Evaluation Comments
Course:Object-Oriented Software Development

Quarter:Winter 04/05
Time: 01:00 - 01:00
Location: Distance Learning
James Riely PhD

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

1.   The instructor was absolutely brilliant. His organizational skills were grade A. His ability to communicate the concepts and clarify any confusion was superior. The only weakness (which I dont perceive to be his fault) is the assumption of the level of knowledge of the students taking the course.
2.   I dont know if it was a major weakness of instructor or its the course contents he has choosen. Software engineering, courses is not about coding. Its more about software paradims, myths, strategies, methedologies etc. While in this class we learnt java, j2ee, and some coding related patterns. This is not what software engineering is.
3.   It was great to take this course from Dr. Riley. I have never seen as much participation both in and outside of class as with this one.
4.   Great lecturing style, well-organized.
6.   Extremely knowledgable / great orator /wit.
7.   Stengths: -clear and concise instructor -explains difficult concepts clearlyWeaknesses: -since I was a distance learning student, I would say the use of the whiteboard for so many of the UML was difficult, at times. Perhaps some UML drawings could be constructed in pieces ahead of time, using a graphics tool, and then displayed in class using the screen. Makes it a little easier to see what's happening. -exams can be a little tricky in parts that are really unrelated to the topics of the class. While I understand that this class relies on the student having a strong foundation of Java skills, those skills should not be tested during exams. Rather, they can be expected on homework and projects. Exams, however, should be straightforward when it comes to the programming techniques.
8.   The instructor did present the material well. This course was mainly based on making code more readable. Although it is important, I dont think this should be a required class, unless a student believes he/she will be using java extensively when they graduate.
9.   Professor has very good knowledge and teaching approach. Only thing he is expecting too much from student.
10.   Kept class interesting with lots of examples. The instructor adapted well to the direction of the discussion in class and was ussually able to work through questions on the white board. Kept great communication with students through the Mailling List. This was especially helpful to me since I am a DL student.
11.   1. Excellent communcation and presentation skills.2. Have good knowledge of what he taught in the class.3. Very responsive I am a DL student and rely heavily on email and he had been very quick in responding.4. I find him very helpful to the students
13.   I thought that he didn't really explain his purpose very well. This made it difficult to understand what I was supposed to be learning. He didn't really make it clear what he was getting at all the time. Especially with answers to questions he posed in his notes that he used to teach - he would leave the question with no answer or a vague answer too frequently.
14.   strengths:great command of the subject matter

What aspects of this course were most beneficial to you?

2.   nothing.
3.   The homework was challenging but at the right level. It made you think about the concepts being taught. The project was the best part because it made you apply what you were learning. I feel I am a much better programmer because of this course
4.   Discussion of individual design patterns.
6.   Discussion about design patterns / programming assignments
7.   -design patterns were clearly explained -project was very fun. Flexibility to choose my own topic was great!
8.   I believe the further exposure to java was beneficial. The many coding assignments also made me more familiar with the language and coding styles.
10.   I had never even heard of patterns before this course. I leave this class with a better understanding of OO Programming and how to write more maintainable software.
11.   The amount of work was relatively high and demanding but its good since it certainly sharpened and revived my programming skills. Helped me improve the design skills. But then I guess it's even less than three months and this topic so vast that we still couldn't have covered it all in a semester based system.
13.   The overall idea of the class, while executed poorly in my opinion, was somewhat beneficial in that it gave me an idea of ways that I could manage code more effectively.
14.   the programming

What do you suggest to improve this course?

1.   Personally, I feel like the classes (java and data structures) taken prior to this one did not sufficiently prepare myself (and I believe many other students) to be successful. It seemed to me that the students who were very well versed in Java did well and those who werent did not. Thus, even though the class is not a Java course, I felt like even understanding the conepts taught in the class did one no good if they were not intimately familiar with coding in Java. I am not sure how to improve this so that students are not so overwhelmed, but I thought it prudent to at least state my opinion on the matter.
2.   by changing the course contents (if they are chosen by university) or ask the instructor to really teach software engineering.
3.   I highly recommend the text Head First Design Patterns. Dr. Riley includes a link to one of the chapters in the book and because I found it so informative I bought the whole book and think it explains things very clearly--better than the other recommended texts.
4.   More design patterns, less Java. Require more Java expertise coming in. I know how to use constructors, references, etc. Presentation of the clone method was interesting, however.
5.   The exams were to difficult
6.   Focus more on realizing / implementing design patterns and less on writing supporting code.
7.   -perhaps more use of the screen shots of UML, rather than creating on the whiteboard. Just for clarity. -a little more straightforwardness in the exam questions. Test the new material from the course, not tricky ways to write functions.
8.   I wouldn't suggest anything to improve the course but I strongly believe this should not be a required class for those pursuing their masters in CS.
9.   Make it little bit easy.
11.   I feel that instead of focusing on Java language and Java programming latest topics on the subjects should be brought into the syllabus. I started the course wanting to know about the software design and development methodologies, when and when not to use them and what are the pros and cons involved and I still do not know.
13.   Less busy work. Make the homework more focused on the objective. I spent a good deal of time doing code that had nothing to do with patterns or anything else in the class. Also, there should have been at least 1 homework assignment in which there was no programming, but it asked whether you could identify patterns. If that is a main goal of the course, you should assess that more often than just 2 questions on the midterm and whatever is coming on the final. If I completely miss those questions on the final, did I fail to meet the objectives for the course? Becuase I had no chance prior to now to practice the concept of identifying patterns in other people's code.

Comment on the grading procedures and exams

3.   Homework was not graded in a very timely manner and it often left you wondering how you were doing in the class. I love the project, but found it unclear how we would be evaluated.
4.   Slow early on, but caught up. Fair, gave students plenty of material to prepare.
6.   Mid term questions were much harder than examples presented in class.
7.   -grading was extremely fair and impartial
8.   Fair.
9.   Make it little bit easy.
11.   So far the midterm was slightly lengthy for 2-1/2 hours and that's what we got.
12.   Some exam questions were not as clear as they should have been for this class.
13.   The midterm exam was difficult, but fair. I thought it was a very hard test, but it was the same for everyone and the grading was done as it should have been. Homework grades were done fairly as well.

Other comments?

1.   Professor Riely is an outstanding teacher and certainly knows the material backwards and forwards. Even with this fact, I think that the class, in comparison with many other classes, takes an extrodinary amount of time to try and comprehend and complete. With work, other classes, and family obligations this created a very hard enviroment in which to succeed. Since I am not in the Software Development track (as I am in the Database track) this seemed to be an unnecessary stress to overcome.
3.   This was a great class by a great instructor and I hope I have the opportunity to take another class from him in the future
4.   Overall, excellent. Best course I've had at Depaul.
6.   none
7.   -Prof. Riely is an OUTSTANDING instructor, and I hope to take another class of his soon. - I wish more CTI professors could communicate tough topics as clearly as he.
11.   Overall he is a good instructor but I feel the course objective that I had before starting the course had not met.
13.   The biggest suggestion I have for the course is that there should be more of an assessment of people's ability to recognize patterns in code. It was a stated objective for the course, yet the only times it was assessed were the midterm and the final. If there were an earlier method of finding out people's abilities in this area, you would have a better idea of how well the course is being taught. Also, it makes the tests more difficult that you haven't seen anything similar to what will be on them before hand, as all the homeworks were programming assignments.