Evaluation Comments
Course:User Interface Architecture and Development

Quarter:Spring 10/11
Time: TuTh 11:50 - 13:20
Location: Loop Campus
James Riely PhD

Associate Professor
Instructor homepage

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Summary     1       2       3       4       5       

What are the major strengths and weaknesses of the instructor?

1.   Riely is one of the best teachers here.
3.   enthusiastic professor, made the class go faster.
4.   Friendly, approachable, and constructive. Do not let him leave DePaul.
5.   The instructor explained the material clearly. He could have posted grades more quickly.

What aspects of this course were most beneficial to you?

3.   UI aspects as far as java goes.
4.   Learning about user interfaces - what makes good ones and what makes bad ones was incredibly beneficial. It made me realize how sort of sad my final project looked with respect to the great user interfaces out there.
5.   The final project. It made me do my own research.

What do you suggest to improve this course?

2.   I feel that this course needs to be more structured. The class should concentrate on either building apps in Netbeans or JQuery, not both. Also, the teacher needs to do more API lecturing if he chooses Netbeans.
3.   Would like to see more project based course, more SE 350 format where one long project through out the quarter (same project for the entire class); but project is grades more on UI rather than implementation.
4.   I liked the open ended final project. I thought that was great. I grew pretty attached to my application towards the end even though it wasn't completely finished. I think to improve the course we should focus on possibly patterns or techniques to manage the complexity of GUI apps. Pretty much everyone's final was radically different looking than the next persons, and I think this is mostly because of the gui editor - or possibly not knowing much about the framework. I had about 1000 lines of code generated by netbeans - and stuff was all over the place in my main AppWindow class. I just wasn't sure where to put things. That might all be on me though. I think I had a hard time with separating application logic and UI code because the GUI editor almost encourages you to mesh things together. It would also be great to see possible solutions to homeworks. I struggled a lot with homework three where we had to make a JTree, and a JTable work together, and a nice solution to look at after the due date would have been educational for me personally. I left the class aware of ALL the problems in my final project's UI - which I think was in line with the course goals. With my inexperience in my chosen GUI framework(swing) I wasn't sure how to fix all of them without considerable time spent reading the API docs/tutorials. I spent a LOT of time outside of class studying sometimes weird examples on the oracle site and being generally confused about some things in swing. Other than that A+
5.   Create a more clear guideline for the final project.

Comment on the grading procedures and exams

3.   n/a
4.   no tests, just projects. This is the way it should be in a programming-centric class.
5.   Grading was fair.

Other comments?

3.   n/a
4.   I enjoyed doing the final project, though with the assignment I chose I focused more on what happened behind the scenes than creating an amazing user interface. It took me a long time to really get a hang of swing, and I still feel not completely confident using it - but at a minimum I am much more comfortable with it than I was. The GUI builder in netbeans was a great help. JQuery is incredibly hard to read if you have never dabbled in javascript, so some of the demos were sort of tough to follow - but accessible intuitively.