Agenda for Teaching Committee Meeting on 24 September 1999


  1. Further discussion of specific problem subjects in relation to CEQ scores and related feedback. It has been suggested that certain subjects should be cancelled in view of their poor ratings. Heads of Groups will want to be sure that they are represented at this meeting, particularly if they were not represented at the previous meeting.

  2. Should COMP1091 run in s1 or s2?

    AndrewT's comment: The lab load is less in s1 so its preferable in that respect. It would be good to get a lecturer willing to exploit existing material as much as possible - we may not get a good result if someone tries to create a subject from scratch for s1 next year.

  3. John Shepherd has asked that the following issue be considered.

    A. Student writes:

    [Following an initial request to count database implementation efforts at work as a replacement for the specified Database Systems projects. The technologies being used at work are essentially the same as those being used in the Database Systems subject - background for CSE].

    I am doing 2 subjects this session - 3311 and 2041. As per usual I've been up to my neck in work and haven't been able, until now, to give either the time they deserve.

    JAS responds:
    You're out of luck with me on this point ...

    My current thinking on this is that if you enrol in a subject then that entails a certain commitment on your part to complete the specified practical work and exam.

    If you know you're going to be overworked ... don't enrol ... or arrange with your employer to give you enough time off that you can reasonably complete your Uni work.

    I'm also not going to set a precedent about using stuff you've done at work as a substitute for prac work here. I don't like this for a number of reasons:

    With your work experience, it's pretty clear that you already know all of the stuff to do the prac work, so that should give you an advantage over all the people who are seeing it for the first time. I don't see that any further advantage is warranted.

    However, having said all that, I think the School ought to look at this issue (so I cc'd this to Arun and Bill). There seem to be more and more students in this boat, and I can see benefits to a more flexible approach. This will involve discussions with the rest of the School and will no doubt be extremely contentious, so don't expect any change of policy within the next twelve months, if ever.

    I'm willing to give extensions on assignment deadlines, but not accept outside work as an alternative to assignments.

  4. Arun has asked that the TC, in conjunction with the database group, address the following issue:

    Chu: Can we modify programme 2000 so that for F/T GradDip students who start in the wrong session they can do 9315 instead of 9314?

    JAS: No. COMP9314 has pre-requisites COMP9021 and COMP9311.
    COMP9315 has pre-requisites COMP9021, COMP9311 *and* COMP9024 (or 2011).

    This is because the subject requires a decent programming/algorithms background (up to the level of COMP2011, i.e. and understanding of hash tables and search trees).

    In the past, we've had to put up with a very wide range of student backgrounds from almost zero programming up to people who've already implemented database management systems (the topic of the subject). If COMP9315 is going to be a genuine postgrad level subject, I don't want to pander to people with little programming background, which is why we put the COMP9024 pre-requisite.

    In other words, COMP9315 is significantly harder than COMP9314 and so they can't be interchanged in programs.

    Similarly, we'd prefer people with decent Java programming background in COMP9314, but after some meetings with Arun (and ??) we agreed to dumb it down a little and work on the assumption that the students had at least passed COMP9021, and so had some exposure to Java.

  5. Ken Robinson has proposed changes to replace Z in COMP2411 and COMP3111/9008 by B. The details of Ken's proposal are available.
    Statistics relevant to popularity of B.

    Ken's document also proposes using smaller course sizes in level 3 courses (specifically 3 uoc courses instead of 6 uoc courses).

    [These items will be held over to the next meeting due to Ken's inability to attend on 24 September.]

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