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Hardware description and verification, 2007/08, TDA956

Status: Avslutad
Öppen för svar: 2008-05-23 - 2009-01-15
Antal svar: 13
Procent av deltagarna som svarat: ?%
Kontaktperson: Roger Johansson»
Utbildningsprogram som genomför enkäten: Chalmers

Your own effort

1. How many hours per week did you spend on this course?

We mean total time, that is, it comprises the time you spent in class and the time you spent on your own work. Try to estimate the average time over the entire study period.

13 svarande

At most 15 hours/week»1 7%
Around 20 hours/week»4 30%
Around 25 hours/week»6 46%
Around 30 hours/week»2 15%
At least 35 hours/week»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 2.69

- Should have spent more time on this course, but could not find the time for it.» (Around 20 hours/week)

2. How large part of the teaching offered did you attend?

13 svarande

0%»1 7%
25%»1 7%
50%»0 0%
75%»3 23%
100%»8 61%

Genomsnitt: 4.23

- I had clashes with other courses on some other days» (75%)
- Missed a few lectures due to illness. I also skipped one or two guest lectures to put some effort in the exams + the other course I was taking» (75%)
- I probably missed one or two lectures. I didn"t attend any supervised lab session.» (75%)
- I don"t remember if I missed out on perhaps 1-2 lectures» (100%)

Goals and goal fulfilment

The course syllabus states the course goals in terms of learning outcomes, i.e., knowledge, skills and attitudes to be acquired by the student during the course.

3. How understandable are the course goals?

13 svarande

I have not seen/read the goals»3 23%
The goals are difficult to understand»1 7%
The goals give some guidance, but could be clearer»4 30%
The goals clearly describe what I am supposed to learn»5 38%

Genomsnitt: 2.84

4. Are the goals reasonable considering your background and the number of credits?

Answer this this question and the succeeding one, only if you do know the course goals.

10 svarande

No, the goals are set too low»0 0%
Yes, the goals seem reasonable»10 100%
No, the goals are set too high»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 2

- I don"t know where to find them...» (?)

5. Did the examination assess whether you have reached the goals?

12 svarande

No, not at all»0 0%
To some extent»4 33%
Yes, definitely»6 50%
I don"t know/have not been examined yet»2 16%

Genomsnitt: 2.83

- Don"t know the goals» (I don"t know/have not been examined yet)
- I only completed the first two home exams of the course, have not yet taken the written exam.» (I don"t know/have not been examined yet)

Teaching and course administration

6. To what extent has the teaching been of help for your learning?

13 svarande

Small extent»2 15%
Some extent»1 7%
Large extent»7 53%
Great extent»3 23%

Genomsnitt: 2.84

7. To what extent has the the course literature and other material been of help for your learning?

13 svarande

Small extent»1 7%
Some extent»3 23%
Large extent»8 61%
Great extent»1 7%

Genomsnitt: 2.69

- The stuff on the homepage, the slides from the lectures and the recommended papers proved useful/helpful but I din"t even look at the other litterature.» (Small extent)
- the course material itself while giving some guidance a large part of the Haskell programming was achieved with web assistance.» (Some extent)
- did we have a course book?» (Some extent)

8. How well did the course administration, web page, handouts etc work?

13 svarande

Very badly»0 0%
Rather badly»0 0%
Rather well»7 53%
Very well»6 46%

Genomsnitt: 3.46

Study climate

9. How were the opportunities for asking questions and getting help?

13 svarande

Very poor»0 0%
Rather poor»1 7%
Rather good»2 15%
Very good»9 69%
I did not seek help»1 7%

Genomsnitt: 3.76

- well not very well during the home exam weeks» (Very good)

10. How well has cooperation between you and your fellow students worked?

13 svarande

Very poorly»0 0%
Rather poorly»1 7%
Rather well»4 30%
Very well»6 46%
I did not seek cooperation»2 15%

Genomsnitt: 3.69

- I am good at VHDL, and my teammate were good at Haskell. I had never seen Haskell before. That meant that in the Haskell task it ended up like my teammate explained, I understood nothing. Haskell is the reason I failed to learn anything from the second part of the course.» (Rather poorly)
- For this course I happened to work only with people I knew beforehand.» (I did not seek cooperation)

