with Estates and Buildings.

Michael has spoken to the lecturers of courses that have dual (paper and electronic) submission, they mostly justify this by having essays which are easier to read on paper and other parts of the submission that need to be marked electronically.  Michael said this issue was too late to take to Teaching Committee this month, but could be brought up in the December meeting, and invited students to table a proposal via their member on TC if they wish to do that.

2. Facilities and Computing

Students were saying that they were having issues using remote DICE. This is an issue known to Computing Support know about, and appears to have been resolved in the meantime.

3. Course-specific Issues

DMMR is receiving bad feedback from the students regarding the Lecturer, lectures are hard to follow and not very useful/inspiring, also some students are finding they are being intimidated in the tutorials by the same lecturer.

Update: The lecturer has responded to this, and denies having laughed at students, instead stating that in a particular tutorial there was a number of unresponsive and ill-prepared students. He emphasises he’s enthusiastic about lecturing this course and rejects claims that lectures are not interesting or slides just read off.

It was asked if more examples for Pumping Lemma could be made more available for the INF2A course, extra hand outs with tutorial exercises would be good.

Update: The course lecturer has suggested that there are many other resources with examples made available, maybe students’ attention hasn’t been drawn to this sufficiently. Inf2A is a hard course compared to Inf1 courses, so the learning curve is expected to be steep, but there are resources such as lecturer office hours (underused!) to assist students further.

In INF2C-CS the students apparently struggled with the 1st assignment, a hand out with work that is included in the exams would be good, possibly one for each topic.

Update: The lecturer has responded suggesting that he will consider including larger examples in future lectures, and he will look into including audio in the lecture slides to provide more explanations.

4. Programming teaching

The School Reps said that more programming courses should be made available as a lot of students don’t have solid programming skills.   It was mentioned that CSLP/SELP were too easy.  Even after SDP some students still don’t know how to program, as this is a team course, and weaker students are not given the harder programming tasks.

One of the Reps mentioned that Programme Methodology by Stanford is a very good on-line exercise which really helps with Programming; he said that this was much more helpful that the actual INF1-OP class. INF1-FP teaches more concepts than actual problem-solving skills. Inf2C-SE was considered too easy, and Inf2C-CS demanding, with too little attention on C which is useful for many subsequent courses.

5. Peer support

Michael reported that this issue being looked into by the School at the moment, a brief discussion of various mechanisms followed, with the student reps being in favour of the use of forums for peer support, and reviving the Cascaders scheme.

6. Assessment methods

Michael reported that the School is looking into various ways of reviewing the way some courses are assessed. A rather lengthy discussion followed, and it was decided to call for a separate, open staff-student meeting to discuss this in more detail.

7. Next meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 6th November at 1:10pm, in AT 4.14a.

 

 

 

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