We have had problems in this area during the 2001 enrolment season. In the undergraduate case, the problem has been the growing size of second and third year courses. The effect here is to either have third year students in very large classes (350+) or have students restricted in their choice of electives - notably Networks, which, not unreasonably, many want to study.
In the case of postgraduates, the problem has been that there are a limited number of offerings, particularly in first session, and several offerings have limited class sizes. The reasons for these limited class sizes are varied (pilot course, equipment available, condition set by adjunct lecturer, for example). The net effect is that it has been impossible for some coursework PGs, especially full-time MEngSc students, to enrol so as to complete in minimum time.
One solution to this problem is to take the large classes, and run repeat lectures in them. The PG Coordinator (Coursework) has proposed that all large classes run as joint or alternative PG/UG courses e.g. COMP3111/COMP9008 and COMP3421/COMP9415 to pick two first session examples, should be lectured as both day and evening streams.
[He and I have both done repeat streams in COMP1021 teaching in the mid-90s, and can confirm that the overhead is not insuperably great - just the extra 3 hours contact plus a little cognitive stress keeping track of what group B doesn't yet know that group A already does - well, if they do if they were listening :-)].
The purpose of this meeting - which is tucked in between the Faculty welcome barbeque at 12.30pm and the School and Faculty welcomes at 3.3pm - is to discuss these possibilities and any other ideas people may have for solving (or changing) our class size problems.
A related issue would be that of possible financial compensation for those foregoing research time to teach repeat classes (not yet discussed with the Head of School).
A different implementation issue would be that of finding extra lecture theatre slots for repeat lectures.
Because of the limited time for the meeting, a pre-debate by e-mail may be indicated.
School of Computer Science & Engineering The University of New South Wales Sydney 2052, AUSTRALIA Phone: +61 2 9385 6876 Fax: +61 2 9385 4071