The Higher Education Megathread

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Mafro
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PostRe: The Higher Education Megathread
by Mafro » Thu May 14, 2020 2:24 pm

Mafro wrote:
Corazon de Leon wrote:
Mafro wrote:We haven't been officially told yet by any of our tutors that our exam that was meant to be two weeks today is cancelled even though it says so on the SQA website, and we've still been given stuff to do as revision for it when that time could be used doing our normal work for assessments we need to submit and be graded on instead :simper:


What institution is this?

Fife College. This is what's on the SQA site from two weeks ago regarding my course level https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/93717.html Luckily we had a prelim a few weeks before the college closed (was 1% off getting an A), others weren't so lucky and had one scheduled later that never happened

Update on this, they finally told us that it was cancelled and for people that did the prelim and the four core units will be awarded their prelim grade. Anyone who didn't do the prelim but completed the four core units will be awarded a C. They're giving people the option to do the exam at a later date if they want a better grade if needed for uni entry.

They've also cancelled some other assessments to take the stress off of us during lockdown, including our Data Science one which was the only assessment for that class so that's kinda felt like a waste of a four hour class a week.

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PostRe: The Higher Education Megathread
by Karl_ » Thu May 14, 2020 3:04 pm

@Maf: At the risk of being a bit weird (even more so than usual :slol: ), could you tell me a bit about your data science module? It's just that most of my day-to-day at the moment is data science and I'm curious as to what's being taught at an undergrad/foundation level!

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PostRe: The Higher Education Megathread
by Mafro » Thu May 14, 2020 3:43 pm

Karl_ wrote:@Maf: At the risk of being a bit weird (even more so than usual :slol: ), could you tell me a bit about your data science module? It's just that most of my day-to-day at the moment is data science and I'm curious as to what's being taught at an undergrad/foundation level!

We were first introduced to what it is e.g it's multidisciplinary, collecting, analysing and parsing data, what sectors it's used in etc. in a strawberry floating boring powerpoint that went on for at least an hour. Then we were given a brief intro to Python and given Caesar Cipher to do, then some tasks using dictionaries to count the frequency of specific words in text files. Then data cleaning specific entries a web server log file. There was also some shite about data filtering movie review scores from different reviewers as well but this was right before college stopped.

The assessments were:

Describe the main areas of operation of data scientists (architecture, acquisition, analysis and archiving)
Describe the techniques used to store and manage big data (storage, capture, cleaning, reduction, modeling)
Describe the tools used to manipulate big data (Hadoop and associated tools, programming languages, NoSQL databases)

using either a text description or working code example for each.

It's the first year of them doing the data science unit and it kinda showed. It probably wasn't a good idea chucking all that at us while most of us were learning Python for the first time, plus the fact it was four hours and the last class of the day.

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PostRe: The Higher Education Megathread
by Corazon de Leon » Thu May 14, 2020 4:00 pm

Mafro wrote:
Mafro wrote:
Corazon de Leon wrote:
Mafro wrote:We haven't been officially told yet by any of our tutors that our exam that was meant to be two weeks today is cancelled even though it says so on the SQA website, and we've still been given stuff to do as revision for it when that time could be used doing our normal work for assessments we need to submit and be graded on instead :simper:


What institution is this?

Fife College. This is what's on the SQA site from two weeks ago regarding my course level https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/93717.html Luckily we had a prelim a few weeks before the college closed (was 1% off getting an A), others weren't so lucky and had one scheduled later that never happened

Update on this, they finally told us that it was cancelled and for people that did the prelim and the four core units will be awarded their prelim grade. Anyone who didn't do the prelim but completed the four core units will be awarded a C. They're giving people the option to do the exam at a later date if they want a better grade if needed for uni entry.

They've also cancelled some other assessments to take the stress off of us during lockdown, including our Data Science one which was the only assessment for that class so that's kinda felt like a waste of a four hour class a week.


