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Thanks to all for giving feedback - below is the result of the survey, with only identities censored. My comments are in red.
Survey ID1293
TitleCOMP3231/3891/9201/9283 10s1
DescriptionCourse survey for Operating Systems
AnonymousYes
Fill Ratio71% (61/86)
# Filled61
# Suspended7
# Not Filled18
(required) indicates required field

Please provide us with as much constructive feedback as you can. We do read these surveys and act on the information you provide. Thanks for your input.
1. Quick Evaluation
1. Give a high rating if you have a good opinion of something (e.g. interesting, useful, well-structured, etc.). Give a low rating if you have a bad opinion of something (e.g. too slow, confusing, disorganised, etc.)

Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button

  Excellent
Satisfactory
Poor N/F
Lecturer: Kevin Elphinstone 48 (79%) 10 (16%) (5%) (0%) (0%) 0 (0%)
Lecturer: Leonid Ryzhyk (8%) 15 (25%) 29 (48%) (13%) (3%) 2 (3%)
General OS lectures 22 (36%) 31 (51%) (13%) (0%) (0%) 0 (0%)
Consultations 15 (25%) 15 (25%) 24 (39%) (0%) (0%) 7 (11%)
Your tutor 27 (44%) 20 (33%) 11 (18%) (0%) (0%) 3 (5%)
Tutorials 25 (41%) 26 (43%) (11%) (2%) (0%) 2 (3%)
Asst1: Synchronisation 33 (54%) 18 (30%) (11%) (5%) (0%) 0 (0%)
Asst2: Syscalls 23 (38%) 27 (44%) (10%) (5%) (3%) 0 (0%)
Asst3: Virtual Memory 19 (31%) 24 (39%) 11 (18%) (10%) (2%) 0 (0%)
Textbook 17 (28%) 14 (23%) 26 (43%) (2%) (2%) 2 (3%)
OS/161 In general 14 (23%) 31 (51%) 12 (20%) (5%) (2%) 0 (0%)
C Language 20 (33%) 25 (41%) 10 (16%) (7%) (3%) 0 (0%)
Computing resources 16 (26%) 26 (43%) 14 (23%) (2%) (3%) 2 (3%)
Course web page 23 (38%) 27 (44%) 10 (16%) (2%) (0%) 0 (0%)
Message Board 20 (33%) 24 (39%) 13 (21%) (5%) (2%) 0 (0%)
Wiki 13 (21%) 23 (38%) 17 (28%) (8%) (2%) 2 (3%)
Help with technical questions 21 (34%) 21 (34%) 13 (21%) (3%) (3%) 2 (3%)
Lecture slides 22 (36%) 30 (49%) (10%) (3%) (0%) 1 (2%)
Operating Systems overall 28 (46%) 25 (41%) (10%) (3%) (0%) 0 (0%)
Seems very similar to the good feedback from previous years. Notable items are that the wiki introduction was viewed favourably, but not as favourably as the message boards. I think its content should improve over time to bring its standing on par with other aspects of the course. I personally got a much higher approval rating this year - I suspect this is related to Leonid's satisfactory rating which can be attributed differing levels of experience. I expect to be viewed more harshly as Leonid gains more experience.
2. General
2. Please rate which of the following factors influenced your decision to enrol in this course

Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button

  Major Minor No N/F
Interest in operating systems as a field of study 29 (48%) 27 (44%) (8%) 0 (0%)
Chance to get hands dirty with low-level code 27 (44%) 18 (30%) 16 (26%) 0 (0%)
Jobs propects for OS hackers (11%) 26 (43%) 28 (46%) 0 (0%)
Would llike to do OS research (11%) 24 (39%) 30 (49%) 0 (0%)
Course is core for me 20 (33%) (13%) 33 (54%) 0 (0%)
Friends told me it was good 13 (21%) 20 (33%) 28 (46%) 0 (0%)
Chance to do challenging programming assignments 26 (43%) 23 (38%) 11 (18%) 1 (2%)
3. Any other factor that influenced your decision?

Question type : Short-answer

Answer at the bottom page (25 comments)
4. Would you recommend this course to another student such as yourself?

Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button

Yes 52 (85%) chart
No (13%) chart
N/F 1 (2%)
5. Please provide feedback on the kind of material covered

Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button

  Too much
OK
Too little N/F
High-level OS issues (2%) (15%) 45 (74%) (8%) (0%) 1 (2%)
Low-level (implementation) issues (2%) 14 (23%) 38 (62%) (11%) (0%) 1 (2%)
Unix/Linux (3%) 10 (16%) 33 (54%) 11 (18%) (7%) 1 (2%)
Windows NT (2%) (5%) 33 (54%) 16 (26%) (11%) 1 (2%)
OS/161 Internals (3%) (15%) 38 (62%) 11 (18%) (2%) 0 (0%)
Other Systems (0%) (5%) 39 (64%) 13 (21%) (5%) 3 (5%)
Note that there is less of a desire for more windows coverage than previous years. Wonder if that is anything to do with the rising popularity of Macs?
6. What were the best things about this course?

Question type : Long-answer

Answer at the bottom page (48 comments)
7. What were the worst things about this course?

Question type : Long-answer

Answer at the bottom page (47 comments)
8. How does the workload in this course compare to workloads in other ...

Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button

  Much
Lighter

Similar
Much
Heavier
N/F
COMP courses (0%) (3%) 19 (31%) 26 (43%) 14 (23%) 0 (0%)
INFS courses (7%) (3%) 14 (23%) 10 (16%) 23 (38%) 8 (13%)
Courses in general (2%) (5%) 13 (21%) 17 (28%) 27 (44%) 0 (0%)
9. Did you get the impression that the staff (lecturer, tutors, consultants) tried their best to answer your questions and help you? Please tick N/A if you did not attend lecture, consults, tutes)

Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button

  Strongly
Agree

Neutral
Strongly
Disagree
N/A N/F
Lectures 40 (66%) 14 (23%) (10%) (2%) (0%) (0%) 0 (0%)
Tutorials 35 (57%) 15 (25%) (10%) (2%) (0%) (7%) 0 (0%)
Consultations 17 (28%) (8%) (8%) (2%) (0%) 33 (54%) 0 (0%)
10. How does the quality/value of this course compare to other....

Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button

  Among
the best

Average
Among
the worst
N/F
Year 3 COMP courses 32 (52%) 18 (30%) 10 (16%) (2%) (0%) 0 (0%)
COMP courses in general 33 (54%) 18 (30%) (13%) (2%) (2%) 0 (0%)
Courses in general 31 (51%) 17 (28%) 11 (18%) (3%) (0%) 0 (0%)
11. What background knowledge do you think you were missing that would have helped you in this course? Are the official pre-requisites a suitable preparation?

