Minutes of Teaching Commitee Meeting of 7 July 2000

Present or in attendance: Koo, Beshay, Sowmya, Chakravarty, Robinson, Buckland, Shepherd, ElGindy, JXue, Lambert, Wilson (chair), Heiser, Mahidadia, Potter, Nymeyer

  1. Proposals for streamed versions of COMP1011, COMP1021, COMP2011. Issues relating to streaming were debated vigorously for about an hour. The discussion ranged over the benefits, educational and administrative, of streaming, mechanisms of assessment. A number of speakers favoured retaining common assessment for Higher and regular versions of a course, in part to allow easy migration between streams. It was noted in passing that at least some students, including many of the weaker students, find practical programming exams particularly harrowing.

    The meeting resolved (11 in favour, 2 abstentions, 1 against) that new course proposals based on the handbook entries discussed should go forward to the Faculty Education Committee and to the Cross-Faculty Science Committee.

  2. The chairman reminded those attending of the decision at the recent academic staff retreat to support the concept of teaching clusters. Members noted that teaching clusters could have a role both in the allcoation process and in curriculum development. Nascent clusters are asked to provide brief (3 line) summaries of likely membership and coverage - e-mail to billw.

  3. John Shepherd and Tim Lambert undertook to prepare a brief paper outlining the reasons for the School taking responsibility for the CS degree and transferring it from Science to Engineering. This paper should go to the Faculty Standing Committee, and subsequently to the Cross-Faculty Committee on Science and higher committees within the University.

  4. Hossam ElGindy and John Potter reported on the progress of the sub-committees/task forces that they chair. Discussion tended to elaborate and clarify the roles of these groups, one of which originated outside the TC.

  5. The proposal to change the name of COMP3131/9102 Parsing and Translation to Programming Languages and Compilers, and revise the content, was approved after fairly extensive discussion.

  6. The proposals to introduce new combined programs:
    were treated as follows. The chairman was to establish whether the SE and CE programs are covered by a blanket agreement between Engineering and Commerce on a generic BE/MCom. If so, then there is less hurry to have specific agreements ratified. If not, then the CE/MCom proposal should go forward to the Faculty Education Committee. As Ken Robinson pointed out, SE is a special case, as it already includes Faculty of Commerce material, and it may be possible to negotiate with Commerce for a combined program that sacrifices less SE electives. Ken also drew the TC's attention to the fact that it may be possible to use some of the commerce courses taken while the student is an undergraduate to fulfil the General Education requirement. If this is possible, then this will be used to re-claim some CE electives in the CE/MCom proposal, too.

    The remaining items (see below) were deferred to a later meeting and the meeting adjourned at 4.44pm.

  7. Second year CS program is in a mess because the CS students are not well placed to take COMP2021 in first session (they have no hardware background, unlike the CE students taking COMP2021 in first session). This means that they have difficulty choosing enough courses in first session. John Shepherd will introduce the discussion.

  8. Special facilities for special teaching needs. There are proposals for an alpha cluster for Distributed Systems COMP9243 and for a Mac lab for COMP9511/COMP3511. These are in large part FC concerns, but the TC should comment on the degree of need for these facilities from the teaching perspective.

  9. Plagiarism handling policy. Should we have a database of previous plagiarism cases? What penalties should there be for repeat offenders?

School of Computer Science & Engineering
The University of New South Wales
Sydney 2052, AUSTRALIA
Phone:  +61 2 9385 6876
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