I finally got a summary of graduate students feedback on the consulting course I ran this past winter. It was pretty good overall---on a scale of 1-5, the responses were:
How much background is required to successfully complete this course? None Lots 2.6
How easy was it to obtain details/background needed to supplement the lecture material? Easy Hard 2.7
Did the term work increase your understanding of the material? Not at all Very much 4.3
The material was presented: Too slowly Too fast 3.0
The material was: Too broad Too specialized 2.8
Was the workload: Too light Too heavy 3.5
How well organized or prepared was the lecturer? Not at all Very 4.0
How satisfied were you with the lecturer? Not at all Very 4.7
Overall rating of the course Bad Great 4.5
What resources did you use heavily for the course? Lectures 2
Text 0
Papers 4
Reference Books 0
Course Notes 0
Friends 2
Lecturer 2
TA 0
Internet 10
Advice to people who are considering the course in the future:
  • If there's a project you're interested in or something you want to learn, this is a great way to spend time doing it and getting a course credit at the same time.
  • Great course. Find a good project and give 'er.
  • This course is what you make of it. You can mold the course in order to get out more of what you are interested in. I found this freedom great!
  • Lots of projects to choose from.
  • Good if you want some public speaking experience.
  • This course is very good for undergraduate students. It will enhance their coding skills and give them a good opportunity to find a job (by linking them to people in industry). If you are a graduate student and your thesis involves building an application, it's a very good chance to pass a course as you are doing so.
  • Great course. You will learn a lot, but make sure you make realistic estimates of how long everything will take, otherwise it will be too much work.
General Comments --- Good
  • Provides great insight into large project development.
  • Lecturer was outstanding!
  • Interesting discussions.
  • You can do many different things (develop applications) in this course.
  • Learn a lot; things you won't learn in any other course.
  • Hands-on learning and real-world experience.
General Comments --- Bad
  • Very code intensive, not very appropriate for grad students if the project is irrelevant to their research.
I'm now looking for project ideas for students in the fall --- if you're interested, please drop me a line.