Evaluation Comments

Term: Spring 2019-2020
Course: CSC 300 610
Course Name: Data Structures I

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Summary View

What are the major strengths and weaknesses of the instructor?

  • Very good at leading students in the right direction, and allowing them to come to the answer on their own.
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  • A strength was knowing the things he was teaching but a weakness I think was teaching it in an effective way.
  • This term professor Riely made a lot of strides in creating actual material that could be used for asynchornous online instruction.
  • The effort put into his videos is very apparent - they are phenomenal as well as entertaining which really helps keep technical subjects interesting. He is funny, relatable, incredibly knowledgeable and good at explaining things in a way that is easily digestible. I honestly have nothing bad to say.

What aspects of this course were most beneficial to you?

  • Professor Riely was very helpful when it came to homework. He didn't tell me what to do, but led me in the right direction and helped me if I had a bug that I wasn't seeing. I thought that was very important to really understanding the homework and class as a whole. He did a good job.
  • The lecture videos posted each week and the organized website the professor created showing what topics we were to learn for the course. As well as the various coding examples he had on his website and the videos on what to do for each homework.
  • I really enjoyed the SI sessions and when we went over homework in the zoom classes
  • Better understanding of O notation
  • The professor's videos are incredible. Having constant access to go back and hear him phrase things in particular ways as you work through problems has been a tremendous help. The discord server was also very helpful in these weird times and helped keep class engagement up despite quarantine. The in class zoom sessions going over work and debugging each other's code was really fun and interesting.

What suggestions do you have that could help improve the course?

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  • Something I disliked was the zoom classes we had to attend. I would have much rather preferred instead of talking about certain problems that we were taught in the zoom lectures rather than the YouTube videos because we could get direct feedback and ask any questions that may come up right away.
  • Course needs an asynchronous section for online.
  • Maybe if there's a discord in future, be a little stricter on students nicknames. For example, a student changed their name to bigDaddy(); and I find that extremely inappropriate and honestly creepy. I just wasn't sure how to approach it so ended up ignoring it.
  • A larger focus on addressing new concepts and topics during live zoom sessions with the class for a more holistic understanding.

Do you have comments on the grading procedures and exams?

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  • The exams were a bit too difficult in my opinion especially given the circumstances of the online class and again not feeling like he was the best at getting the lesson across to the students.
  • I was a little sad that an off by 1 error lost me 10% on a difficult homework but it's not a huge deal. Proctored exams in this pandemic with browser lockdown and a webcam trained on you can be.. exceptionally distracting at best and anxiety inducing at worst which I find makes exam stress much worse but I understand these are strange times and we do not have the luxury to sit these in person.

Other comments?

  • Can't wait for Data Structures II.
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  • I am going to look for all of Professor Riely's other classes - he is one of the best professors I've ever had, which has been a blessing with how complicated I've found this course in comparison to the ones that came before it.