Reflections on the lab

([[[[2005.11.23#2]]]] [[[[teaching#5]]]] [[[[TeachingReflections#23]]]])

I discussed the grading scheme for the Decision Support Systems class
today. One of the good things about being a teaching assistant is that
you get to see work by lots of students, turning up a lot of good
ideas in the process. <grin> I showed off a project that got
perfect marks from me because it was well-thought-out and creative.
All students worked on a Microsoft Excel decision support system for
investments. (Yes, I spent a small chunk of my life showing how to
make Microsoft Excel do strange things.) I particularly liked that
project because the group made an effort to adapt the interface to the
personality of the user, and they also coded a simulation that
randomized the ups and downs of each investment according to its
volatility. That was cool. =) Nice graphs, nice user interface.

As for project 2: I’m a little concerned about the spread of the
class. Some of the students have finished their project already. They
either leave the class after my explanations or continue working on
their other projects. Others are just now asking me about little
details I thought I pointed out a number of times in the past few
weeks. Hmmm. I wonder if this has anything to do with attendance or
seating arrangements, or the fact that I taught a slightly different
mix of things in a slightly different way each time I went over the
basics (thrice!). The students who experimented a bit on their own
seemed to do very well, but then students like that almost always do.