Minutes of Meeting on 12/04/2017

In attendance: UG2, UG4/5, MSc reps, Alison Downie, Paul Anderson, Bjoern Franke

UG1: =/=

UG2
INF2B
is generally fine, but students complained about the mismatch of time required for the coursework and the coursework weight. Bjoern explained that time and weight are not related, but it’s the coverage of learning outcomes that determines the coursework weight. Some material and some learning outcomes are best learned and assessed in practical work, which often takes proportionally more time. Yet, if e.g. only one of five learning outcomes is assessed in a piece of coursework then it typically attracts around 20% weight, even though it may take up more than 20% of the time for that course. This acknowledges that learning outcomes and the time it takes to achieve those learning outcomes are not necessarily correlated and weighting credit by time rather than achievement would skew assessment unfavourably.

There have been concerns about the INF2D coursework marks. Some submissions have been re-evaluated due to mistakes. In a meeting with the year organiser the lecturer agreed to provide individual feedback such that students would be able to check where they lost marks and seek clarification if required. Up to this point this feedback has not yet been provided by the lecturer.

Apparently, contradictory information was provided, i.e. information confirmed by the TA was not what was considered at the time of marking. There is also some amount of inconsistency between marks obtained for similar submissions.

The students suggested that the INF2D exam paper should be carefully scrutinised to avoid ambiguities and confusion. Bjoern explained the School’s exam scrutiny process, where each exam paper is scrutinised by two members of staff. Additionally, the year organiser and Convener of the Exam Board are involved in this process, and exam papers are also scrutinised by an External Examiner. Details of the process can be found here:

http://web.inf.ed.ac.uk/sites/default/files/atoms/files/notes-exam-scrutiny-meetings-2015-16.pdf

UG3
AILP marks and feedback have now been returned.

UG4/5
ALE1
marks have not yet been returned and are now overdue.

MSc
The IRP deadline has been moved by one day due to contradictory information on two different web pages, one of which the course organiser wasn’t aware.

There are no past papers available for IMC. Could the sample paper considered at BoS for course approval be made available?

There have been clusters of deadlines around the end of the semester. Whilst this is unavoidable to some degree and due to the short lengths of the semesters, this was subsequently discussed at Teaching Committee. We will investigate the provision of a coursework calendar such that students, lecturers and year organisers can get a better overview of deadlines and hopefully avoid setting deadlines to conflict with too many others.

General

It was reported that some students take food and drink into the computer labs and leave behind a mess. Whilst cleaners are regularly cleaning the labs it is ultimately the students’ responsibility to stick to the rules and keep facilities clean. Computing officers directly approach students found violating the rules, but students are also encouraged to remind fellow students to *not* leave behind machines in an unusable state due to food and drink “contamination”.

Students have asked about an update on Appleton Tower, especially when space would become available for MSc students over the summer.

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12 Responses to Minutes of Meeting on 12/04/2017

  1. s1438687 says:

    Issues with the marking of my own AILP feedback aside, the overall quality of the feedback seems to be quite poor according to those I’ve spoken to. Marks are given with little to no justification and in places it seems like the essay section has just been skimmed, not to mention the fact that the code was not even read. Is this really the end of the road, and if so, can we re-edit our AILP feedback in light of the course only now being completed?

    • bfranke says:

      Thanks for your feedback – noted. As a first point of action I suggest to get in touch with the course lecturer. Failing that I am happy to pass on the concerns to the year organiser for further consideration.

  2. student says:

    A lot of us in the IMC (Introduction to Modern Cryptography) class are worried about the upcoming exam, which is worth 90% and being held for the first time with no past year papers.

    About the course (IMC), it was certainly theoretical, but had no tutorials whatsoever and the lecturer did not explain the format of the exam either. This is specially worrying because there are no past exam papers for this course. Also, we didn’t have a revision lecture last semester and haven’t heard any news about organizing a revision lecture this semester either, although the lecturer mentioned it.

    We would really appreciate if we could be given some guidance on the topic areas covered, especially which sections. And also provide some sample paper/questions if possible.

    • bfranke says:

      I have raised this concern with Aggelos, who said that he has dealt with requests on a case-by-case basis, but agrees that a more general action would be helpful.

      • s1676009 says:

        I have sent some emails to Aggelos but unfortunately I didn’t get a reply. In just a few of them his TA replied to me and finally redirected me to ask Aggelos for some concerns regarding IMC. Another concern of lots of IMC students is that some proofs have not been taught whereas they are asked for exams as a generalization of some proofs taught. Could you discuss with him to provide lecture log which specifies the sections of notes to be examined since lecture log is not quite specific? Thank you in advance.

  3. s1673517 says:

    Can something be done about the air conditioning units in 1.B32? Whenever they come on they blow air directly at all the desks underneath them which blows any paper (including large multi-page documents, not just single sheets) across the room, I’ve had to just get used to weighing down everything on the desk whilst I’m working.

    • bfranke says:

      I have passed this on to Neil.

      • nheatley says:

        Good morning,
        I will speak to estates to see about having the system disengaged as trying to alter it in the past has proved to less than fruitful. Given the limited time that we now have in FH and that the new tenants coming in in August will have different needs than how we have configured the room, it may be problematic to see any meaningful resolution I’m sorry to say.

  4. gwatt says:

    I can confirm I’ve sent out an email to students (on behalf of Martin) to provide an update on the Appleton Tower project and move back there from Forrest Hill. In summary, L5 of AT will be made available over the summer to provide continuity of access for MSc students. GB.

  5. gwatt says:

    Confirmation that I’ve now set up a google calendar to display course work deadlines for session 2017/18, the comms team are in the process of creating a web page for me to embed this, more soon. Please note – while ITO can publicise this information on the calendar, it’s still the academic responsibility to make sure the information is correct as ITO do not set course work deadlines! GB.

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