The University of Western Australia
CITS2002 Systems Programming

Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering

CITS2002 Systems Programming

CITS2002 Systems Programming - end-of-Week-3 survey (2019)

Thanks to the 68 students (about 18%) who participated in this quick survey at the end of Week-3 in 2019. From the Likert-scale responses and the 29 comments, below, most students appear to be fairly happy and are keeping up with the material.

There's a few recurring comments stating that the relationship between the lecture material and the laboratory exercises is unclear. (The non-chili questions of) the first 2 Labsheets have been asking you to learn how to compile and run simple C programs (without an IDE), and complete simple programs to develop your understanding of variables, basic datatypes, control flow, and functions in C99 programs. If necessary, you could first attempt the problems, or just 'think' about them, in either Java or Python. They're asking you to draw on your (assumed) programming knowledge. They're not intended to introduce particularly difficult programming concepts; just how to do familiar things, but now in C.

If you're having similar concerns, then it's your responsibility ask someone about it (we don't know that you're having difficulties). Don't sit on a problem just waiting for a solution to magically appear. Ask the people there in the laboratories for help. Ask other students how they're going, what they're having trouble with. Similarly, a few comments are requesting more help, or more guidance, but we need to know what you're having difficulties with.

    Any general comments you wish to make on CITS2002 so far?

  • I realise it was previously mentioned that a first year unit should be done before attempting this unit (I'm simultaneously doing this and CITS1001, the way this unit is teaching is far better than the way CITS1001) , but it would be greatly appreciated if you could do some sort of sub/prior questions leading into workshop questions for those who are still fairly new to programming. I have taught myself probably half the unit of CITS1001 prior to it starting, but find myself getting somewhat lost in solving some of the last weeks workshop questions (ie questions 3+). It's an interesting unit so far though :).
  • Love how passionate the lab facilitarors are as well as the lecturer for the unit. This what makes the unit very enjoyable to learn.
  • I just wanna the project not to be too difficult because even I try my best to understand what the teacher said in the lecture and what the teacher taught on the workshops and labs, I still need more time to be familiar with C program. I failed in the cits1001 unit and I am afraid of failing again. So please don't make the project too tough!
    The best advice is that you should undertake the project with a partner. You will find it difficult working alone.
  • workshops are not that helpful / too fast
  • There's too big of a leap from labsheet 1 to labsheet 2.
  • The unit is being run fairly well so far.
  • It's very confusing about what are we learning and what should we do.
  • Lab tutors are good and helpful but sometimes they dont seem familiar with specifics of the labsheet.
  • Chris is clearly passionate about Computer Science which translates into keeping the unit interesting. The extra material is great. I personally feel negative feedback given in previous years may have been a result of the subject being diffucult rather then anything to do with how it was taught. Keep teaching the way you do Chris!
  • Have no clue how the lectures relate to the lab
  • Lectures aren't contributing to my understanding in the labs
  • Labs are too difficult considering there is no context taught in the lectures
  • I like the simplicity of the labs and building on a certain question to show further complexity and understanding.
  • I only have one language experience so I struggle with the lab work which then then makes me fall behind on preparing prior to the workshop.
  • Appreciate Chris's effort in making sure students are keeping up with the materials. The lecture pace is reasonable but maybe I am slow learner so I need more time to complete all lab questions. I do attend multiple labs and attempt questions on my own before asking for help. Often times I spend a lot of time trying on my own that I ran out of time to ask for help.
  • I am concern I might not be able to be on top of the labs and continually struggle to keep up so I am considering dropping the unit (ideally I would like to keep this unit given this is my core unit).
  • I'm mostly worried about the concepts of pointers and how to use them in our projects.
    By design, no need for pointers until the 2nd project.
  • CITS2002 seems difficult. if i will do then i think i will be able to learn this unit well
  • Chris is a very engaging lecturer, and he holds my attention well. However, I would like more indications as to what is examinable and what isn't I am enjoying the lab exercises So thanks
    Everything is examinable, except for my (off-topic?) discussions about the historic reasons why some things are just the way they are.
  • More guidance is needed.
  • not yet
  • please show more pratical work on leacture
    An example of what's required, please. Given the time available for class-sessions, we can't really conflate the role of lectures and laboratory sessions (though we're doing so for 1 bigger question, each Workshop).
  • I really enjoy the lectures, I think a lot of the information is presented in a sort of trivia style (rather than factual?) that makes it engaging.
    I'm hoping that you don't mean trivial, maybe just more casually that you're used to? But it is factual.
  • This is my first semester of programming, I am the low-lever beginner at the moment and is far left behind... I can't expect other students to wait for me, I have to count on myself and keep catching up with others. Chris and Ryan are very nice tutors. I have no complaints with the unit. Just quite a lot of work I have to deal with on my own.
  • Not having a common textbook to use is quite a dilemma for sourcing unit specific contents
  • The programming lectures have been fine but the operating system lectures have been a bit fast and the lecturer tends to get off-topic. Although it might be an interesting story/anecdote that time could be used to further discuss the core content.
  • I feel that the lectures do not help with the labs. Learning C in our own time needs to be much more strongly emphasised before the lab sessions. It is not difficult to learn but time consuming, especially with other units so needs to be emphasised much earlier.
    Keep in mind that the lab sessions are simply times at which there's someone there to help you; you have a 'whole week' to complete the questions on the Labsheets.
  • The lecturer is doing a good job, I like him - a lot of the challenges come with actually coding using the C language which I would like more help with
  • Pretty hard

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