So you're teaching a course

This is a mock-up - with embedded discussion - of a web page that should include links to all the computing-related information someone may need when they teach an Informatics course. Please feel free to add/change/annotate.

Before the course starts

- There will be a call for information about required software. This is important; can't rely on getting things installed at short notice, necessarily.

- Where there's a choice of software, bear in mind that it helps if students can use software both in the DICE labs and on their own machines, so favour things that are cross-platform, or allow students to choose between various options

- Honours students are generally pretty confident finding their way round new software but first years aren't, so use common sense...

- Coursework needs to be available before the start of the course, including any software etc. required to run it

- It's not uncommon for individual students to have agreed reasonable adjustments that involve lecture slides and required reading being available a set amount of time before they're used. Best to have everything ready before the course starts if possible.

Preparing materials for the course

- can use DICE or own equipment

- using software not available on DICE, e.g. Keynote on a Mac, is not prohibited, but it does have the disadvantage that the next lecturer might not be able to update your material, so please consider using something available here. For slides, Beamer under LaTeX probably the most popular. LibreOffice also has PowerPoint -lookalike.

- must check in, with sources, to some CMS at Informatics (must? what is IPR situation exactly? University owns things done in course of employment here. But some lecturers come with their own stuff, which university can't then appropriate, so need to be careful...)

- few courses use Learn but some do. More information...

- Virtual classroom is available

Giving lectures

- you'll be asked about requirements. One projector is standard, most big lecture theatres have two.

- can take own laptop (but be aware that some don't work with lecture recording facilities, so then slides may not get recorded)

- or use PCs available in many lecture rooms. Log in with EASE password (technically it's not EASE but is synchronised with it, right?). Not incredibly reliable, getting help in real time (from university IS staff, not from Informatics staff, who have no control over these PCs) can be hard.

Maintaining web page

- Can check HTML into teaching CVS...

- ...checkin mechanism does draconian validation which will, e.g., choke on many URLs that you might want to include as links. tinyurl is your friend.

- Or can use a CMS (which do we want to offer/encourage - mechanism?)

- Students will expect to find an up to date web page and will rely on what they find there

- The university provides a bulletin board you may want to try to use, but it's hard to get enough students to read things there

- Some courses have used blogs, Facebook groups, twitter etc. with varying success. Can't require students to sign up with FB, for example, only invite.

Responding to student email

- important, within a couple of days; use autoreply if away and redirect students if possible

- many students will email from non University addresses. If you need to find the student's UUN this is pretty easy in Euclid (there may be a better way...) which you can access from MyEd under Teaching.

- some people say shouldn't send replies containing official information to a non-university student address; most people don't worry about this, some always copy to student's SMS address (which they are technically required to read).

Coursework submissions

- These can be done by paper to the ITO, but increasingly are done electronically via our submit system (instructions for students, instructions for lecturers to get things set up correctly, instructions for retrieving the submissions)

- Email marks to the ITO (using ito@... or the online form). They will rekey them whatever you do so format unimportant. They like marks in student uun order.

Setting exams

Current position: do not put unsat exam material where it might, if something were misconfigured, become accessible to students. This includes the DICE systems. We have had a problem where a student found an unsat paper in a staff member's world readable directory... Most people prepare exams on own machines at home and are supposed to disconnect themselves from the internet to do it, then take a USB stick to the ITO. Currently under review.

Programming exams

-- PerditaStevens - 24 Jun 2013

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Topic revision: r1 - 24 Jun 2013 - 12:51:24 - PerditaStevens
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