Evaluation Comments
Course:Web Applications

Quarter:Autumn 16/17
Time: ::: - :::
Location: Distance Learning
James Riely PhD

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What are the major strengths and weaknesses of the instructor?

2.   The instructor clearly did not do his homework before class and this happened quite often. It was very distracting to wait for him to figure out stuff during class.
3.   strength: Enthusiasm; ability to dive deeper into an issue and bring clarity
4.   Instructor was incredibly quick at replying to e-mails about class
5.   Professor Riely is a very effective instructor and is the first to challenge me learn the material through homework then provide a lecture on the material afterwards. This approach was used for roughly half the class and really helped me to learn the material thoroughly. It was difficult and stressful, but effective. This was a new course, Web Apps, so it can be expected that not all lectures will be smooth and polished, and not all were.
6.   Stengths: real enthusiasm for the material. I've often been surprised how many professors seem annoyed to be in the classroom teaching presumably something they are very interested in. But Prof Riely's love for the subject matter shone through and enhanced class significantly. Also, he really knows his stuff.Weaknesses: the class was kind of chaotic at times. The live coding stuff too often ended up going down tangential rabbit holes. It was the first time the class was ever taught, so there's obviously going to be some growing pains. But I think having a better handle on exactly what and how he was going to cover for each lecture would have helped. Also, while for a class like this it makes complete sense to have a final project be the bulk of one's grade, I personally would have rather ditched the 2 weeks of student presentations in favor of 2 more lectures from the professor. There's more to learn and I'd rather hear from him than students, to be perfectly blunt.
7.   His attitude was I want you to take something valuable away from this course. It wasn't about grades or meeting critical deadlines ... it was about learning.

What aspects of this course were most beneficial to you?

1.   All the subjects
2.   Learning about the hottest and coolest Angular 2 stuff was nice, though some prior background and a more gentler introduction would have benefited more people.
3.   Working with the technology presented - it was up-to-date and very pertinent to the outside world; diving into the tech via the homeworks; liked the way each homework was geared toward the section discussed and helped build the final application (at least tech wise). Choosing Angular 2 was a great choice.
5.   The lecture material and text book were fantastic. The profs lecture examples were very helpful. Prof really encourage students to use the class forum on google groups and this was very valuable. Questions were answered quickly by either other students or the professor.
6.   Using a cutting edge tool and learning modern, best practices. I've had some classes at DePaul that literally use 15 year old technology that has become long outdated. It was refreshing to learn something relevant and directly applicable in the current marketplace. Also, I liked the emphasis on a project and having the homeworks contribute important steps toward the project. I thought that worked really well.
7.   this is newer technology, it is platform independent, and the instructor demonstrated how to use the tools
8.   homework

What do you suggest to improve this course?

2.   This course should be preceded by a Javascript heavy prerequisite class. Introducing a high-level framework such as Angular 2 on top of no Javascript background is very difficult and can be confusing to undergrads.
3.   A little more structure; more (due to newness of tech) examples; a section on the testing framework would have been good; perhaps a little less on the "graphing" tech; a little less "live coding" :)
4.   Better definition of homework assignments, putting homework information online to read instead of having to watch class for it, faster grading
5.   Nothing major, just continue to refine the lectures.
6.   Tighten up some of the lectures and avoid too many live coding rabbit holes. I thought the course was good, let alone for it being the 1st time ever taught. With some tinkering, it could be great.
7.   It will improve on its own, as it is a newly taught course
8.   This needs to be more organized

Comment on the grading procedures and exams

2.   It is great that this was designed as a project course. I liked the instructors lenient attitude towards grading this class.
3.   exams N/A; other grading seemed fine
4.   Homework was graded very slow
6.   No exams made sense for this material. I thought the number and content of the HWs was good and I loved how they all built toward the final project, which made sense as being the cornerstone of one's grade. My only comment would be trying to get the HWs back sooner if possible.
7.   it wasn't about grades, it was about learning.

Other comments?

2.   Thanks for the class but I am confident that it could have been better organized and delivered.
3.   Very enjoyable class and the instructor poured his enthusiasm into the class and it worked.
5.   Thanks Professor Riely, the course has been very valuable and your passion in teaching really stands out. I hope to take another one of your courses in the future.
6.   Really enjoy your enthusiasm for the material. It's always a pleasure to watch someone do something they love.
7.   I was able to meet with the instructor on several occasions and he made himself available.