Question type : Long-answer

Answer at the bottom page (37 comments)
3. Content/Syllabus
12. What topics caused you the most difficulty? You can select more than one item

Question type : Multiple answer -- Check Box

 
System calls (15%)
Processes (10%)
Threads (10%)
Low-level implementations issues 23 (38%)
Synchonisation and concurrency 11 (18%)
Deadlock 10 (16%)
Memory Management and Virtual Memory 33 (54%)
File Systems 27 (44%)
I/O Management 12 (20%)
Scheduling (13%)
Multiprocessor Systems (11%)
Security (10%)
File systems became hard this year compared to previous. I'll have a closer look as to why.
13. Which material do you think you will be most useful to you in the future?

Question type : Short-answer

Answer at the bottom page (48 comments)
14. What material related to operating systems, but not currently in the course, would you like to have seen covered?

Question type : Short-answer

Answer at the bottom page (32 comments)
15. Which of the current topics would you like to see scaled back or excluded?

Question type : Short-answer

Answer at the bottom page (33 comments)
4. Lectures
16. Is the current mode of lecture delivery, using computer-projected slides, effective?

Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button

Yes 59 (97%) chart
No (3%) chart
N/F 0 (0%)
17. Was the subject material (lecture notes, information on the subject web page, textbook, tutorials, manuals, etc.) sufficient to follow the course?

Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button

Always 19 (31%) chart
Most of the time 35 (57%) chart
Sometimes (7%) chart
Rarely (3%) chart
Never (0%) chart
N/F 1 (2%)
18. Did the explanations in the lecture help you to understand the subject material? (please choose N/A if you generally did not attend lectures)

Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button

Always 17 (28%) chart
Most of the time 32 (52%) chart
Sometimes 10 (16%) chart
Rarely (0%) chart
Never (0%) chart
N/A (3%) chart
N/F 0 (0%)
19. If you have not been attending lectures, what factors influenced your decision not to attend?

Question type : Long-answer

Answer at the bottom page (28 comments)
20. Any suggestions for improving lectures?

Question type : Long-answer

Answer at the bottom page (28 comments)
21. If you used other textbooks other than Tannenbaum (e.g. Silberschatz, Stallings), how do you think they compare to each other? Which gives the best explanations, which has the best structure, etc....

Question type : Short-answer

Answer at the bottom page (14 comments)
5. Tutorials
22. The aim of the tutorials is to help you understand the subject material better. Please convey how they performed in this role

Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button

  Strongly Agree
Neutral
Strongly Disagree N/A N/F
The tutorials helped me understand the material 31 (51%) 17 (28%) (8%) (0%) (0%) (11%) 1 (2%)
The questions were appropriately timed 14 (23%) 27 (44%) 12 (20%) (2%) (0%) (10%) 1 (2%)
The questions were of appropriate difficulty 12 (20%) 28 (46%) 14 (23%) (0%) (0%) (10%) 1 (2%)
The questions should have increased difficulty (5%) 11 (18%) 19 (31%) 12 (20%) (15%) (10%) 1 (2%)
The number of questions was appropriate 10 (16%) 22 (36%) 16 (26%) (10%) (0%) (10%) 1 (2%)
The number of questions should be expanded (3%) (11%) 23 (38%) 13 (21%) (15%) (10%) 1 (2%)
I always prepared for the tutorials (8%) 13 (21%) 16 (26%) 13 (21%) (8%) (13%) 1 (2%)
Preparation beforehand improved my understanding of the material 16 (26%) 19 (31%) 11 (18%) (5%) (2%) (15%) 2 (3%)
Class participation is important for understanding the material 20 (33%) 14 (23%) 13 (21%) (3%) (5%) (11%) 2 (3%)
23. Please rate how effective your tutor was. Check N/A if you did not deal with the particular tutor.

Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button

  Excellent
OK
Poor N/A N/F
Tutor A
18 (30%) 10 (16%) (3%) (0%) (0%) 26 (43%) 5 (8%)
Tutor B
15 (25%) 10 (16%) (10%) (0%) (2%) 21 (34%) 8 (13%)
There was a higher degree of satisfaction for the tutorials this year. I attribute this to two new, but particularly good tutors.
24. Any suggestions for improving tutorials?



Question type : Long-answer

Answer at the bottom page (17 comments)
6. Assignments
25. Please rate the level of difficulty of the assignments

Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button

  Too easy
Just right
Too difficult N/F
Asst1: Synchonisation (5%) 19 (31%) 34 (56%) (5%) (3%) 0 (0%)
Asst2: System Calls (0%) (3%) 26 (43%) 27 (44%) (10%) 0 (0%)
Asst3: Virtual Memory (0%) (0%) 17 (28%) 27 (44%) 16 (26%) 1 (2%)
26. How well was each assignment specified (taking into account a significant part of the assignments is understanding the environment you solution must work within)?

Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button

  Very clearly
OK
Confusing N/F
Asst1: Synchonisation 21 (34%) 18 (30%) 18 (30%) (3%) (3%) 0 (0%)
Asst2: System Calls 11 (18%) 12 (20%) 18 (30%) 12 (20%) (13%) 0 (0%)
Asst3: Virtual Memory (15%) 11 (18%) 16 (26%) 11 (18%) 13 (21%) 1 (2%)
27. Did the supporting material (manuals, notes, comments in code) provide sufficient information for solving the assignment?

Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button

  Very much
Somewhat
Not at all N/F
Asst1: Synchonisation 20 (33%) 22 (36%) 17 (28%) (2%) (2%) 0 (0%)
Asst2: System Calls (8%) 21 (34%) 27 (44%) (11%) (2%) 0 (0%)
Asst3: Virtual Memory (13%) 15 (25%) 18 (30%) 14 (23%) (8%) 1 (2%)
28. Rate which factors (if applicable to you) contributed to the assignments being difficult in your eyes

Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button

  Major
Minor
No N/A N/F
Topics are conceptually difficult 12 (20%) 15 (25%) 18 (30%) (8%) 10 (16%) (2%) 0 (0%)
Implementation is difficult 10 (16%) 26 (43%) 14 (23%) (7%) (8%) (3%) 0 (0%)
Lack of familiarity with C (8%) (15%) 14 (23%) (10%) 25 (41%) (3%) 0 (0%)
Lack of experience with a large code base 12 (20%) 21 (34%) 14 (23%) (7%) (11%) (5%) 0 (0%)
Lack of experience debugging C 10 (16%) 12 (20%) 15 (25%) (8%) 16 (26%) (5%) 0 (0%)
Lack of previous low-level programming (11%) (13%) 13 (21%) (11%) 23 (38%) (5%) 0 (0%)
Lack of familiarity of programming on the UNIX OS (10%) (15%) 11 (18%) (11%) 22 (36%) (7%) 2 (3%)
29. The aim of the assignment work was for you to develop practical skills with the concepts covered in lectures.

Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button

  Not really
Somewhat
Very much N/F
Did the assignment work help with this? (2%) (2%) 13 (21%) 20 (33%) 25 (41%) 1 (2%)
30. We are always evolving the assignments, especially with the change in structure of the session. We would appreciate feedback on the following ideas.

Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button


  Strongly Agree Agree In-between Disagree Strongly Disagree N/A N/F
ASST0 should be kept as a warm-up 40 (66%) 13 (21%) (10%) (3%) (0%) (0%) 0 (0%)
I found ASST0 useful to get started 31 (51%) 18 (30%) (10%) (7%) (3%) (0%) 0 (0%)
The guided questions in the assigments are useful 16 (26%) 25 (41%) 16 (26%) (2%) (3%) (2%) 0 (0%)
I mostly ignored the guided question part of the assignment an just got started (2%) 12 (20%) 15 (25%) 19 (31%) 11 (18%) (5%) 0 (0%)
ASST2 helped me warm up for ASST3 (7%) 17 (28%) 17 (28%) 15 (25%) (10%) (3%) 0 (0%)
Fork() should be put back in ASST2 (7%) (15%) 18 (30%) 16 (26%) (10%) (13%) 0 (0%)
Three weeks is enough to attempt an individual assignment 10 (16%) 19 (31%) 18 (30%) 10 (16%) (3%) (3%) 0 (0%)
The assignment -related questions should be dropped from the tutorials (2%) (5%) 11 (18%) 16 (26%) 27 (44%) (5%) 0 (0%)
I found the extra lecture on ASST3 useful 28 (46%) 16 (26%) (10%) (5%) (0%) (13%) 0 (0%)
The assignments should be worth less of the assessment of the course (8%) (7%) 15 (25%) 21 (34%) 15 (25%) (2%) 0 (0%)
The assignments should be completely automarked to have them marked quicker (8%) 10 (16%) (15%) 18 (30%) 18 (30%) (2%) 0 (0%)
The give submission test should test completely and tell you your mark each time you submit, and assignments should be worth much less of the assessment for OS (8%) 12 (20%) 15 (25%) 16 (26%) 10 (16%) (5%) 0 (0%)
Complete give submission testing should only be done for the advanced assignments (3%) (10%) 25 (41%) 10 (16%) 10 (16%) (11%) 1 (2%)

31. Do you have any specific comments about OS/161

Question type : Long-answer

Answer at the bottom page (29 comments)
I interpret Q30 as the assignments run about right. Most of the  proposed "improvements"  that aimed at reducing marking delays were disagreed with. I also happen to thinking waiting longer for human feedback is preferable, but was curious as to what students thought.
32. Please indicate whether you (dis)agree with the following statements regarding group assignment work.

Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button

  Strongly Agree
Neutral
Strongly Disagree N/F
Group work is a better than working as an individual 25 (41%) 15 (25%) (15%) (11%) (7%) 1 (2%)
Groups reduce the assignment workload 22 (36%) 15 (25%) 11 (18%) (11%) (8%) 1 (2%)
Groups should be optional, but every submission is marked the same 11 (18%) 16 (26%) 22 (36%) (11%) (7%) 1 (2%)
Groups are unfair as inevitably one member does all the work (10%) 16 (26%) 24 (39%) 10 (16%) (7%) 1 (2%)
Larger groups would be better (11%) (10%) 16 (26%) 14 (23%) 17 (28%) 1 (2%)
Having a partner to help understand the assignment really helps 24 (39%) 20 (33%) (10%) (8%) (7%) 2 (3%)
33. What do you think of the advanced assignments?

Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button

Great Idea! 15 (25%) chart

14 (23%) chart
Don't care 30 (49%) chart

(0%) chart
Abolish! (2%) chart
N/F 1 (2%)
34. Any suggestions for improving the assignments?

Question type : Long-answer

Answer at the bottom page (24 comments)
7. COMP3891/9283 Extended Operating Systems
Skip this section if you did not do COMP3891/9283 Extended Operating Systems.
35. How would you rate extended OS as a whole?

Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button

Excellent 10 (16%) chart

(10%) chart
Average (2%) chart

(0%) chart
Poor (0%) chart
N/A (11%) chart
N/F 37 (61%)
36. What were the strong points of COMP3891/9283?

Question type : Long-answer

Answer at the bottom page (12 comments)
37. What were the weak points of COMP3891/9283?

Question type : Long-answer

Answer at the bottom page (8 comments)
38. Any suggestions for improving COMP3891/9283 Extended OS?

Question type : Long-answer

Answer at the bottom page (5 comments)
8. Exam
39. Answer the following questions to convey your opinion of the final exam

Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button

  Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree N/F
The exam overall was too hard (0%) (13%) 27 (44%) 19 (31%) (3%) 5 (8%)
The exam overall was too short - i.e. it should be 3 hours (8%) 10 (16%) 13 (21%) 19 (31%) (13%) 6 (10%)
The exam should contain more True/False questions (7%) (15%) 13 (21%) 26 (43%) (7%) 5 (8%)
The exam gave me the oppurtunity to demonstrate my understanding of operating systems (7%) 31 (51%) 15 (25%) (10%) (0%) 5 (8%)
I think my exam result will be representative of my operating systems knowledge (7%) 25 (41%) 16 (26%) (15%) (3%) 5 (8%)
The final assessment should be weight ed more towards the exam (8%) (11%) 24 (39%) 15 (25%) (10%) 4 (7%)
40. Do you have any particular comments you would like to make about the exam?

Question type : Long-answer

Answer at the bottom page (26 comments)
The opinion of the exam is very similar to previous years.
9. Miscellaneous
41. We always look for evidence of cheating in assigments and try or best to catch and penalise cheaters. Please tell us what you think about the treatment of cheaters in the course.

Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button

Too soft (3%) chart

(8%) chart
Just right 51 (84%) chart

(2%) chart
Too harsh (0%) chart
N/F 2 (3%)
42. What do you think your final result will be for the course?

Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button

HD 10 (16%) chart
DN 14 (23%) chart
CR 15 (25%) chart
PS 13 (21%) chart
FL (3%) chart
No Idea (11%) chart
N/F 0 (0%)




Back to Summary
3. Any other factor that influenced your decision?

1: Actually, it was quite fun

2: Attention to student feedback (i.e. surveys from past years)

3: Chanllenging myself, as I haven

4: Class clashes and this course turns out to be available with no clashes with my other subjects.

