Feedback on Your Feedback

Written on 07.12.2022 21:01 by Sven Rahmann

Dear all,

we have received quite some feedback from some of you, which can be (very briefly) summarized as follows.

  1. You like the general idea of this lecture series, i.e. being introduced to a variety of topics.
  2. Most of the lectures so far are to specialized, to deep, and/or require knowledge that you do not have yet.
  3. Given 2., the quizzes are (much) too hard; the questions sometimes tricky or vague
  4. There is a high level of anxiety that you may not pass

Please let me explain first how it should actually work and have worked.

  1. Indeed, the intention of the series is to give an overview of the possibilities that exist at Saarland Informatics Campus.
  2. Each lecture should present a topic in breadth, not in depth, and be accessible without prior knowledge (except general Abitur or equivalent).
  3. The quizzes should be easy. In fact, if you pay attention, it should be easy to get 100%. We want you to listen to the lectures, get an overview of our research topics, not over-analyze each single question. There should be no trick questions.
  4. The quizzes are there because we have to have a certain kind of "exam". We want to verify that you listen and get the "take-home messages". We also want you to think a little bit about the contents. Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to read and grade 300+ summaries of each lecture. Therefore, we decided on a system that grades more or less automatically. We want everyone who takes it seriously to pass this lecture series without investing a lot of time.

To explain this a bit further in view of the CP system: Every CP should translate roughly to 30 hours of work. In this case, you have to listen to a 2h lecture every week (actually, 90 min or less, but this counts as 2h); so this is already 1 CP just for "viewing". The second CP is for whatever else you have to do: watch the video (or parts) a second time, review the slides, think about it, look up some information on the web, do the quiz.

And to be honest, if there is one lecture that is too specialized, we are not worried. This is why we don't demand 90% but "only" 60% (again, it should be relatively easy to get close to 100%). However, in this semester, it seems that most of the lectures so far didn't reach the overall goal that we have for this series.

So what have we done? We have just reminded everyone (all PIs at Saarland Informatics Campus) about the idea of this series. In particular, we have asked everyone to give basic lectures and ask simple quiz questions focusing on the major take-home messages. Please continue to give feedback so we can see if the situation improves. If necessary, we will dynamically adjust the scoring of the previous lectures (after doing some more statistical analysis). In the meantime, we would like to ask you to focus on the contents of the lectures, not on the mechanics of the quizzes.

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