• Addressing Feedback + Feedback call + Thanks for the term

    Posted by Hayden 🎉 Sunday 19 December 2021, 05:35:15 PM.

    Want to share more of your thoughts on COMP6080? Join an unofficial feedback conversation tomorrow (Monday 20th December) from 5:00pm-5:30pm to share some of your thoughts on COMP6080 if you wanted to elaborate more. You can join the call here .

    Hi everyone,

    This will be the last notice for COMP6080 in 21T3! Results were released during the middle of last week, and overall you did very well! More than 50% of students scored a distinction or high distinction in the course which I think speaks to the general quality of your knowledge and work ethic.

    Some of you might know that this was only the third time that COMP6080 has ever run. The course was created only 16 months ago, so it's still a very young course. Since it's inception there have been things that we've wanted to change. Some we changed very quickly, and other things we wanted to leave alone and wait a couple more terms just to ensure we weren't being too reactive. The end of this third offering is the first time since it's inception that I'll be heavily investing into some changes - and your feedback is instrumental in that. So I just want to say thank you again :)

    In terms of your feedback from MyExperience , I've collated it all and want to address 95% of it so that you're in the loop with how these things are received and what next steps we may take. Feedback is paraphrased.

    Things I'm committed to fixing

    • "More resources for testing":
      • Yes, I agree, we need to resource testing better - in particular UI testing
    • "More resources for accessibility":
      • I think accessibility is resourced OK enough, but I think providing more direction and structure on how to execute it would be very useful
    • "Big gap between tutorials and assessments"
      • Yeah, I think this is fair. We're going to try and investing into both more tutorial questions and also some more complex ones. Hard to give specifics but tutorials and exercises will be an investment for next year.
    • "[insert problem with] Canva lectures"
      • We've had this feedback for a while, but I wanted to camp on it to take the time to learn more and reflect.
      • It's not anyone's fault, it's just an inherently difficult problem to solve to have an external party teach core content in a dynamic course.
      • It's clear to me that whilst having guest lectures from industry is absolutely awesome, the thesis that has broken down is the idea that they can be used substantively as part of the core teaching narrative. When the course was started the intention was for industry to do 75% of the core lectures but I toned that back to 50% out of fear it was too much. It's clear now that 50% is probably also too much.
      • One of the main things I'm looking to invest in over the summer is trying to keep the same amount of industry lectures but treat them as "extra" stuff on the side of having more of the core content in house (by me). This isn't because I think I'm great at it, but it's becoming clearer that whoever runs the course (which is me currently) should have a firmer control over that narrative.

    Things I'm comfortable addressing, but are more complex so we need to get into details

    These are points that I think require some more unpacking and would love to discuss more with any students. This is the kind of thing you can join a call for tomorrow if you'd like to discuss more too! Your personal experiences always help inform the right direction.

    • "Assignments are too demanding"
      • This one is also complicated to unpack. A course can't be too demanding in a vacuum, but it can be broadened to say "too demanding to pass" or "too demanding to get an HD" etc. Now that your marks are back, especially given the number of high marks, it would be great to maybe hear from some of you again to see if that helped alleviate issues or if there are still lingering concerns.
      • I also won't get into it too much as part of this is likely to be "symptomatic". What I mean by that is if there are particularly aspects of assignments that are annoying, or that there is limited resources, or that lectures are confusing, it's going to inherently make assessments harder as a downstream problem. However, let's still address it!
      • There are two important things about COMP6080 that need to be taken into account:
        • It is a level 6 course, and generally a challenging one at that
        • The assignments are worth 75%, which is quite a lot for term assessments.. My philosophy has been to keep the exam small, because it feels a bit mean to judge you harsher over a 3 hour window just to make some assignments less work (where you have time and flexibility)
      • What I'd love to hone in on is anyone's personal experiences about what specifically they found too demanding. Where were the sink holes of time? A lot of answers may fall into the next feedback item below, too. So please join the call tomorrow or reach out via email to share any thoughts and get into detail with me if you're interested!
      • Regardless of what people share, we'll be looking at this both qualitatively and quantitatively to make sure the course is reasonable and also that it's clearer in the course outline what the expectations are for students going in.
    • "Ass1 / Ass2 are too tedious"
      • Where frontend differs from most of the programming you'll do elsewhere is that frontend is often a bit of a "breadth" topic. It requires you to tackle a broad array of relatively simple pieces of work and make them fit together. You're nearly never going to be solving deep algorithmic or intellectually challenging isolated problems, but rather playing this game of trying to fit cogs together the right way. This is compounded by the fact that frontend is also heavily focused on a lot of little pieces of precision, which when stacked up can feel tedious.
      • So what I would say is that when students give feedback about things tedious, your experiences are usually broken up into two categories of a varying amount:
        • 1) That feeling of tediousness is actually just some of the challenges inherent to the problems you're solving and skills you're acquiring
        • 2) That feeling of tediousness comes from unnecessary tedium in assessments that can be improved
      • Because of this, I'd like to hear from anyone (who cares enough) specifically what things felt tedious. What part of the assignments? What specific criteria? There is genuine improvement I can make on these things but it just helps to learn more specifics from people's experiences.
      • Regardless of what people share, we'll as always review the assessment to look at any areas we feel may be redundant in terms of learning outcomes.