5: Felt general understanding of OS would improve my knowledge as a programmer

6: Gain a greater understanding of the C programming language, and some of its real world uses

7: I read the previous years survey, it reflected well on the course and showed that the lecturer actually cared about the quality of teaching

8: I wanted to really challenge myself.

9: Main factor outside of it being a requirement was the interest Kevin takes in improving his course.

10: No

11: No

12: Pure interest in how operating systems work.

13: Seemed interesting

14: Thought it would be a pretty leet course, and would develop my understanding of writing software in general - esp. how to most efficiently communicate with the OS (as an application)

15: To know OS

16: To learn about the link between hardware and application software

17: course has a good reputation among cse students and learing OS

18: i think getting deeper insight on os topics will help to be better programmer in general and is necessary for system progammers/designers

19: just want to learn

20: mistakenly thought subject was core novel!!

21: n/a

22: no

23: no

24: no

25: non
6. What were the best things about this course?

1: - Good consults

2: Actually understanding alot of the content

3: Applying the theory to a practical scenario

4: Assignments were tricky and challenging but also rewarding.

5: Assignments, tough but interesting. Lectures, humorous and interesting.

6: Challenge assignments

7: Challenging. Explains a lot of mysteries about computers

8: Extension lectures & Assignments

9: Extensive and challenging topic covered

10: Gave a good general look into OS design and programming. Engaging Assignments. Liked the fact that we are given the chance to use svn. Good that the lectures were recorded, as i couldn't make them all, and this way i could catch up.
I'm really curious about lecture recording (as I personally think I'd be boring in mp3 format). I should have really asked about this, but I'm glad somebody found it useful.

11: Great assignments and OS system to play with. Excellent support via the forums and lecturer.

12: Hacker security (final lecture)

13: I really liked the lectures. They were really interesting and informative about an area of computing I had relatively no experience in.

14: Interesting coding assignments Strong conceptual challenegs

15: Interesting subject matter.

16: It was very informative and very detailed. The assignments were excellent. The lectures were mostly engaging and understandable.

17: Kevin is a good lecturer

18: Kevin is great as a lecturer for this course.

19: Know better about operating system.

20: Lecture and Tutorial

21: Lecturer explained everything clearly and concisely, easy to understand content after going to consultation and lectures.

22: Lectures and Assignments!

23: Loved the lectures and assignments

24: Most fun assignments I've had since early second year (2 years ago)

25: Programming on OS

26: Provides very useful knowledge with regards to OS internal workings.

27: The assignment is challenging,and we should have a consolidate concept and read a lot of codes.

28: The consultations were amazing, wouldn't have made it without them. The lecture notes also make the course very learnable, I like the dot point formatting, they're almost like study notes which saves me the trouble of making my own.

29: The course, for me, covered some quite interesting topics. I never really struggled that much understanding the topics at hand as they were interesting and relatively intuitive.

30: The feeling of understanding the concepts that seemed impossible at the time. Being able to understand the errors I see in real world os systems.

31: The material covered was presented in an interesting way - analogies really help. Lecturer was also obviously passionate about this material :)

32: The programming assignments were both challenging and intriguing. They prompted further investigation, which is the first time an assignment has had that effect for me.

33: The topic of the course itself.

34: To be able to learn important concept within computer engineering degree.

35: Took it to learn programming skills in general with a practical environment for heavy coding. Course and assignment feedback helped greatly, was able to write, browse, and debug code over 5 times faster than before I started. Excellent introduction to synchronization as well.

36: Very In depth, challenging assignments, super awesome late penalty allowed time management and didnt dismiss students that had the ability to do the assignment but didnt have the time to do so. Lecturer made it clear what was required, gave lots of handy hints.

37: Very well structured. Small tute with good discussion. Satisfying to get the assignments out.

38: We learned alot about the way in which operating systems worked and now I know what is truly happening when I write userland programs and what the issues. I now understand better what the barriers to writing faster code are.

39: While the concepts are low level, understanding them greatly assists in writing effective high-level code.

40: Wonderful assignments, there are very few courses where I've liked all the assignments - but this is definitely one of them. They were all very fun and hands on. Very interesting lectures, very skillful tutors.

41: assignments are just perfect

42: challenge

43: covered in deep and all aspects of the technologies about OS

44: great lecturer, great help

45: learning OS

46: os is pretty interesting, great lecturer

47: very interesting and well taught

48: well structured lectures, assignments and tutorials + forum
7. What were the worst things about this course?

1: -Not enough explanation of what to do in the Assignment 3 spec -Bad lecture times
Lecture timing is literally a lottery each year that I have little influence over. This year we lost.

2: A lot of content, sometimes hard to keep up

3: Assignment 3!

4: Assignment marking.

5: Assignment workloads. 75% understanding means that assignment partner does a really hacky job with the code at the start, and when it finally clicks in, the deadline's due.

6: Assignments after Asst1 were almost impossible prior to consultations. E.g. Banged head against asst2 for days on end, post-consult it was completed within a few hours. Simply too inefficient to try and figure out the concepts and tiny technical details preventing progress without a consult.
The consult are there for that reason. Most don't need them, but when one hits a mental block in the big picture or in the little details, we are there to help.

7: Assignments take a long time to get marked.

8: Assignments took many days to debug.

9: Asst1: Synchronisation

10: Challenge assignments

11: Debugging the assignments seemed like a hopeless cause sometimes, it was often either a "get it right or do it again" thing for our group.

12: Difficult and sometimes vague assignments, spec was sometimes (asst3) unclear.

13: Exam

14: Extensive and challenging topic covered

15: Hard for me to coding.

16: Hard to grasp and understand.

17: Hard work, and lots of time on assignments, but well worth it. Leonid lectures were not as easy to follow than Kevin's. I think this is just because maybe Kevin's had more experience lecturing, though also Leonid's accent made it harder to follow the lecture.

18: I can't really understand Leonid.

19: It was difficult getting help with os161 code besides the consultations, there is a lot of code to go through and some problems are hard to explain over the message board

20: It would be nice - if at all possible, if assignments were marked quicker. In particular, feedback from earlier assignments should be available before the next assignment is due - otherwise some of the same mistakes are bound to be repeated.

21: Lack of feedback on assignments

22: Lack of study can creep up very easily on you

23: Large amount of course material.

24: Lecture is at night 6-8

25: Liked most of it

26: More linux kernel examples would have been nice but it was well done for the time that we had. Also, sometimes dodgy assembly hacks were being hidden by C wrappers, like the trap calls, which I did not see but would have been more natural to see in assembly. Sometimes making things 'prettier' with C code instead of assembly was actually less intuitive because I expect things like scope to hold true in C.

