[an error occurred while processing this directive] COMP9242 CATEI Survey 2000
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School of Computer Science & Engineering
University of New South Wales

 Advanced Operating Systems 
 COMP9242 2018/S2 

Official Student Survey (CATEI) 2006

The following are the numeric results from the official CATEI survey for COMP9242 in Session 2 of 2006. The survey was held during the Week 13 lecture. There were a total of 7 replies (of 14 students enrolled). Each question allowed one of four answers: ”strongly agree“ (4), ”agree“ (3), ”disagree“ (2), ”strongly disagree“ (1). Results are summarised in an average score in the range 1–4.

The aim of this course were clear to me 3.6
I was given helpful feedback on how I was going in the course 3.3
The course was challenging and interesting 3.7
The course provided effective opportunities for active student participation in learning activities. 3.9
The course was effective for developing my thinking skills (e.g. critical analysis, problem solving). 3.4
I was provided with clear information about the assessment requirements for this course 3.9
The assessment methods and tasks in this course were appropriate given the course goal 3.7
The course advanced my ability for independent learning and critical analysis 3.7
Good resources in laboratories and tutorials supported the learning process. 3.9
Overall, I was satisfied with the quality of this course. 3.7

Below is a verbatim transcript of the free-form feedback from studens doing the survey. Student input is in red, my comments are in blue. Replies are grouped by question, the numbers refer to the same student across questions. One student did not suplly any free-form comments.

The best features of this course were:

    • It was interesting, but that's obvious.
    • The short deadlines contributed to the difficulty of the project, a GOOD THING(TM)
    • In can fly now.
  1. No sugar-coated poison, just poison.
    • Freedom, ability to do the project in the method I choose.
    • A partner in the project, another brain was good as the project was difficult.
  2. The lab “oud” was a great learning place and a great place to get help from other people in the course. The white board was good.
    The ability to write a whole lost of OS code including userland libraries.
  3. It was fun!
    Interesting & relevant lectures.
    SLUG was cool.
    • it covered interesting and useful topics in detail.
    • the project was extremely challenging ⇒ interesting & useful, i.e. a fantastic learning experience.

This course could be improved by:

    • More interaction/lectures with Gernot
      Thanks for that vote of confidents. I'd love to have more presence, I really would. Unfortunately that wasn't possible. I was glad I could teach as much as I did. On the other hand, without all those other things going on, I wouldn't have so much interesting stuff to talk about. A classical tradeoff :-)
    • Some way of assessing us on the material in the papers linked from the lectures page
      I think we do that indirectly. In the exam you'll find that the more of those papers you've read, the better you'll be able to understand and critique the papers given to you in the exam.
    • I'd heard the project was exremely hard, but it wasn't like that. It was more fun.
    • Can the lectures be recorded and linked from course page? Didn't really get time to look back on our design decisions. I suggest that in future some time should be spent on discussion of the project, at the end of the course and help students learn from their decisions.
      I can see that there would be benefits from recording the lectures, but I can also see significant drawbacks. The most obvious would be that lecturers wouldn't be nearly as outspoken if lectures were recorded. I think you'll get better lectures by not recording them.
  1. May be direct on-line Q&A.
    Hard if not impossible to resource.
  2. More consultation hours.
    I understand that most consult slots had low attendance, so I don's see much justification for offering more.
  3. This course didn't allow an indepth aspects of OS code, we implemented a half usable system on top of a “black box” microkernel.
    Either by allowing more L4 hacking, or have aspects covered by the standard OS course, syscalls, frame table, page table, address spaces already implemented allowing us to implement more difficult aspects, eg filesystem cache etc.
    I appreciate what you are saying, however, we have to draw the line somewhere, we can't really make the project bigger (much as we'd love to). You get to do some of the low-level stuff in COMP3231, and we could really only do more advanced stuff like block caches by making the project less comprehensive. I'd be happy to have a discussion about a different kind of project, but in our experience the present setup works well.
    Lectures seemed very long, maybe a 2 hour lecture format then 1 hour tutorial/discussion.
    I realise that the 3h blocks are long. I'll think about changing the approach (but no guarantees).
End of verbatim transcript. If you have more comments to make, please do.

Final word

It is always great fun teaching this course, with all students being highly motivated and eager to learn. Many thanks for participating, and also thanks for your feedback.
Last modified: 24 May 2019.