Sorry mate, that must feel like an absolute waste of time. We worked pretty hard to try and make people feel like their work was for something, but it was tough to balance everything.

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PostRe: The Higher Education Megathread
by Karl_ » Thu May 14, 2020 4:14 pm

Mafro wrote:We were first introduced to what it is e.g it's multidisciplinary, collecting, analysing and parsing data, what sectors it's used in etc. in a strawberry floating boring powerpoint that went on for at least an hour. Then we were given a brief intro to Python and given Caesar Cipher to do, then some tasks using dictionaries to count the frequency of specific words in text files. Then data cleaning specific entries a web server log file. There was also some shite about data filtering movie review scores from different reviewers as well but this was right before college stopped. [...] It's the first year of them doing the data science unit and it kinda showed. It probably wasn't a good idea chucking all that at us while most of us were learning Python for the first time, plus the fact it was four hours and the last class of the day.


Ack! Sounds not great. Combined with the lack of assessment I can see why you're pissed off with it!

I'm a bit sad to read that really - obviously they've made it boring in that course, but data science is actually really creative, it's about learning a bit about the science/business/whatever you're working with, coming up with ways to bring together all the data you need, then understanding/visualising it and making predictions off it. It's always a bit different for each job you do and that's the exciting bit students should learn and get some practice at imo!

Weird decision to throw "intro to Python" and "learn data science" together too. You can teach the concepts and the problem-solving element to it in Excel, or any language that the students have done before. Don't get me wrong, Python is "the" language of data science so I do get it, but you can't learn them both together, it's too much.

Thanks anyway! I'm always interested in how data science is being taught, as I'm actually starting to teach it a little bit (tutorials for third-year undergrads and first-year postgrads) and I don't want to get too out of touch. (I've had good feedback so far but I've had very polite students, not sure they'd tell me if I was crap! :slol: )

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PostRe: The Higher Education Megathread
by Mafro » Thu May 14, 2020 6:11 pm

Karl_ wrote:
Mafro wrote:We were first introduced to what it is e.g it's multidisciplinary, collecting, analysing and parsing data, what sectors it's used in etc. in a strawberry floating boring powerpoint that went on for at least an hour. Then we were given a brief intro to Python and given Caesar Cipher to do, then some tasks using dictionaries to count the frequency of specific words in text files. Then data cleaning specific entries a web server log file. There was also some shite about data filtering movie review scores from different reviewers as well but this was right before college stopped. [...] It's the first year of them doing the data science unit and it kinda showed. It probably wasn't a good idea chucking all that at us while most of us were learning Python for the first time, plus the fact it was four hours and the last class of the day.


Ack! Sounds not great. Combined with the lack of assessment I can see why you're pissed off with it!

I'm a bit sad to read that really - obviously they've made it boring in that course, but data science is actually really creative, it's about learning a bit about the science/business/whatever you're working with, coming up with ways to bring together all the data you need, then understanding/visualising it and making predictions off it. It's always a bit different for each job you do and that's the exciting bit students should learn and get some practice at imo!

Weird decision to throw "intro to Python" and "learn data science" together too. You can teach the concepts and the problem-solving element to it in Excel, or any language that the students have done before. Don't get me wrong, Python is "the" language of data science so I do get it, but you can't learn them both together, it's too much.

Thanks anyway! I'm always interested in how data science is being taught, as I'm actually starting to teach it a little bit (tutorials for third-year undergrads and first-year postgrads) and I don't want to get too out of touch. (I've had good feedback so far but I've had very polite students, not sure they'd tell me if I was crap! :slol: )

Yeah I was surprised they didn't have Python as a separate class. the Introduction to Software Development unit (one of the four core units covered in the exam) in the first semester was JavaScript and the Programming Fundamentals unit in the second semester is Arduino. Would have made more sense to me to have Programming Fundamentals focus on Python since it was running concurrently with the Data Science unit. With the Web Development course last year they specifically made it so that work in the units crossed over with each other e.g. we were coding stuff in our JavaScript class that would be used in the website we were creating in our Responsive Web Design class.