27: OS161 is horrible of what I saw. Emulating an OS in a terminal is nothing like what I wanted to learn when I decided to do the course. In my opinion you should start with a bootloader and build directly from there, whilst throwing the sucks of code that just takes time at us when we need them. Then you could use vmware to develop it, but also run it native. I wanted it to be so that after the course you could sit in a room a blank computer and write windows from scratch if you had infinite time.

28: Some of the resources/instructions were straight copy and paste (especially concerning setup at home and for eclipse). Tell Leonid that he needs to speak a little more clearly when lecturing. Also, the last assignment felt a little rushed and last minute.

29: Some of the things in the assignment were a little unclear. A few more implementation details might have been better, or maybe talk about some of the tricky cases and also a more general implementation overview.

30: Starting the assignments was quite daunting. Late lecture after a full day at uni was quite hard as well.

31: The course was actually quite good, I don't really have any complaints

32: The last assignment is a little tough. Time is not enough coz every course has the same due day. We have to work all day

33: The latter assignments were confusing, even though the OS concepts they employed were easily understood.

34: The low level os161 code was presented in little amounts such that connecting the general concepts to the os161 was difficult.

35: The main reason why you get through so few assignments in this course is the simply lack of focus on them. Having studied at a US university assignment 0 would be something done in O week or week one and assignment 1 directly after that. I think if you made the course much more os161 centric and stopped lecturing in such a general sense you would be able to achieve much more in terms of assignment completion. It really is not a case of us being, and I quote the lecturer "mere mortals" and people at Harvard being some super race of students. They just have the expectation to be doing os161 work every lecture and every tut. This of course would imply the exam be worth far less, say 20-30%. And the assignments being worth more.
FYI: Harvard provide less os161 support in lectures then we do and the focus on general OS concepts like us. The course would be too narrow if it was an OS/161 course. One of the reasons they can get through more of the material is they have more teaching assistant support to sheperd students through - we simply don't have the same resources, especially as I had 300 students doing OS at points in time. Harvard students doing it also do it as an elective, by choice, so one can expect more commitment from them than a core course. So "super-race" no, I'd say equivalent to the top 20% or so UNSW OS students (i.e. the students that would be left if I increased the workload), and with more resources.

36: This wasn't particularly bad, but maybe making sure the tutors were very familiar with OS161.

37: Too much workload.

38: Using C for programming. Workload is too much.

39: Very hard assignments for people who does not really familiar with the UNIX environment, so when it is hard to deal with UNIX, doing the programme in C quite challenging as well.

40: Very hard to understand, especially programming part. Not every student is good in programming.

41: assignments were quite hard if partner slacked off

42: level of difficulty

43: no labs?

44: sometimes its hard to start an assignment because the lectures cover mostly theory

45: the class conflicts with my other class

46: too many time-slots i am a 9283 student, but i also sit in the tutorial. So i have 4 time-slots a week (2 lec, 1 tut, 1 ext). i hope i can have some continious studying period.

47: too much implementation details. spend a little on design problems. device derivers are not covered well.
11. What background knowledge do you think you were missing that would have helped you in this course? Are the official pre-requisites a suitable preparation?

1: As an elec student i had only done the elec2141 and comp1921 prerequisites, which i did quite well in. Whilst these provided enough prior knowledge for me to understand the OS theory. I did find the coding somewhat intimidating initially as a i had no experience working with large code bases. I was able to pick this up quikly but i could see this being an issue for some elec students.

2: As long as you know c this course is do-able. Computer architecture may be a useful pre-requisite

3: Better coding skills would help me a lot for this course.

4: Could use stronger C knowledge, but my fault for being ELEC. Maybe some warm up assignments/programming challenges on assumed C knowledge with no marks might be helpful.

5: Good at debug

6: Having students understand assembly mips code was a plus in this course. Greater understanding of debug methods would help those students who aren't leet.

7: Hmm, maybe a little more background in concurrency would've helped for the first assignment?

8: I didn't have much experience on programming using system calls (especially the fork execv ...) of os. so i did poor in assignment 2.

9: I have done enough computing courses to have good expectations for this course. Doing this course and Computer Architecture (COMP3211) together was the Best options as aot of content was similar, but stil different as OS covers the software side and CompArch covers the hardware. I think however, if I did compilers as well. Then that would have been the complete deal.

10: I think I was sufficiently prepared before the course.

11: I think they are sufficient

12: I think they are, yes.

13: I'm an international student and I got exemption for the first year computing course and I'm an ELEC student. The background knowledge that I get is not detail enough to understand half of the course content, therefore, it is very new to me. I really hope I can do well in the exam cause I didn't really perform well with the assignments and tutorial session.

14: Just more warning of the workload
I repeat this in lectures, it is a common theme in the surveys I publish - I think I'll get a T-shirt printed next year?

15: N/A

16: None really. As long as you have done a couple of low level courses in preparation then you should of covered most of the basics.

17: None.

18: Nothing else really, COMP3211 helped but it was definitely not needed.

19: Nothing, the official pre-requisites are good, IMO the official prerequisite should be reading the first few chapters of the textbook. That book is solid gold.

20: Official Pre-requisites good. Coming in from a elec a lot of the computer jargon confused me, e.g. often talked about cache's but didn't learn till much later on.

21: Official prerequisites are fine. Me and a few friends come from Electrical Engineering, our last comp course was COMP1921, and we were not disadvantaged at all.

22: Pre requisite knowledge was sufficient

23: Pre-reqs seemed ok to me

24: Pre-requisites are fine

25: Pre-requisites are suitable

26: Programming skill

27: The official prerequisites were fine.

28: UNIX. The course seems quite UNIX focussed and I knew nothing about how operating systems let alone the specifics of UNIX file systems etc.

29: Yes, it is suitable. However, since I did ENGG1811 in first year instead of 1911, I found that the C programming was too much. Maybe not anyone else who did 1911.

30: backgroud knowledge is alright for this course

31: computer architecture

32: n/a

33: none

34: not missing an background knowledge. official pre-requisites were suitable preparation.

35: os 161

36: probably a weekly lab

37: proficient listening skill of English
13. Which material do you think you will be most useful to you in the future?

1: All of it seems useful.

2: All of it.

3: All!

4: Concurrency

5: Concurrency programming

6: Everything

7: Everything this is useful. gave mea better understand of what we program on.

8: Everything to do with Sync. and multi-processor systems, threads and multi-threaded programming in general. Also system calls.

9: File System

10: File Systems, Multiprocessor System

11: Materials from other unis

12: Memory Management

13: Memory management

14: Memory management, device drivers, file systems

15: Most of them.