    Things I am curious to learn more about

    These are things that students have said that I don't fully understand. Because feedback is anonymous it's hard to know what to do without learning more. Feel free to email me anytime. Some of these are slightly paraphrased.

    • "More clear requirements in the assignment before hand it out"
    • "Ass1 marking was unclear"
    • "Tutor said not to care about marks in assignment one"

    Things that we probably won't do anything with at this time

    • "Teach or allow VueJS":
      • I understand where you're coming from
      • VueJS is way too much to teach on top of what we already teach
      • We wouldn't teach it in place of React as the policy for 6080 was to teach the most popular framework (thus making it arguably the most useful)
      • We also don't want to allow students to program in it, because assignment 3 and the exam are marked by tutors who are all proficient with one framework but maybe not all others
    • "Teach backend too"
      • I'd love to do this, we just don't have meaningful time for it right now. If that changes in future we'll add it in.
      • Thankfully understanding NodeJS + Backends is very easy to do after the course if you already understand the Javascript language
    • "More help sessions needed"
      • This one is challenging. I'm pretty sure I've managed to score one of the highest volumes of help sessions in a level 6 course in CSE. We're very lucky in 6080 and it would be hard to push that much further, but we all want the same thing which is as much support as possible.

    Hope that was helpful to learn more about! A reminder again you can come say hi and share some more thoughts tomorrow afternoon (5:00pm-5:30pm) via this call .

    Thanks again for the great term. I hope I see many of you around various places over the next years!!


  • Assignment 3 Marks Released

    Posted by Hayden 🎉 Sunday 12 December 2021, 10:18:20 PM.

    Assignment 3

    Your assignment 3 marks have been released. You will be able to view them in the grades section. Your mark comes in a total ass3 (/100) and also shows the breakdown of marks for each milestone along with mobile, ui/ux, code style etc. Any bonus marks are being collected separately and will be integrated into your final mark.

    There will also be comments your tutor has left for respective components of the marks to provide high level comments to explain your mark.

    If you see that there has been any errors in your mark (e.g. extension not taken into account, mark of 0), etc, please email the tutor who marked you no later than 11pm on Tuesday the 14th of December. We will be unable to process any reviews after that date!


    Your exam mark won't be released on Webcms3, but you can calculate it easily once you get your final mark (later this week) by finding the difference with your assignment marks. Exam marks were scaled up, particularly at the lower end!

    Thank you

    It's been an incredible term, and I've had such a privilege to get to know a number of you (even if loosely). Thanks for always being such a great bunch of students and making it a great time for all! If you want to stay in touch add me on LinkedIn (especially add me if you're interested in applying for work at the company I run) :)

    Please always look out for each other, the world can be a hard place for many.

    Hoping to see you all around at one point or another in life!


  • Congrats for yesterday!

    Posted by Hayden 🎉 Wednesday 08 December 2021, 09:05:15 AM.

    Hi everyone :)

    Congrats on making it through your exam yesterday. A lot of great work was done.

    We have quite a lot of marking to do at the moment. Your assignment 3 marking + exam marking needs to be wrapped up within the next 5 days, so please wish your tutors luck as they try and get through it all.

    I know there are dozens of students who maybe forgot to push a last commit, or had a tiny bug. For fairness in these exams we have to mark what you submitted. But please take comfort in that there are many many students who made little mistakes. Making mistakes in a time-constrained assessment is largely inevitable. So don't beat yourself up, many are in the same boat.

    I'll hopefully be contacting you on Monday morning with an update about assignment 3! When you do get your marks back, if you feel there has been an error with the mark it's imperative you reach out within 24 hours.

    I hope many of you have finished exams - so enjoy the rest of your week! We'll chat soon. I'll say a big thank you with the last notice but in the meantime just wanted to say thanks for being such an awesome group of students.


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