11. How was the course workload?

13 svarande

Too low»0 0%
Low»0 0%
Adequate»6 46%
High»5 38%
Too high»2 15%

Genomsnitt: 3.69

- I would probably say adequate to high, but then again I did"nt have enough time for this course.» (Adequate)
- Been working continuously from week one. Nice with a high but consistent pace.» (High)
- labs and home examinatino, plus a written examination kept you quite busy. Perhaps a bit overkill, although it made you learn...at the expence of time. It"s hard to say if that is too much.» (High)
- Might had been better if I had any prior knowlede of functional programming, but the last home exam was horrible. I spent at least 8 hours a"day the last week.» (Too high)

12. How was the total workload this study period?

13 svarande

Too low»0 0%
Low»1 7%
Adequate»5 38%
High»5 38%
Too high»2 15%

Genomsnitt: 3.61

- Did only take this course, but had a full time job in parallel.» (Adequate)
- this is just a personal opinion as i was handling 3 courses during LP4,all with large workloads» (High)

Summarizing questions

13. What is your general impression of the course?

13 svarande

Poor»0 0%
Fair»0 0%
Adequate»4 30%
Good»5 38%
Excellent»4 30%

Genomsnitt: 4

- Even though the lava part was interesting I don"t think that I"ll have any use for it, ever. So in terms of time spent it seems like a poor investment,,,» (Adequate)
- with a bitter taste of Haskell =)» (Good)

14. Do you want exercises about what has been said in the lectures?

- Yes. The Lava, VHDL and PSL part are thoroughly handled both in the exams and the labs. It would be nice with exercises and examples to practice on to prepare for examination on the other subjects (transition systems, CTL, LTL). Please provide answers to all of or most of any such examples.»
- Yes, I think that would be a great way to practice what is taught.»
- Exercises would help understand the material better.»
- Labs and home exams cover a lot. Exercises on the parts that lab and home exam do not cover would be good.»
- Do you mean like at the end of each lecture? In that case no. i need time to process the information before I understand things. The tempo at the lectures was much too high for me to understand thins right away.»
- not sure»
- Yes, that is a very good way to understand better and learn»
- Not really.»
- No, I think that could be part of lab exercises instead.»
- On the things not covered in the labs but but still expected for the written exam, like those weird inductive graf thingies. I don"t even rememeber what they"re called, so little information we had on them. But still covered large parts in the exam. Ah yes those fixed point iterations with CTL I think they were called...»

15. Do you agree with the present system of examination for the course, by means of Home Exams, Written exam and labs? What about Oral Exams?

- I feel that the exam was very detailed and quite overwhelming considering the detail with which the course material has been examined in the take home exams and labs. Honestly, I feel that remembering the exact syntax of PSL, Lava and VHDL is rather pointless. Ignoring syntax and writing pseudo PSL or Lava seems difficult considering the needed precision of the language. The entire point is to express properties exactly. It would be nice with a "cheat sheet" of PSL on the exam, perhaps the one from Jasper. I believe the Haskell course provided an API during the exam which seems reasonable. Seeing the types of the patterns would help considerably when trying to put them together. I would have preferred oral exams if the focus is on the work done in the labs and take home exams. If the focus is on PSL or CTL it"s preferable with a regular exam. I think that this year"s exam took quite some time to complete, and I don"t understand the point of emphasizing "attempt all questions". Of course I will. Unanswered questions are probably due to time constraints, not lack of motivation.»
- Largely, yes. Oral exams would be preferrable if the number of stundents were lower.»
- No. Though the explanation for the current system was convincing, in the end, the last written exam turned out to be somewhat pointless. The labs and home exams on the other hand were interesting and probing.»
- Do not change the examination. Oral exams is a bad form of examination. Have had oral examination in another course. A course that I barely should be given a "pass", but I got a pass. While a friend of mine who deserved 5 got U.»
- I would have preferred an oral examination rather than a written, and. When it comes to the home exams I think it"s a good idea but they were a little bit too demanding for me timewise. It would have been a good idea to stress the importance and understanding of the Gaisler algorithm during the first labs.»
- home exams were good but i think it would have been enough with only the home exams. with the final written exam the workload got too high»
- Home Exams, Written exam and labs are good. I have never had an oral exam so I don"t know if that is better, but I don"t think so.»
- Yes»
- This is a good system which keeps you in good pace with the course all the time. Oral exams could also be used, but I don"t see a great advantage in that compared to the present system.»
- Hard to cover alot of material in an Oral Exam, although I"ve only had 1 in my life. Alot of time wasted for very little result imho. But the only thing that seemed a bit overlapping was the labs and the home exams. How about increasing the labs coverage with say 30% and skip the home exams. Since labs are about learning and not being able to ask questions or seek help just felt weird and not helping you understand the topics under study at all. weird tension those weeks with the home exams in the lab rooms: 30 ppl sitting quietly muttering for themselves or sighing very loudly in frustration.»

