The raw survey results are from the myexperience survey this year (apologies for not having the usual detailed survey from previous years).
Here are my observations:
Me leaving was unavoidable and unexpected (my wife passed away from cancer in the middle of semester). I, more than anyone, wish I didn't have to leave.
My absence was not taken lightly by the school. The head of school, myself, and the most qualified candidate to take the lectures consulted early on and it was agreed that a replacement lecturer would not have been as good a standard as the video I had from previous years. So we decided to go with video until I returned, which was later than I expected. Third year courses usually have quite specialist content and lecturers are challenging to find.
The general satisfaction was still higher than the school, faculty, and UNSW average - actually it was one of only two large third year courses in the school with a satisfaction greater than 95%. So given the exceptional circumstances, the course ended up okay despite my limited direct involvement. I'm truly glad it worked out.
Piazza has the potential to be an awesome timely resource for support during the semester. Some of the positive aspects were touched on. For the negative aspects (duplicate questions and a lot of 'noise') I'll attempt to minimise them by publishing a Piazza etiquette guide at the start of term to encourage the positive aspects and avoid the negative.
This gets mentioned regularly. Yes, git is more relevant to learn, but SVN had a lower learning curve. However, given git's use in earlier courses at CSE and it's dominance over SVN, I'm switching to git for 2019!!!
Yes they will :-( Here are some of the things I'm doing to retain the essence of the course.