Present: Paul Anderson, Tim Colles, Neil McGillivray , Michael Rovatsos, Dave Robertson, Alastair Scobie, Perdita Stevens

Minutes and matters arising

We agreed the previous minutes.

Tim had talked to current GridEngine users and concluded that the right thing is to turn GridEngine off, leaving the machines (also used for Hadoop) on for now. He had still to talk to Stratis re Hadoop options.

Actions carried:

Action: Someone (Perdita by default) to ask Liz how much of the ECDF cost is, in fact, covered by grants.

Action: Perdita to ask Jim to come to our next meeting and, if he wishes, provide a paper, concerning the value and use of ECDF compared with alternatives.

(In both cases the requests have now, 5/8/13, been sent, but so recently that replies are still awaited. ETA Liz responds about half, mostly from DTC; Jim responds, will discuss.)

Time and date of next meeting

August 6th, 3pm-5pm

Action: Perdita to book room and announce (DONE)

Start of semester issues: getting student accounts available promptly. Will shared academic timetabling make this easier or harder? Update on SAT impact more generally.

Shared academic timetabling: is not really likely to make very much difference to this specific issue. We discussed the current state of that project. (Ongoing concern, shared to some extent by other schools. Project board meeting coming on 31/5. Local workarounds planned. Dependent on feeds (SOAP); have sample data.)

The problem is that IJP, being an entirely practical course, needs students to do labs in week 1 which means they have to have DICE accounts by then. There are various reasons why students might not have such accounts. The main one is:

- The students' home departments, especially Maths, don't register them for courses fast enough so they don't appear on the Euclid record for the course and from there on Theon, so we don't issue them with DICE accounts

- We also have PhD students (from other departments, I assume, or they'd have DICE accounts anyway) auditing the course without being registered for it.

- Sometimes our own students are affected, e.g. if they change into the course late. (Perdita's note: but I don't understand this; if all they need is a DICE account they should have that anyway. Do they need more than that?)

We would like them not to lose practical time early in the semester because of such issues. It is not safely practical to allow anyone who can EASE authenticate to have home directory space; that's too many people. However, it should be possible to get some temporary accounts that demonstrators in lab sessions can know the credentials for and hand out to students in lab sessions very early in term. These would need to be wiped ?after each session? so students would need to remove any work they wanted to preserve e.g. by email or on a USB stick. This is not a solution for the PhD students auditing; they need to continue to be added manually to the course as at present, but if there's a delay doing this, then they could be helped by a temporary account like the other cases.

Action: Paul to ask Alison for such temporary accounts

In the light of factors such as increasing UG numbers, the Appleton Tower decant, etc., what (more) can we do to help students make better use of the software and other infrastructure we provide, given that they may not be sitting in our physical labs? We need to consider students using central IS facilities and those using their own hardware.

Action: Michael and Perdita to talk about what should go on the agenda for the next meeting relating to this, and about whether there are any actions that definitely need taking or considering (e.g. is documentation of existing possibilities optimal)? (Not done; delete, recreate variant at next meeting if necessary)

Also as background:

Action: Perdita to show Michael [where to find] the computing strategy plan, the recent student computing survey, and anything else that occurs to her as relevant. (DONE)

Action: Perdita to make sure we have a solution to how to get Learn front end pages done. The actual doing will probably need to be done by ITO staff. Talk to Paul re how to do this and to Neil about the issue of Learn permissions.(Not done: carry. Later DONE.)

We discussed the fact that it can be difficult to find out what you ought to do and how to do it when you first lecture a course. There should be a " So you're teaching a course" page in the computing documentation. But what should be on it?

Action: Perdita to make a wiki page, and circulate the link to it, so that everyone can add the most useful links for someone teaching a course, and note any information that doesn't seem to be available anywhere. (DONE)

-- PerditaStevens - 25 Apr 2013

Topic revision: r7 - 12 Mar 2014 - 21:31:46 - PerditaStevens
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