16. What should definitely be preserved to next year?

- Guest lecturers were cool, but difficult to come up with nice questions of the cuff. Perhaps a very brief into by the lecturer of the work during class prior to the visit. »
- The take home exams were great, as were the labs. I thought the Lava part was a good contrast to the "industry standard", i.e. VHDL and Verilog and should be kept, although it might be a lesser part of the course.»
- Having said that I do not agree with the current system of exams I would still like the content of the labs and home exams preserved in one form or another, maybe in the form of exercises contributing extra points to the final score.»
- PSL, such a wonderful way to be certain about the hardware.»
- lectures, guest lectures, home exams»
- The overall structure of the course. Furthermore, I had not previously coded VHDL, but I found it to be very straightforward, so I think the coverage of VHDL can be kept.»
- Labs and home exams (but I can only comment on the first half of the course).»

17. What should definitely be changed to next year?

- Please don"t start lectures 7 minutes before the normal time. Please avoid to much dependency between questions on the exam. Please try to keep the circuits of the course (for example the description of the circuit on the exam) un-weird for the benefit of the non-hardware people in class, just like you have kept the lava/haskell un-weird for the benefit of the hardware people. In general, the course seems very much geared towards the iecd which I guess is fine, but please just keep in mind that the course is semi compulsory for SDCS. The final exam should account for a proportionally smaller part of the final grade, considering the amount of work put into the labs and take home exam.»
- The slides were pretty much horrible to read at home. During the lecture, they worked fine. But if one is sick and cannot attend the lecture, or has conflicts in one"s schedule, they don"t offer much help.»
- The duration of lectures, maybe fewer lectures occupying the entire 1 hour 45 minute duration of lecture session.»
- Either demand that the students know VHDL and Haskell or take it away. Which (more or less) means ban all the students with electric engineering as background. The best would be to take Haskell away and instead focus on the algorithms to build the prefix trees of different kinds. »
- get rid of the written exam»
- Teach us to write good VHDL as you did previous years.»
- Maybe a monadic interface to Lava, with curried functions and combinators for wires :)»
- More reading material. Hard to find a book for such a wide reseach area. But it was hard to find any good info on CTL, LTL and fixed point iterations. And PSL usage, it felt like ad hoc solutions and hoping for the the best, in regard of covering all signals, and covering them in the right way. It at least didn"t feel very "formal" using it. But the VHDL and haskell information from the slides/reports were thorough and more complete. »

18. Additional comments

- Some of the most involved and enthusiastic teaching I"ve encountered so far. Very nice. Still don"t quite understand the naming convention used in the vhdl lab PM wrt "behavioral" vs. "rtl". There seems to be some amount of arbitrariness with how the terminology is used. »
- a course book and more strict/clear goals would be helpful»
- I did not know anything about functional programming before the course and I feel like it was to little time to learn Lava in this course. I got an introduction to Lava but I rather had learned more VHDL and how to verify it.»
- The book "logic in computer science", used in the course with the same name (DAT060) covers temporal logics and BDDs and was quite useful when studying for the exam. It would be nice if this course could build the basics of model checking from that course»

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