February 21, 2004

Bulk view

Upcoming CS161 finals

One of my students wrote about the CS161 finals, and I'm posting a public apology. =)

I heard that the cs161 final exam(juniors) was going to be this
thursday Feb 26. Is it possible to move it to next week(march)?
Also, I think that we have too little time to prepare. Like what
cliff said, it should have been announced two weeks before. I have a
history exam, cs154 exam, philo presentation and a synthesis paper
due next week. It would be a load off my back if you moved it to
march. Thanks! =)

I know, I know. I'm really sorry about the confusion. I didn't attend one of the CS161 teacher meetings and when I asked what had happened, they didn't mention that they'd hold the junior finals at the same time.

It's also my fault that you have too little time to prepare. I should have emphasized the need to read ahead during the sessions I let you study on your own. I did that knowing that it was next to impossible for me to teach a new topic while a test was coming up. I could never concentrate on new topics as a student, and I hoped that as college juniors and seniors you would be able to schedule your own time wisely, using the free time to study and review more effectively than I could help you do in the classroom. As few approached me for consultation, I thought this was the case - and the improved average on the 2nd exam might bear that out.

Still, I also know that many students would have been tempted to not study for the finals if they felt they had another month for it, and again I should have cleared that matter up earlier. I had been planning to use the extra time to review the material more carefully for the CS students, particularly as the equations we'll be taking up on Monday seem to be a favorite on IT exams like the JITSE.

I have most of the CS students in my classes. Personally, I would love to have juniors take the exam in March, not only because you'll have more time to prepare for it but also because then we might be able to test for more than just cursory understanding of the slides. I don't know if the other teachers will agree to this, though, as we will then have to significantly change the test. If we're going to do this, we have to do it for all the CS students, not just those in my classes.

That said, it looks like many people will be exempted...