Evaluation Comments
Course:Object-Oriented Software Development

Quarter:Spring 06/07
Time: ::: - :::
Location: Distance Learning
James Riely PhD

Associate Professor
Instructor homepage

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What are the major strengths and weaknesses of the instructor?

1.   Very clear and ethusiastic. Knowedgeable.
2.   Strengths: Very clear instruction, Makes topic very interesting
3.   strength: He can connect with the students and make us interested in the topic.weakness: not following standard UML notation.
4.   Good knowledge base of technology; Weakness in tie back to reference material; White board was often illegible and/or confusing. Presentations did not give both problem and solutions in the examples; I watch every class on COL, but use the presentations as review material.
5.   Instructor is very upbeat and excited. However, the notes on the "chalkboard" could be written a little bit more clearly.
6.   Lots of hand waving and incomplete examples made some concepts very confusing. It may seem simple to the instructor, but it's new to me so I would prefer complete explanations. AND IF the instructor is too busy to answer email and respond to questions in a timely fashion, he should decide which of his pursuits are most important. He is obviously spreading himself too thin at the expense of the students.
7.   Dr. Riely is an exceptional teacher. He has an extremely broad and deep knowledge base, and most importantly, a very effective teaching style. This is the second class I've taken with Dr. Riely, and I will eagerly seek out more.
8.   Very motivated and knowledgeable. The only weakness I'd say is on occaision the lecture gets sidetracked explaining something.
9.   The instructor's expert knowledge of the topic allows him to go well beyond a textbook treatise of the material and interject an informed opinion about the usefulness of particular OO techniques and how well or poorly it has been implemented in Java.
10.   He has a good attitude and interesting examples. He is not boring.
12.   Strenths: Instructor,Instructor,InstructorWeakness: Waaaaayy overkill on the last week deliverables. Why is it useful to be required to complete a 4-week final project(in addition to homework asignments), coupled with a comprehensive Final paper, coupled with a detailed time log, IN ADDITION to a comprehensive(!) 3hr final exam? As a working professional, the time and effort neceessary to complete these often redundant tasks is prohibitively burdensome, and I really think it is overkill.
13.   Professor Riely is extremely knowledgeable regarding the course material, however I believe that he sometimes forgets that his students aren't as familiar with the materials as he. Sometimes he presents concepts at a high level (little detail) when a lower level of presentation would be more effective. He also sometimes seems to rush through a topic in order to maintain a schedule. Although he makes himself available to students outside of class, if the detail isn't presented there are times when we, as students, are not aware that we may have missed something.Even though Prof. Riely is a "tough" instructor, I enjoy his classes and would take another.
14.   He knows his material and it is a joy to learn from him. He makes learning enjoyable and has a great sense of humor.

What aspects of this course were most beneficial to you?

1.   Being able to use Desgin patterns and have a condensed format to apply them. Learning Ant and Junit.
2.   Learning the design patterns and how to apply them were the most beneficial. I was able to apply them to my job almost imediately.
3.   Patterns and how to use them
4.   Interesting perspective on design patterns.
5.   UML / Actual programming.
6.   Interesting topic. Useful information if it had been presented in appropriate depth with reasonable clarity.
7.   The coverage of Design Patterns is very applicable to my role as a Software Engineer. This class very much delivered on this front.
8.   Almost all aspects of the course were beneficial. From the principals of patterns, the specific patterns we studied, the UML, and the language specifics like nested classes. All were beneficial.
9.   I can't point to a particular thing, but I found the course to be very instructive and interesting.
12.   Instructor delivery, pattern development discussions.
13.   This course required much coding and implementation of design patterns. I can safely say that this course caused me to re-evaluate some long-time coding habits and make changes for the better based upon Dr. Riely's instruction.
14.   The refactoring, it was different than the traditional, "lets extend this class", and reusability, rhetoric you get from other software engineering courses, that have no benefit in the real world

What do you suggest to improve this course?