16: Nearly all, except threads

17: Not sure

18: Not sure - not looking into OS-related work in the future

19: OS concepts in general

20: Overall strategy to approaching problems

21: Scheduling

22: Scheduling and Synchronisation

23: Scheduling, Security, Synchronization

24: Security

25: Security

26: Security, system calls, virtual memory, low level

27: Sync and Concurrency, Processes, I/O management

28: Synch and concurrency

29: Synchonisation and concurrency

30: Synchonisation and concurrency

31: Synchonisation and concurrency , Multiprocessor systems, security

32: Synchronisation, deadlock, threads, I/O.

33: Threads

34: Um, the textbook is good. I

35: VM, deadlocks and security

36: all of them, especially concurrency and virtual memory

37: concurrency

38: concurrency and scheduling

39: concurrency, scheduling, multiprocessor

40: concurrency, syscalls and virtual memory

41: high-level OS knowledge

42: i/o management

43: lecture notes

44: more focus on os161 and less general info

45: probably security i guess... but all of it was really interesting

46: the code of OS161

47: the general knowledge on os

48: the text book, lecture notes and the assignment
14. What material related to operating systems, but not currently in the course, would you like to have seen covered?

1: -

2: A more general approach, tweaking linux kernel,

3: All is enough

4: Bit more on OS in embedded systems.

5: Hacking

6: How OS'es deal with different hardware configurations

7: I don't know

8: I don't really know about the computer science stuff cause I am an ELEC student, so I'm pretty sure I have no idea for other materials that should be covered in this course. I'm sorry.

9: Mac OS,linux, win... compare those systems on how they implement different technologies

10: More about how linux does the things discussed in lectures.

11: More coverage of real time systems

12: More delving into the linux kernel.

13: More on device drivers. boot sectors

14: N/A

15: N/A

16: Not sure

17: Not sure.

18: Scalability

19: Unsure

20: Windows os

21: can not think

22: examples of various real OS

23: history

24: linux internals or lions comments on unix...

25: n/a

26: networking support of an os

27: no

28: no idea

29: none

30: none

31: not sure

32: virtualization
15. Which of the current topics would you like to see scaled back or excluded?

1: All of the topics are fine for me. I mean, in order to get the general idea of what OS is.

2: Assignment two and three to merge? (yes big call)

3: Concurrency - make COMP3151 a prereq :P

4: File Systems

5: I/O Management

6: Low-level implementations issues

7: Maybe security, but only because I

8: Memory management content was repeated a bit too much; something else could probably have fit

9: Most of the multiprocessor stuff was covered in synchonisation and concurrency

10: Multi-thread

11: Multiprocessor Systems

12: Multiprocessor Systems

13: N/A

14: No

15: None, just nice

16: None.

17: None. They are all required and equally important.

18: Security

19: Security

20: Security not really os related

21: They all seem fairly relevant, no idea.

22: all good to learn

23: anything not diurectly relating to our os161 implementations

24: deadlocks. good theory, but how oftern in practice do you know the maximum resources needed in advance (so is it worth going over the bankers algorithm?)? (if there are actually many situations which I may have overlooked, please give us these examples.)

25: filesystems(either cut back or more practical implementation)

26: n/a

27: n/a

28: non

29: none

30: security

31: security

32: virtual memory (asst3), it still doesnt make sense to me :(

33: what I learn this year was a good amount
19. If you have not been attending lectures, what factors influenced your decision not to attend?

1: -Time was really inconvenient -Other assignments

2: Assignments

3: Attend all.

4: Attended all, except the last tutorial. Would have attended if it didn't mean walking 40 minutes in 8 degrees Centigrade for an hour of tutorials on something I understood. Also skipped one of the two hour lectures (on UNIX file systems) halfway through because was too sleep deprived to understand it.

5: Being particularly busy at the time (as a general rule, I try to attend lectures).

6: Busy workload. Lecture slides are very good so allow you to miss a lecture here and there if you have to. However it is still a disadvantage not to.

7: Clashes with COMP3121(algorithms)!!!! Seriously who would schedule the two of the most popular 3rd year courses on top of each other!? A computer random number, oops, I mean timetable generator. Yes, it's a pain how little influence we have of clashing electives.

8: Clashes, only time other subject was run and was harder to catch up on.

9: I didn't understand Leonid.

10: I enjoyed Kevin's lecturing style and entuszium

11: I fell sick on some ocassions. and other was because I had a huge deadline at work. and the other times it was because I was working on assignments.

12: I missed a few because I work all day prior to the evening lecture - and often even when I came in, I was too tired to absorb anything. Also I found the general lecture content not hard to catch up on. I missed a few intentionally as I had done concurrency and the overlap was large. I also missed many due to a class clash.

13: I missed a few due to later starting times. 12pm-2pm would be great.

14: I'v attend all the lectures

15: Inconvenient lecture time (Thursday 1 hr lecture was my only class on thursdays)

16: It was hard to hear Leonid. When people couldn't hear him they started talking, which made it even harder to hear him if you weren't up the front. The lecture was also at an annoying time.

17: Lecture finish late. I mean, the timing factor. We finish at 8pm and that's quite late.

18: Lots of clashes with other classes Late night lectures weren't too nice

19: Not sure if I chose the right option in the previous question. I attended the lectures I could, but missed quite a lot. Ones I attended were good though. Anyway, Leonid was a little difficult to understand. I wasn't able to make it to the Wednesday lecture which made the Thursday lecture a bit hard to follow. But that's my fault.

20: The times for the lectures were VERY inconvenient, 8pm finish really gave the course a bad name, although the course in general was very good.

21: There wasn't any factor for me not to attend lectures.

22: Time (too late).

23: Tiredness at the end of the day, other commitments at the time

24: Work commitments Bus timetables (late classes) Previous class running overtime

25: class conflict

26: failed to work out a feasible schedule for spending time on assignments and job beside attending all classes.

27: some times the lecture is a bit late ,and hv to work on assignment cannot come

28: works from other courses, late hour lecture time, and (as always) being lazy
20. Any suggestions for improving lectures?

1: Being able to understand lecturer would be good. The other guy mainly.

2: Better timeslot! But I know that's not your fault...

3: Better timeslots.

4: Give Leonid a microphone. I guess I should have asked him to use one early on.

5: Go slower. I often feel that Kevin has moved on to another slide while I was still trying to understand the previous slide/concept.

6: Have a morning hours for lectures and provides more information or guidance to help ELEC students who is not really good in using UNIX.

7: Have some live example of code/os161.

8: I guess I can't really provide a good opinion here but I will say the lecture notes are really good.

