How I'm Doing

This post originally appeared on the Software Carpentry website.

I wasn't happy with the two courses I taught this past winter — too many distractions, too little preparation. The feedback on the Software Carpentry course was therefore a pleasant surprise: I've heard second-hand that several of the Computer Science grad students were disappointed by its slow pace, but overall I did better than I expected. On a 1-5 scale:

  • Background required to successfully complete the course: 2.0
  • How easy to obtain details/background to supplement lecture material: 2.0
  • Did term work increase understanding: 3.7
  • Material was presented too slow/fast: 2.0
  • Material was too broad/specialized: 2.9
  • Workload was too light/heavy: 2.9
  • How well organized was the lecturer: 4.0 (no idea whose class they were in...)
  • How satisfied: 4.5
  • Overall rating: 4.2

The most common positive comments were that the course was practical and pragmatic, and that the collaborative projects were worthwhile. Negatives include the assignment being distributed and marked very late, not enough examples of what good programs actually look like, the course being slow for CS students, a lack of depth in some areas (particularly security), and my jokes being corny.

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