Friday, June 22, 2007

Scaling down the marks?

For the other modules I gave in the past, the problem of exam marking is to give out as much marks as possible. This time however, the cryptography module has an average that is so so high and we almost have to scale it down. Although, at the end, it was not done. I really don't know why the marks are so high. (Can I just say my teaching is very good?) I don't think the exam paper is too simple. If the same paper is given to the batch of students last year, I'm pretty sure the situation would be entirely different...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

annoying project reports

I was reading the pile of project reports, and I'm getting more and more annoyed about their English. Perhaps as a non-native speaker myself I shouldn't complain, but they are just... almost disgusting. Unlike many HK students who write things overly formally, sometimes to the point of being ridiculous, the most common situation here is they write in a very chatty way - not complete sentences, going on and on without even a comma when it should have 3 full stops, wrong spellings of similarly-sounding words, etc. These are the relatively better ones. The worst ones are simply incomprehensible. I believe many of them are, although not ethnic-British, born and educated in UK. How they survived the exam system I don't really understand. Does GCSE test any writing skills?

Speaking of the projects, some of them are just way too weak. It is as if the students only spent half a day doing it. They have "successfully" implemented things like a seat booking system for a football stadium allowing you to book the same seat (for the same match) an infinite number of times, or a webshots-like photo sharing system where the owner/uploader is the only person who can view the photos, etc. In fact, the front webpage of the project is a template with words like "put your company name here" and "this is some dummy text"...

Sunday, June 03, 2007

What you can do in ten months

We have been experiencing a severe shortage of secretarial support for some time. As if that's not enough, two of the secretaries somehow coordinated themselves into getting pregnant at roughly the same time. So they are off for ten months of maternity leave. Ten months!