9: I liked how you used your laptop tablet functionality (draw).

10: Lectures are some of the best I have seen in comp. Was very happy with the way they were presented.

11: Lectures given by Leonid are difficult to hear and understand.

12: Make concurrency a prereq? Give students more money from centrelink so they don't need to work as hard to pay rent and eat decent food?

13: Maybe this is great enough.

14: Maybe when explaning a concept, it is better to attach some code, It's more straightforward,

15: More side tracking on interesting topics

16: None.

17: Not anything i can think of.

18: Potentially make the lecture notes more concise. As i was studying and reviewing over the lecture notes, i found that they didn't always explain the complete concept.

19: Some labs

20: Sometimes I don't think going straight of slides is so useful. Especially for things that require working through a problem, going through it on the board might be better.

21: The short breaks are an excellent idea.

22: Timing could be earlier in the day. Also not to clash with other major courses such as algorithms.

23: Try to cover less materials. The pace is too fast.

24: Um, don't hold them late at night when everyone is asleep. ;) ... So it's a scheduling problem right, just rewrite the class scheduler. :) Pretend the uni is an OS and make that assignment one.

25: audio recording if possible
We did ?

26: catering

27: give a summary slice after each topic

28: please not held at night
21. If you used other textbooks other than Tannenbaum (e.g. Silberschatz, Stallings), how do you think they compare to each other? Which gives the best explanations, which has the best structure, etc....

1: -

2: I didn't use textbook

3: I just used textbook only.

4: I'm using Tannenbaum, they're great :)

5: N/A

6: N/A

7: N/A

8: NA

9: No others

10: Tannenbaum is awesome!

11: Tannenbaum's textbook

12: This is a one line input field...and the Tannenbaum book rules.

13: n/a

14: your suggested book is the best
24. Any suggestions for improving tutorials?



1: -Less focus on class participation and more focus on learning... Alot of time was wasted waiting for someone to answer the question when clearly no one was sure of the answer or didnt understand the question.

2: Evenly distribute tutorial questions as some tutorials tend to have too many questions to go through in an hour, other times there are too few questions.

3: I did the advanced course.

4: Just fyi I rated both tutors because Dave filled in for Bernard once and he seemed pretty good. Harsh assignment marker though... Bernard was pretty great, not sure what to improve.

5: Keep the mandatory tutorials, they were tough but people HAD to attend them. Also saw two different styles of tutoring when my usual tutor was not there (sick). One tutor answered all the questions, the other made sure EVERYONE answered a question. Whilst the latter made me sweat on knowing everything it was VERY effective. I say use that method more.

6: Maybe introduce some case study questions into the tutorial.

7: More questions

8: My tutor is really good, so, keep up the good work :)

9: N/A

10: None.

11: Nothing.

12: Perhaps more practical examples as opposed to theoretical ones

13: The tutorial questions may not all covered by last week's lecture.

14: Tutorials were great. However, more participation would be nice. Most of the participants appear to be scared to answering questions.

15: Would like to cover all the Qs if possible.

16: nope

17: show us some cool hackings stuff people did to the banks NASA or government for example.
31. Do you have any specific comments about OS/161

1: Amazing comments

2: Fairly large amounts of code to read but overall it was plain old C.

3: Good system to learn on. Fairly simple, however appears to provide most of the core aspects needed to teach the course.

4: HARD to understand

5: Hated it. When I think of an OS i think of Windows, Mac, *nix, iOS, other embedded device OS's. Not one I've never understood before and is messy to use

6: Having the harvard assignment comments was confusing.

7: I like it for the programming part.

8: I suggest to have one lecture to get us familiar with OS/161.

9: I understand the concept of heavily applying the assignment part to be effective in this course, using a harmonic average only stretches the distribution of fail/pass to the absolute maximum which I don't find completely fair.

10: It is a good testing operating system.

11: It is fun to work with once you understand them well.

12: It is very clearly implemented and easy to follow.

13: It was difficult to find which parts of the code were relevant to the assignments considering there was so much.

14: Its really not easy to read and understand, it's better to have some class to lead students read codes

15: Its structure is confusing, especially since there are so many files and directories with identical names.

16: Marking did take a long time

17: More time and practice asst should be given to familiarise with os/161 and gdb.

18: N/A

19: Perhaps the most frustrating thing about os/161 was that quite a lot of the internal code comments about matters or situations seemingly relevant to our course or assignments were not actually relevant at all or even correct in regards to what we had to do in assignments. At best this was an annoyance, at worst it was downright confusing.

20: Some code comments are not sufficient

21: Some give testing would be nice. But i would not have all marks based of those tests. Alternatively some more tests cases for assignment 2 and 3 would be helpful as it can be quite a challenge to develop you own. Especially for assignment 3.

22: Still today I find it quite mind boggling

23: The submission should over write the files before running the compile check so we can fix any problems that may arise from accidentally changing files

24: There were, as stated in the lectures, a lot of unexpected booby traps to work around, but I imagine that's true of all operating systems you'd have to work with. Also, I found the high level of abstraction, while also helpful, meant that I spent a lot of time figuring out which parts of the os' functionality I was supposed to implement for myself and which parts were there for me to use if only I could find where they were hidden.

25: hopefully, we can get a documentation of the solution (like, data structure, algorithm, tricky coding parts, or even pesudo code) moreover, i hope to have some documentation about the uncovered parts of os161, such as the networking

26: no

27: nope~!

28: sure we have comments in the code, but are there any documents which give a general overview of how os/161 works? is there a better way to test rather than just using userland programs running on os/161. would unit tests which plug directly into os/161 work better?

29: the system makes me dizzy...I think it's better for some one clearly shows the structure and walk through the codes for each assignment
34. Any suggestions for improving the assignments?

1: ...not really.

2: Assignemnet in general are hard. I think the Design part is marked way too harshly.

3: Assignment specifications seemed rather vague. Takes a whole day to understand what exactly to do, often longer.. would greatly cut down on the workload if they were clearer. Assignments also don't allow well for synchronous coding as full knowledge of one part of the assignment is required for the others. Group members get left behind. Larger groups may make it more likely to get a useful group member, especially for the groups aiming for PS/CR. A one-person group might be best because the HD/DN students will be more likely to hang around the forum and rub off their knowledge on the weaker students.

4: Divide assignments into milestones, ie, submit a frame table implementation for asst2a, then submit page table implementation for asst2b, etc Faster feedback!

5: Don't make it too hard and give more hints. *hehehe*

6: Explanations of how they fit into OS/161 would be helpful. Ass 3's lecture was immensely helpful, and something similar would have made a big difference for Ass 2. Considering how much they're worth, they should focus more on the systems being implemented and less on OS/161 (if that's possible). Figuring out where to make changes took way too much time and effort.

