Evaluation Comments
Course:Object-Oriented Software Development

Quarter:Winter 07/08
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.   presentation - easy to sit through a 3 hour classexplained material wellreplied to emails quickly and with detail
2.   Very concise informative information given in the course. This instructors style pertains to my method of learning. Filtered information with exploration under taken by the student, while the professor is available for questions if needed.
3.   Very knowledgeable and teaches well.
4.   I don't have much to comment on here. The instructor is very knowledgeable and answers questions very quickly to help everyone.
5.   He's extremely knowledgeable of the material, but I found the code examples difficult to follow because of stylistics.
6.   Teacher presents information clearly. The material is not hard once you understand it, but obtaining that understanding is not easy.
7.   Instructor is very knowledgeable and well-organized. I really appreciate the availability of the code, and the way actual code is worked into the lectures, including documentation. That sets a great example for us going forward. I also appreciate the instructor's knowledge of languages, which helps in explaining the idiosyncrasies of coding patterns in Java.I do appreciate the instructor's desire to keep questions relevant to the topic at hand. There's nothing worse than a lesson getting hijacked by irrelevant questions. The instructor sometimes pre-emptively cut off questions in class that seemed like they might be relevant, though. I think that kind of stifles the question-asking...
8.   Dr. Riley always participated in discussions and answered questions about class lectures and assignments very quickly. All material was challenging and was well suited to this course.
9.   great teacher. I liked his tone during class. Never seemed boring. made watching the lecture esay
10.   Dr. Riely was really animated and that released some of the tension of picking up the material.
11.   A little too enthusiastic at times, but nonetheless influential.
12.   Enthusiastic about the subject, and clearly knowledgeable. Being able to talk about how C# implements concepts helped me, since C# is my primary programming language.

What aspects of this course were most beneficial to you?

1.   technical challenges, being hands on in a large project
2.   Particularly the actual implementation of a system using the techniques discussed in class.
3.   Design Patterns
4.   This final project is most beneficial. It's always fun to ground up a project.
5.   The refresher of design patterns. There are several patterns that I am very fond of and some that I rarely use. I was reminded of some useful patterns that I should be relying on more heavily.
6.   The patterns. The demonstrations of how code should be structured.
7.   Learning design patternsEmphasis on testingHomework & projectWorking with other people's code (instructor's)
8.   The whole course was very beneficial. It has helped improve my coding and design capabilities already and with practice will only serve to make me a better software engineer.
9.   the homework and the fact he expected a lot out of us.
10.   It gave a really good handle on how Java development should be done.
11.   Review of design patterns.
12.   Developing the "muscle memory" for using patterns is probably what will stick with me most. I feel like I got more than just the conceptual understanding of the patterns - I can actually "see" them now.

What do you suggest to improve this course?

1.   na
2.   Better documentation for the intial homeworks, though reading through code wasn't so bad.
3.   Maybe expects too much for first few assignments. Not exactly clear what needed to be done.
4.   Not much. It's pretty good.
5.   As a required course, I'm not sure you can do more.
6.   Try not to focus too much on the wrong way to do things. Sometimes you like to talk about what is wrong with a piece of code for so long that you start to forget that it is the "wrong" way to do something.
7.   At the moment, I'm so bogged down in troubleshooting the bolt-on visualization package that I don't feel like I'm focusing on and experimenting with the design patterns we're studying. I do recognize the value of working with an existing codebase, and adapting it to suit my current needs. However, I wonder if there's some way to mitigate the pain.
8.   No suggestions. This course is fine as is.
9.   announce the final project early and possibly work in partners.
11.   Weight the homeworks higher to increase motivation level.
12.   Reliance on whiteboard during lectures, while understandable, makes it more difficult for me as a distance student a) because the COL technology makes it hard to read, and b) I primarily listen to the podcast and follow along with the printed lecture slides. Sometimes I can follow along in my mind with what's being written on the whiteboard, but it's often a challenge.

Comment on the grading procedures and exams

1.   very fair
2.   Fair and on target
3.   Very fair.
4.   These were extremely fair.
5.   The grading was timely and the assessments were an effective guage of my knowledge.
6.   Grading is not bad, I still have had a hard time getting my exam back though as I am a DL student.
7.   very fair and appropriate. I liked the fact that the midterm used the same code for most of the questions. That was a first for me, and very effective, I thought. I feel like that makes it much easier to focus on the meat of the questions and less on the noise of grokking new code.
8.   Grading was very fair and thorough.
9.   fine
11.   Grading was fair - but, as mentioned above, the work itself was not sufficiently motivating.
12.   I philosophically disagree with the idea of testing with paper & pen when it comes to code. I think the project and homeworks are sufficient to test achievement in code and tests are overkill, or should be changed to be conceptual - maybe give a description of a problem and then ask for how to solve the problem (which patterns used, how they interact, and why the approach was taken). Or conceptual refactoring of an existing design.

Other comments?

1.   na
2.   none
3.   Great teacher.
5.   I have taught Object-Oriented Programming courses before. Were this class not required, I would not have taken it. That being said, I think Prof. Riely did a wonderful job. I have given this course some lower marks, which should not be a reflection on Prof. Riely, per se. I think that I have an abnormally large amount of knowledge about this subject. Should there be a way to test out of these required courses?
6.   Fun class! Great work.
8.   I would definitely take other courses by Dr. Riley if they are as well put together as taught in much the same manner as this one. Excellent job and one of the best learning experiences I've had at any institution.
9.   Professor needs to eat a bag of potato chips. :) Great class, learned a lot. I feel more comfortable with programming than I did before
10.   I attempted this class previously and had to drop because of it difficultly. I think the designed classed fit perfectly with what I needed. Last time I didn't heed your first lecture warning and I paid for it, literately. This time I did the same and again made the mistake of not listening. I took your course along with another difficult class and now I have undue stress. I did need the extra time to fully understand the concept but instead I just lost a lot sleep. Ultimately, I never thought I would able to do the final project but it actually was quite fun. I am, however, glad that it is almost over.
12.   I spent by far more time on homework/project/studying for this class than any other class to date. While I'll take a lot away from this class, it just seemed way too much work for a single class.I'd prefer to see this class taught in C#. Java feels like an old language compared to a successor language like C#. And setting up the Java environment on my dev machine was a PITA (hopefully it's the last time I'll ever have to set a CLASSPATH).