Evaluation Comments
Course:Object-Oriented Software Development

Quarter:Winter 04/05
Time: W 17:45 - 21:00
Location: Loop Campus
James Riely PhD

Associate Professor
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What are the major strengths and weaknesses of the instructor?

1.   I believe the instructor organized the class in a somewhat biased fashion and I would have had a greater understanding, had the course been organized in a different fashion
2.   He is a very knowledgeable person with regards to the subject, but he makes the course way too difficut than it is. He expects a lot from students. He expects that the students be at par with him, which is not possible. Overall he makes it look a lot more difficult than it is.
3.   Well organized. Knowledgeable. Presents the material in captivating manner.
4.   Knows his material. Goes too fast over it.
5.   Strengths: providing examples for the situations
6.   Prof Riely managed to present a great deal of material in a short amount time, yet efficient.
7.   Excelent knowledge, entertaining lectures.
8.   To me, the major weakness of this course was over complication of the material to be presented. From the beginning there was an intimidation factor that simply didn't need to be there. Also, the grading did not start until nearly mid-term which does make it difficult to get a feel for your understanding of the material.Presentation materials are possibly unnecessarily abstract. Why use Class names like A, B, C? Easy yes, but also potentially confusing.Parts of this course are breathtakingly difficult, so I don't understand all of the upfront warnings. It's hard, but required for the program. I'd just prefer to see more encouragement.Major strengths: James is very enthusiastic about his subject. His classes were always a joy to attend.There is a TON of work in this class though, I wonder if it can be structured any differently. I know that he warned us not to take this class if we had anything else going on, but in what world does that exist? Those of us who are working full-time plus are never going to have that luxury.

What aspects of this course were most beneficial to you?

1.   The course material is very informative as to programming style.
2.   The design patterns were very helpful. This could help one generate a code that is well up to the standards.
3.   Homework assignments and the final project.
4.   I think the material is useful in day to day coding. I wish I had a better grasp of it.
5.   The project is important. Perhaps change the 3 hws to 2 hws and allow the students to start doing their projects earlier.
7.   Apply and looking at examples of applying design patterns. Test driven development.
8.   Design, design, design!! Not only for me, but for all of the students. In my job, I frequently hire developers and I can count on the fingers of one hand how many people stumble during the pattern part of the interview. So few developers have any idea of them. This class made me happy because the design teaching was so solid and so superb. It was GREAT!Also, I LOVED learning JUnit!

What do you suggest to improve this course?

1.   Starting with Template method, something that is familiar to everyone and moving on to the more unfamiliar patterns, so students can get a feel for patterns before diving into unfamiliar territory.
2.   Programming should also be allowed in other OOP laguages like C++, VB.NET, C#. I found this course very difficult beacuse I am not much of a Java programmer. As far I know Java is not the only OOP language out there in the market. Would really like it if students are given the liberty to choose their own programming language.
4.   It's not helpful for the professor to make the exam questions so tricky that it stumbles the student. Straight forward questions can test just the same. The fact that the professor takes pride in coming up with these is disturbing. Would be helpful to go over what makes up a pattersn (the clues that define it) and to summarize them.
5.   Suggest having a global cooperation of working on the hw together. Using the depaul's bullertin board instead of the listserve.
8.   As I mentioned earlier, some relief in the workload and possibly more concrete examples. I know we must constantly be challenged to think in the abstract, but a toehold might help. Try to apply something to business application development instead of a card game or a geometry pattern.

Comment on the grading procedures and exams

1.   Grading seems fair. However, I was not properly taught to use a tool that we used in homework, and not havig full knowledge of the tool which does not reflect upon my knowledge of course material may very well end up costing me. I am still waiting to hear back from a grader after I made my argument.
3.   Exams were challenging and therefore beneficial.
4.   Too difficult.
5.   The exam are too long.
6.   Would be helpful for grades to be posted earlier.
8.   As is usually the case in a DePaul class, grading was abysmal, slow and late. There truly seems to be a problem across every class I've taken at this school. Graders are not assigned until we are 2-3 weeks into the term. In a 10 week term, this is really late. Grading done by graders is also typically poor and inconsistent.Exams in this class were a tremendous challenge. They were very difficult, but the grading of them seems fair in general. James does seem to love a trick question though. I think the material is challenging enough without resorting to that.

Other comments?

8.   It is a good class, very interesting, but the amount of work required has me at the brink of dropping out of the program.When I review courses that are required for my degree, I do not consider the topic of recommending the course to another student. Everbody in SE must take it. It is far too much work to recommend it to anybody else.
9.   Remembering Liskov