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T-61.271 > Course survey 2002

Course survey

We asked those who participated the 17 December 2002 exam to fill in a survey form.

Thanks for all of you who took the time to fill in the form.

Summary of the feedback

10 students returned the survey form. (Only a fraction of the students did return the survey form: the number of returned forms was actually less than in the last year, although the total number of students was bigger.) The medians of answers are written in strong font, with minimum and maximum given in parenthesis (min/max). Results of the December 2001 survey are in [parenthesis].

  • How important are the following in understanding the course? (on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "could do without" and 5 being "very important")
    • lectures 4 (3/5) [4 (2/5)]
    • solving exercises 3 (2/5) [2 (1/5)]
    • exercise sessions 2 (1/5) [3 (1/5)]
    • visualization project 2.5 (1/5)
    • lecture slides 4 (2/5) [5 (4/5)]
    • literature 3 (1/5) [2 (1/4)]
    • communication with fellow students 2 (1/4) [2 (1/4)]
  • What grade would you give to the following? (on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "bad", 3 being "satisfactory" and 5 being "excellent")
    • lectures 4 (3/4) [4 (2/5)]
    • exercise sessions 2 (1/3) [4 (3/5)]
    • lecture slides 3 (2/5) [4 (4/5)]
    • literature 4 (3/5) [3 (1/4)]
    • external conditions (lecture rooms, equipment, ...) 4 (1/5) [4 (2/5)]
    • the course as a whole 4 (3/5) [4 (3/5)]
  • How many study credits should the students be awarded for passing the course (you'll get three)? 3 (3/4) [3 (1/3)]
  • How demanding was the course? (on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being "too easy", 3 being "about right" and 5 being "too demanding") 3 (2/4) [3 (2/4)]
  • How interesting was the course, as compared to you expectations? (on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being "not interesting" and 5 being "very interesting") 4 (2/5) [4 (4/5)]

The following questions were answered on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being "no" and 5 being "yes":

  • Have you attended to the first two years' mathematics courses (or equivalent)? 5 (5/5) [5 (1/5)]
  • This course was held in English. Did this cause difficulties in understanding the course? 1 (1/5) [2 (1/4)]
  • Do you feel that you have learned the topics discussed in the course? 4.5 (3/5) [4 (4/5)]
  • Do you think the things you have learned will be of use to you in the future? 4 (3/5) [5 (3/5)]
  • Have you got a clear picture of which of the topics discussed in the course are useful and important? 4 (1/5) [4 (2/5)]
  • Did the course have a good atmosphere? 4 (2/5) [4 (3/5)]
  • Have we made a clear difference between relevant and irrelevant? 3 (1/5) [4 (3/5)]
  • Have also difficult things been presented understandably? 3.5 (1/5) [4 (2/5)]
  • Have the students been encouraged to think independently and critically? 3 (1/5) [4 (3/5)]
  • Did the different parts of the course (lectures, exercises, ...) support each other well? 3 (2/5) [4 (3/5)]

In addition we asked some more general questions. You can find summary of the feedback below.

  • What was best in the course?

    Separate topics were mentioned, such as the visit to eve EVE, pre-attentive process, 3D visualizations, topic, lecturer, slides and examples. The general content was also mentioned.

  • What was the worst weakness?

    The exercise sessions were criticized for the lack of clear model solutions.

    The scattered nature of the literature was mentioned.

  • How would you develop the course in the future?

    It was suggested that the exercise sessions should be developed to include model solutions which could be presented by the assistant. It was also suggested that the old examinations should be available from the web. One student suggested that the lectures could have still more demos.

Comments of the feedback

The ratio of the returned feedback forms was a bit small and the students didn't necessarily answer all questions. The size of the statistical sample of this survey was therefore quite small.

The course got a good overall grade. Everybody gave the course a grade between "satisfactory" and "excellent".

Lectures and slides were considered the most important for understanding the course. Lectures got a good and the slides got a satisfactory overall grade.

However, unlike in the last year, we did not always succeed in making a clear distinction between the relevant and irrelevant. This might be due to the fact that there was a bit more material than in the last year, the material was presented differently or the backgrounds of the students were more varied.

It would appear that the lectures will still need developement. The could be done by expanding important of the content, avoiding repetition and maybe simply removing some of the less relevant stuff. Also constructing more demonstrations of the topics would probably be a good idea.

The exercise sessions were planned to be supplement the lectures. Attending them was not required, nor were they necessary to pass the examination with full points (although they certainly were useful). The exercise sessions were critizised for the lack of model solutions.

One surprising result was that half of the students didn't consider the visualization project to be that important in understanding the course. There was a great deal of variance, though.

One possibility would to develop the visualization project so that it could also contain several "subprojects" from different fields, more or less common to all students, that would be discussed in the exercise sessions and that students could submit later.

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Tuesday, 07-Jan-2003 12:06:05 EET