1.   Nothing. I like it. Don't reduce the the amount of work, it helps you learn more. Not sure if it's a good idea but maybe have a seperate course on Java project particulars, Junit, Ant, builds packaging, distrubtions. This might allow more time to focus on design patterns? But then alot of Java particalrs can be learned at work, etc.
2.   None
3.   Use standard UML notation for examples and tests
4.   More structure to a text that would allow for more structured self study.
5.   Better "chalkboard".
6.   Use the COL tools. This would help to prevent the assignments "leaking" to corporate code companies. It also makes communication and collaboration easier for the students. Everything is about the instructor and how to make things best for him, it is NOT about the students. It's an exercise in vanity. He finds something he does not like about the col tools and refuses to use them. I think he is an EXCELLENT candidate for the development team working on the COL project. Being a software engineering expert should make revising the software easy for him so he could become a part of the solution rather than a part of the problem.I would also highly recommend that he learns how to use a presentation tool (power point, impress, keynote) and a diagramming tool (Visio, kivio, omnigraffle) so that diagrams are clear. When combining whiteboard writing of varying clarity with poor ASCII diagrams, the art of creating SE450 UML diagrams is clear as mud.When he puts together notes, he should go through everything. Because his pseudo code in the examples is just that (pseudo code that often does not compile without serious revision) he NEEDS to go through everything.
7.   There is so much information, and it's all so important. I would suggest splitting it into two courses. Especially on a quarter system, it's difficult to cover everything that deserves covering.
8.   Possibly a little less emphasis on UML, but not much.
9.   I would open up the project and/or course to allow the use of C#.
10.   Provide us with one or two textbooks to use as refrences. The books did not follow the class very well.
11.   Need more time for final project. Reduce the scope of the material a bit.
12.   REFACTOR-REDUCE-RETHINK the purpose and usefulness of the whole Final Project-Paper-Exam thing - its total overkill!
13.   This course attempts to cover a lot of material -- perhaps too much. I believe that there is not enough time in class to cover all of the objectives in the level of detail that they deserve. I would humbly suggest re-examining the breadth of material that is covered to allow it to be presented in the alloted time and with the level of detail it deserves.
14.   I know its hard, but I wish there was just one great text book out there, instead of so many ways and books to do one thing. However that will never happen, as is evident.
16.   C and C++ are still valid languages in today's environment. It would be nice to see application of the patterns in this course as expressed in other languages without moral judgements on the fitness of the languages. As a coder who has worked from the machine level up, there are still efficiency reasons to be in those more primitive languages where you can get closer to the machine than JAVA allows. These patterns in this course fully apply and provide a significant safety net. The compromises made in those languages were generally made for good reasons.
17.   Provide a followup course... that discuses more design patterns.. and maybe a semester long project on the design patterns discussed in this class.

Comment on the grading procedures and exams

1.   Fine. Except maybe find a way to grade the first three HWs sooner and with more feedback. Might be hard to do with 50+ students though. Would rather have Professor interation for questions instead of grading.
2.   Grading was fair, and exam grades were given quickly.
3.   Have not seen my exam. I have no ability to comment on the grading procedure.
4.   Homework and exams returned late. Frustration when exam question types are not reflected in practice materials.
5.   Very good.
6.   The reading assignments and class discussions were nebulous enough so that it was unclear as to what would be covered on the examinations."Subjective grading" of a programming assignment is ridiculous. If he likes you then you can have an A, and if he hates you then you can fail?
7.   All fair and impartial as I can tell. No complaints.
10.   Improvement can be made on grading homework in a timely fashion.
12.   Grading was fair
13.   Professor Riely's exams are difficult. It's not that the material is that difficult -- rather, it's the amount of work required to answer the questions in the level of detail that he requires. (Prof. Riely has a knack for asking small, short questions requring huge, long answers).This is not the first class that I've taken from Professor Riely and in all cases, I've found myself nearly out of time and rushing to complete the last question or two of the exams. Hand-writing pages of code accurately is very time-consuming. Also, I believe that at times the grading on the exams can be picayune, but that is the perogative of the Professor.Homework grading is extremely fair bordering on generous.
14.   Very fair and imparital.
15.   not just on exams, but a out-of-point-basis on homework assignments so we dont assume a grade of "10" is out of 10 or a grade of "20" is out of 20. I'm not a mind reader.

Other comments?

2.   I really liked this course. If I could I'd take all of my classes with Dr. Riely.
3.   Getting exams back for DL students were confusing and extremely slow.
5.   Thank you very much for your excitement on this subject matter and methods of teaching. I enjoy your classes very much.
6.   The magnitude of the final project was too broad to be covered in one term as an individual student. It needs to be something that one can accomplish reasonably in 5 weeks. The instructor is too busy to respond to emails or chat board posts in a timely fashion and doesn't need to write a line of code. Think about those of us who are full time students or who have full time jobs? I doubt many people in the class are independently wealthy enough to take one course at a time with no other responsibilities. Give me a break.
7.   At the risk of sounding effusive, Dr. Riely has "sold" DePaul's graduate program to me. I really feel like I'm getting a quality education in Computer Science, and it is largely due to him. (This is not a slight against the other faculty -- I've enjoyed all of my classes).
12.   REFACTOR-REDUCE-RETHINK the purpose and usefulness of the whole Final Project-Paper-Exam thing!
13.   Professor Rieley's homework assignments are very valuable but also very time-consuming -- as if they're designed for an on-campus single student with a lot of time, whereas I'm an off-campus 50-hour-per-week-job professional with a family. Even though I budget a generous amount of time per week for my studies, I frequently find myself sacrificing sleep and family time in order to complete some of the homework assignments.On the positive side, though, all the extra work does help in the understanding of the material.I would humbly suggest that the Professor take into account the fact that not everyone can commit the amount of time that a full-time student can. I would also humbly suggest that the course syllabus include the amount of time per week that the average student can expect to spend on outside reading and assignments.
14.   Great course.