Course catastrophe

So my course ended on Friday. It didn’t go as I had planned.

Although I had stressed out about the course for six months, only a small amount of that had resulted in useful preparation. Many of the lectures and some exercises were last-night wonders, and … um … let me say, far from perfect. One important lecture I just couldn’t prepare in time – so I skipped it completely, much to the frustration of the students when they later actually needed that stuff.

More importantly, I seriously overestimated the amount of things I can teach in thirteen days. I had to do a major rescoping after the first few days, cutting to about half of the original goals.

And the feedback from the students? Almost entirely positive.

Feedback average 4.4. (very good = 5, very bad = 1)

Kathy Sierra was right: what the students do is important – what the teacher does is not.

In this case, the students spent most of the course working on customer-oriented projects. Aside from technology (Ruby on Rails), process framework (very lightly enforced Scrum), customer requirements (user stories they could prioritize with the customer), and the working environment (classroom TC217) the students had the power to choose their manner of working. They had the power to make choices, the power to make their own mistakes and the power to learn from them.

And they loved it.

Thank-you’s

Thanks to prof. Carsten Bormann (from University of Bremen) who gave the idea for this course, helped a lot in the preparation and gave a wonderful guest lecture on Ajax. Thanks to everyone whose material I used on the course. Thanks to the professors of the Deparment of Software Systems at TUT, who gave me the chance to teach this course, and to my boss at Atostek, who let me have the days off to do this. Thanks to the people of Tampere.rb for their help and support. Thanks to the customers for their time and effort.

Most importantly, thanks to all the students. It is you who made this course a success.

One thought on “Course catastrophe

  1. Antti Tarvainen says:

    I will have more time from now on, so I plan to start writing longer posts again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s