7: If the spec was clearer the wiki FAQ wouldn't be necessary and could potentially reduce my reliance on consultations.

8: Include a peer assessment to make sure members who slack off are penalised

9: Just a comment: Trying to understand the HUGE code before actually writing my own is really difficult.

10: Just wish I had more time to do then :( Since they are not marked straight away anyway, perhaps increase the deadline to be 5 days or a week after the deadline of the normal assignment.

11: KEEP THE 3% LATE PENALTY!! NEVER ABOLISH THAT :D

12: Keep the groups. Provide more of an introduction to the assignments and more starting pointers. These assignments can take a lot of time to determine where to start. A small introduction outlining the important files really helps here.

13: Larger groups

14: Mark is too slow and no mark criteria given,so we dont know how to do to fullfill the criteria of the assignment

15: Mark them sooner to avoid repeat of mistakes!

16: More explanation for assignment 3

17: Nope~!

18: Possibly release the last three assignments all together, and allow us to do them as we build up our knowledge required for their completion.

19: Provide some lecture time to explain what to do in an assignment.

20: Reduce the difficulty of the assignments.

21: Seemed just right to me - most of the difficulty was in actually deciding what was required.

22: Some labs before assignments to know OS well practically.

23: getting lost in that much code was fun under pressure. Debugging was a nightmare.

24: make it simpler if possible
36. What were the strong points of COMP3891/9283?

1: Going into detail about the interesting things.

2: I found the lectures on scheduling and lectures on virtual processes very interesting

3: Interesting topics that we otherwise would not have covered.

4: It covered strong concepts which other universities dont cover, it was indepth, it was simple and easy to understand as lots of examples were displayed on screen with step throughs.

5: Its not commerce :) Plus I got to play around in an OS and get a feel for the field in general.

6: Lectures!

7: More interesting topics

8: Smaller class focused on learning for interest, rather than for assessment

9: Strong Lectures and Tutes

10: The few lectures I went to, I enjoyed. Going in-depth into a few different topics was quite interesting.

11: The lectures. Really interesting and engaging

12: it's very enlightened
37. What were the weak points of COMP3891/9283?

1: Can be difficult to get started on a couple of things.

2: Didn't get to talk about some of the tut questions

3: Got boring fast :(, night lectures were a killer, lecture note slide allllll look the same... need a bit more colour :P

4: Lecture was on a Friday - not many other classes then, usually didn't attend

5: No tutorials

6: We missed a few classes I think because of various events. That was unfortunate.

7: can not go into the some depth of a topic

8: time is short and I would like to learn more
38. Any suggestions for improving COMP3891/9283 Extended OS?

1: I'd say have extended students attend regular tutorials where assignments are explained, instead of spending ext. lectures explaining the OS assignments, so that more time could be devoted to other things or perhaps explaining the extended part of assignments.

2: It would nice to have tutorials in addition to the extra OS lecture

3: Maybe having a tutorial every few weeks with questions could be interesting. It would mean that there would be more engagement with the course.

4: Not making it last thing on a friday. :) Content was great, perhaps more linux kernel stuff or latest technologies talk; like work done on SSD's.

5: we can also have a look at how people work on the OS currently in the industrial world if possible
40. Do you have any particular comments you would like to make about the exam?

1: Fair questions, the TRUE/FALSE penalty marking is a bit rough though.

2: Have not done it yet.

3: I found a few of the true/false questions very unclear. Ie the first question: the operating system provides an interface to low level hardware" t/f? an interface TO the hardware for the hardware to use, or an interface to the hardware for the user to use? I answered for the former, however with an automarked system there is no way for me to clarify my intepretation. To lose 2 marks for this (1 for getting it wrong, 1 for not getting the mark) is very extreme. I don't mind true/false, but I think there should be room for justification to get the full potential from students. Also, I was expecting high-level questions on page tables, not low level translations - Normally I would look that sort of thing up (the translations). I found being tested on what normally would be looked up in a manual, rather than the complexity of the data structures, perplexing.

4: I haven't done it yet, but won't have time to fill out the survey after the test before the deadline.

5: I just do not like any exams. But this is one that people would love to take.

6: I personally think some questions is difficult to understand for some international students such as myself. For answering the questions, there is difficulty for people whose English is poor to explain and describe answer as clear as expected.

7: I think the exam was quite fair, with probably a little bit too much focus on rote

8: I was expecting some calculation question in the exam and I don't think I perform well in the exam.

9: Im just basing it on the sample exam so my survey will most likely change after sitting the final exam

10: It is hard in an exam situation to write a longer response which we feel covers everything you are looking for, yet is concise. Though I understand that you don't want us to waste time rambling on, nor do you want to waste time reading excessive answers, so I'm not sure what you could try instead.

11: It was a little easy, but a pretty fair test of os knowledge. Oh, but some of the true/false questions were a bit vague (I felt I could've answered more if I was more certain about what they were asking)

12: It was a pretty fair exam in my opinion.

13: It was just right, especially after you walkthrough all Sample questions.

14: No comment.

15: Seemed to me that some major parts of the course like resource allocation and scheduling were left out

16: Some of the true/false questions seemed a bit vague, but it could just be my lack of knowledge.

17: Some of the true/false questions were too ambiguous and one could argue either way

18: The TLB translation question worth a bit too much mark.

19: The exam generally wasn't too challenging. However, i felt that a lot of the questions, in particular the true/false ones were worded ambiguously, and were hard to confidently feel like i had answered them correctly.

20: The exam was well set; if you had studied then you should have done well. Maybe just one much harder question in there, just for those that really know what they are doing.

21: The number of questions should increased and each could be worth less marks, to make sure that more topics on OS can be covered in the final exam

22: There should be options like do 1 of A or B parts.. because its sometimes hard to study everything and there are small gaps in knowledge.

23: To the best of my recollection the front page did not state there were 6 questions. I'm aware some students didn't check the back cover.

24: Yes, as a matter of fact I do: https://cgi.cse.unsw.edu.au/~forums/support/viewtopic.php?t=12131

25: exams can rarely test the "real" understanding of os.

26: its favours people with better writing skills and with stronger memory.

The course seems to have run smoothly this year. Specific things I'd comment on would be.
  • Yes the assignments are still challenging by design. We'll take the additional info in the wiki and clarify for use next year.
  • Alternatives for speeding assignment marking via more automation were unpopular.
  • I'll attempt to get marking started earlier to improve turn-around.
  • I'll encourage Leonid to use a microphone next year.

Thanks again for your input!
   - Kevin



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