Today was the last day of the course, so we spent the morning talking about what had gone well and what had not. The high and low points were:
- The course was fun.
- The TAs were fantastic.
- The format (one hour of lecture plus two hours of lab, twice a day) worked well.
- Enjoyed the parts where the instructors programmed live.
- Liked the emphasis on working practices that complement coding.
- Liked the spread of topics, and the variability of things that are useful in all the different fields.
- Liked the pair programming.
- Welcomed exposure to standard libraries that weren't necessarily covered in the course.
- Liked the pre-arrival questions about what people knew, were doing, and wanted from the course.
- The examples were good.
- So were the donuts.
- Three weeks is too long.
- Some of the later topics were not as useful.
- Would have preferred to use standard libraries for the image processing lecture and exercises instead of simplified libraries.
- Too little coverage of too many subjects.
- The formatting of the slides leaves much to be desired.
- Too many lectures ran over time (which was particularly hard in afternoon sessions).
- Divided attention in FriendFeed is a problem.
- The less applied stuff (e.g., computational complexity) wasn't as useful or as interesting.
- Students weren't given enough time to work on their own projects.
- Didn't feel encouraged to make suggestions or provide feedback.
- Not enough on shell programming.
- Too much shell programming.
- A/V between Toronto and Edmonton was crude by modern standards.
- More on object-oriented programming.
- More feedback on the students' solutions to the exercises—they didn't get the equivalent of grading.
- Put the exercises up before the class, so that students know what the lecture's going to be leading them to.
It's been a good three weeks—I enjoyed getting to know the students, and look forward to seeing what they do with what they've learned.
Originally posted at Software Carpentry.