Evaluation Comments
Course:Object-Oriented Software Development

Quarter:Autumn 08/09
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?

3.   The instructor clearly has a solid knowledge of course concepts.
5.   Thought provoking. Interesting to listen to. Felt like I easily related to him.
6.   Be careful to not skip steps. You are very smart, but sometimes it is hard to follow your logic. I like it when you would right important things on the board
7.   Strengths: the course material was interesting, well taught, and timely. The homeworks were well done. The instructor was easy to understand and very knowledgeable. In fact, I enjoyed everything about the class except...Weakness: the project was a monster. It was not that I didn't enjoy having a larger project instead of a bunch of homeworks, however it was just too much. By that I mean, the traffic simulation was just too difficult to get working. I felt that I spent a disproportionate amount of time trying to make the program functional, which left much less time than I would have liked to focus on what the class was all about, which was patterns and good object-oriented design. And it was certainly not like I was "slacking off" and should have spent more time on the thing...I spent over 60 hours total. So to end on a positive note, I think if the there were a way that the professor could have laid out the design of the simulation in a little more detail (i.e., a clearer description of "what" and "how" all the pieces of the model fit together, such as how a car object should move, how traffic lights, intersections, etc. should act), then the implementation of the program might progress more quickly and smoothly, and allow for more focus on the object-oriented implementation of the design.
8.   Strength - VERY enthusiastic & energetic, encouraged discussing on the web board, encouraged questions during class, answered questions promptly.Very thorough knowledge of subject, and a clear interest in getting us enthusiastic about it also.
9.   Terrible terrible hand writing. I can only hope that the new administration passes a law banning this instructor from ever again wielding a white board marker.
10.   Weaknesses• It may help for the less accomplished students for things to be more structured, e.g., more concrete goals for final project check points and making sure everyone is keeping up. That's partly our responsibility, but a little more support for, and monitoring of, progress may be helpful.• Handwriting on white board is almost illegible at times.• Like many profs, points to and talks about things on display screen that DL students can't see.Strengths• Knows the material well.• Set up a discussion group online, and has been very active and helpful in it.• Has engaging personality that makes lectures easier to follow and stay involved in.• Is genuinely interested in and enthusiastic about the subject• Cares whether we're learning
11.   Very engaged with the students. Replies on discussion boards usually within minutes. Presenting some of the patterns seemed a little disorganized. I remember one student making the comment that he didn't realize that this class was a design patterns class until a few weeks into the course.

What aspects of this course were most beneficial to you?

3.   The design pattern concepts were most beneficial.
5.   Clear expectations. Homeworks, projects for the entire quarter were viewable before the quarter started.
6.   This was a very good course. I found it extreamly challenging and very beneficial to understanding better programing techniques.
8.   The patterns! - and having a chance to see examples, and to write my own.The UML - I never worked with this before & can see that it'll be a good design tool.
9.   Good programming / design skills and knowledge.
10.   Immersion in programming through our work and the presented code.
11.   Tons of programming experience. Definitely helped take my programming skills to the next level.

What do you suggest to improve this course?

3.   It would be helpful if there were a C# version of this course for those who are more familiar / used to working with this language as opposed to java.
4.   The homework is challenging but mainly because you do not know what the instructor wants as an answer. I understand that you are suppose to figure out what is expected from the course material but when you are too bussy deciphering the proffesor's code then you really do not pay attention so much to what the homework is trying to teach but just trying to finish the homework. I think that if the material from the course is suppose to be carried on to the homework then there are other more practical ways of doing it through other types of homeworks. I learned good things from this course but not so much from the homework but from one of the books that was recommended as a substitute. I enjoyed the course but don't think that the homework was appropriate as I finished the homework without even learning what was meant to teach me.
6.   When you write on the board, slow down and write clearer, it is very difficult to see the words sometimes. In this class, design wasn't part of this, but in real world development, there would have been more plans. It would be good to use UML that would have come out of a design phase passed out as part of the problem description.
8.   Could use feedback re. UML designs - perhaps submitting UML & discussing what works & what doesn't.
9.   While the final project was interesting, it was not the best vehicle to teach these patterns. I believe that one small to moderate assignment each week that focuses on one or two specific patterns, then build on each other would have a better way to lean this information.
10.   Lots of stuff thrown at us, difficult to assimilate it all (for some). Maybe having more opportunities to do smaller projects to build some ability and comprehension would help. I was so intimidated by the final project, but had it been more systematically broken down, that may have helped. A lot of stuff gets thrown at us in this class, I wonder if it would be better if it were 2 classes. At this point I feel as if there's so much stuff, I can't see the forest for the trees. Even trying to crystallize and articulate my sense of the course at this point is difficult. A textbook that covers everything in the course would help; supplementary reading was in so many different places that there's no continuity. Much of the course material, e.g., what's presented in class, doesn't have adequate written exposition behind it, because so much of that is just what the prof. said while presenting it. Would it be possible to transcribe lectures and add those transcripts to the notes the prof. uses in class and posts online, which now mostly consist of code? I think I'd like more explanatory written material. Even if most doesn't get read, having it available when needed helps.
11.   A little more structure to presenting the material

Comment on the grading procedures and exams

3.   no complaints.
5.   Results returned quite quickly which was appreciated and helpful.
6.   So far, so good.
8.   Would like more points on project, less on exam. Exam adds complications because a) it's handwritten, and b) we're writing code without the chance to let the compiler help with syntax.
11.   Grading was done quickly and fairly

Other comments?

1.   This course has arguably too much work, but Dr. Reily's material discloses expectations and assignments allowing students the opportunity to keep up. Rather than too much for one course, I consider this course higher VALUE than most 4 credit offerings.
2.   White board (hand writing) difficult to read.
5.   Great job, I learned tons and hope to take this instructor again!
7.   I really enjoyed the material of this course, and thought the professor did a fine job of teaching the material as well.
8.   I loved this course!
10.   Make these survey boxes bigger! :)Ask me again about this class in a month or two. I think I've learned something, but my head is still swimming!
11.   One of the most useful classes that I've taken at DePaul. A lot of work, but all well worth it.