[CSE]  Advanced Operating Systems 
COMP9242 2014/S2 
UNSW
CRICOS Provider
Number: 00098G

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Course Surveys 2012

Gernot's Comments on CATEI Survey

Free-form comments

Nice to see all the positive comments.

The comments mostly re-appear in my detailed survey, I will comment on them there. The one which doesn't appear below is about milestone scheduling. My response here is that we did what we could to help students get as much work as possible out of the way early. Our weekly milestones are designed to ensure this, and, of course, there's nothing stopping you from getting ahead of the schedule (other than it might be a challenge even staying on schedule...) Remember, we have the first milestone due at the beginning of week 2!

Gernot's Comments on LiC Survey

Many thanks to all students for taking the time to answer the course survey. 80% is a good return rate providing meaningful results.

The results mostly speak for themselves. The course seems to be in good shape, overall satsifaction was high. There wasn't really a lot of consistency in the negatives and improvement suggestions. This also indicates that there isn't any real problem.

Things I found noteworthy:

  • It's time consuming, but students knew that beforehand, and don't seem to hold it against the course.
  • Main gripe was that tutors were not consistent in their expectations. We noticed that partway through the session, and I agree that this should not happen. I hope it improved in the second half of session, and we will take this on board as an issue to fix next year.
  • Several people commented that milestones were ill-defined/confusing. To a degree, this is a feature, we don't want to be overly prescriptive, in order to force you to think about the best design. However, since the project was re-vamped this year, it may well be true that some milestone definitions need improvement. We'll have a good look at them next time round.
  • Re prerequisites people observed that dedication and hard work is more important than OS scores. That's true, and the reason we will always consider exceptions to the prerequisites. However, past experience have shown that the OS mark is a good predictor of AOS success, and almost all students who did it after only achieving a CR in OS struggled sincerely. AOS should be a challenge, but not a struggle, we want people to have fun!
  • Additional material people would like see covered: no consensus, no topic got more than one mention. Real-time, other OS internals, file systems would all be good material we'd love to include, but obviously we have to make a call of what to pick (which also depends on the expertise we happen to have around, we want only stuff taught by experts!) Some of these topics get covered in some years, at the expense of some other topic, of course.
    I'm at a loss at what to do with the comment about signal processing, though. What does that have to do with OS?
  • Abstraction level of the new library layer: Lots of comments there, which we'll consider next year. My main takeaways are:
    • Bugs in libraries and their docs: Unfortunately they aren't formally verified ;-) We'll try to improve this next year.
    • Interesting comment about re-doing libserial as part of the project. Definitely worth considering!

Thanks for the feedback, and your participation in the course!

Gernot


Last modified: 28 Jul 2014.