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Questionnaire #2

  1. What are aspects of the course so far that are positive and need to be sustained?

    The papers are definitely a good part of this course and I think we should continue reading papers at the rate we are doing right now. The short homework are also good because they are not heavy burden homeworks and require us to summarize our understanding of the paper.

  2. What do you think about the following parts of the course?

    • Lecture sessions-It is helpful to go over some of the questions that we have after reading the paper at home. Sometimes the powerpoint presentation gets to be repetitive of the material in the paper. It would be nice to (under the assumption that we have read the paper) only present some quotes/ideas from other papers or projects that share similar ideas as the paper we read for that class.

    • Guest Lectures-It was nice to have Eric, Jonathan and Yunwen come-in and talk to us about projects that are currently going on in the L3D lab. Somehow I get this feeling that the class emphasises a lot on the work done in the L3D and we do not really get to see projects being done in other labs. If not for guest lecturers, maybe we could atleast examine one/two outside projects in class.

    • "Practical sessions" (EDC, PitaBoard, Role Playing)-These are definitely a LOT of fun. It helps in putting the paper into context and I think by sharing and exchanging our views with some of the people who work with the system we contribute to its development too.

    • Small assignments-As said above, these are nice since they ask us to summarize our understanding of the paper without being too taxing on time and effort (other than reading and understanding the paper).

    • Efforts of getting course participants involved in the course-I do not think there is any way in which the students in this class can "swing" the material and the homeworks. By expecting all of us to put up our homeworks by a certain time, there is some discipline in ensuring everyone participates. However, what happens if someone misses a homework or two? How does that affect grading?

    • Use of technologies (e.g., Swiki, the WWW in general) in the course-Swiki is GREAT! Besides removing irritating problems like format mismatches (in Word documents, etc), it also helps keep the class and the homeworks in order. It is a really good collaborative tool. By using it in class we can learn how using such a tool really helps in the learning process. I would not be as interested in "someone else" using a tool and telling me about it as I myself using the tool and evaluating its pros and cons.

    • Peer-to-peer learning (e.g., to which extent did it happen in your case)-I guess by sharing our experiences in class about the different technologies we have used in other classes or at work, the learning is enhanced greatly. Sometimes I tend not to take the instructor's word as infallible but hearing about real-world experiences helps me put things in perspective.

    • Independent research activities-This is a really good idea to let us go out and explore issues that really interest us. A nice way of encouraging "children-run" activities alongside the other models of instruction.

    • Course projects-Honestly, I have not done too much in this regard other than reading papers so I do not know how much progress I have made as yet. I continue in the hope that once I have read up most of the material, I will be able to contribute some of my own ideas in the topic and present a good understanding of what I intended to do at the start of the project.
  3. How would you improve the course?

    I would probably put some more non-L3D related projects to study in class. Also probably not go over all the details of the paper in class other than stuff that we have concerns about (which can be seen from our short homeworks).

  4. Self-assessment – please let us know how well YOU think you have done in the course.

    I think I am doing quite well in this class. I have not been beating my head on the wall for this class because the material is not that hard to grasp. The papers are pretty well written and I do not have to drive myself crazy trying to understand the new concepts. I am enjoying the class since it does not pose a big burden and I do not feel "forced" to learn things.

    In general, I am not very comfortable with skipping class so I have not missed any as yet. Since the class size is so small, I do not find it that hard to voice my opinions and to let myself hear other people's opinions too.

    I believe our group has been working pretty hard on the Independent Research Project and I am satisfied with our progress. I am excited about getting our project underway with real-time information from "real world" examples. The Group Research Project is not progressing as fast as the IRP since the time constraints are not that tight. I am more excited about the independent project than I am about the group project.

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