I'm not even sure if the Data Science unit will show on our final certificate now and it would've been a nice thing to have for a CV as well. I was looking forward to doing it when I saw it was on our timetable but it's a shame it ended up being a bit of a mess :( I'm probably just going to do CodeCademy's course at some point https://www.codecademy.com/learn/paths/data-science

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PostRe: The Higher Education Megathread
by Mafro » Mon May 18, 2020 11:33 am

lol they've now changed their minds and chucked three(?!) data science assessments at us.

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PostRe: The Higher Education Megathread
by Corazon de Leon » Mon May 18, 2020 11:42 am

I’m not sure they can do that - if you’ve been recording all of this, I’d raise a complaint with them mate.

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PostRe: The Higher Education Megathread
by Mafro » Mon May 18, 2020 11:46 am

Luckily they don't seem too complicated and it's all just written stuff. Looks like I can just basically repurpose my notes and bash them all out in a day.

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PostRe: The Higher Education Megathread
by Corazon de Leon » Mon May 18, 2020 1:03 pm

Even still, you’re being strawberry floated about something rotten there. Sounds like they don’t know what they’re doing behind the scenes and the students are suffering, which should never be the case.

Still, good luck mate, hope you smash them.

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PostRe: The Higher Education Megathread
by Rodders9 » Mon May 25, 2020 8:27 pm

Sat my final exams online due to COVID-19. Currently waiting on the results. (Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Glasgow).

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PostRe: The Higher Education Megathread
by Rodders9 » Wed May 27, 2020 12:11 pm

Waiting for my results is torture. I keep checking to see if the marking statuses have changed. Don’t think I’ll be able to relax till they get released.

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PostRe: The Higher Education Megathread
by Corazon de Leon » Wed May 27, 2020 12:33 pm

I feel your pain mate, waiting on finals coming back is torture. For what it’s worth I’ve been involved in exam marking for UoG and they’re pretty damn efficient at getting everything back as soon as they possibly can, but expect delays as there’s absolutely no precedent for convening exam boards in an isolation situation. Good luck!

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PostRe: The Higher Education Megathread
by Red » Fri Jun 05, 2020 3:15 am

I honestly thought that returning to education at the age of 35 following a reasonably successful professional life in which I juggled multiple complex projects and was responsible for the delivery of important material for the police force that I would not be pulling all nighters to finish essays, and yet here I am at 3 am frantically writing an assignment on Bronze Age spears for tomorrow morning, chain smoking and drinking a gallon of black coffee.

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PostRe: The Higher Education Megathread
by Red » Fri Jun 12, 2020 10:43 am

I spent the last few weeks in a deep gloom because of how uni was going under lockdown, how disengaged everything felt, how assignments were compromised constantly by lack of access to resources, lack of computer lab access, lack of science lab access, lack of fieldwork site access, but just got one of the marks back I thought was a fail and it was actually a distinction, so just goes to show how poor I am at judging that. I just sat there and wept it was such a relief. I've never felt such a pure, unadulterated relief.

It was a mess; doing a survey and report on one end of the cathedral - 3D scanning, Total Station survey, photography, archive research etc. We got the field work done just before everything shut, but there were gaps we couldn't return to fill, all the cathedral archives closed. Processing the data in ArcGIS was a nightmare because I have a 5 year old £300 shitty laptop bought for its ability to run Word and nothing else. I could barely get the software to open, my data was lost over and over again as it crashed. Some elements were group work but only one other out of five actually did their bit. I just felt when I submitted that it was irredeemably bad. I descended into a bit of a hole mentally, feeling I'd blown my one chance at doing the MA well.

But then I got 75 for it so who the strawberry float knows.

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PostRe: The Higher Education Megathread
by Corazon de Leon » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:10 pm

Well done! Even with the circumstances and whatnot distinction marks aren’t handed out willy nilly(I’ve only ever given around a dozen in the five years I’ve been marking), so you should rightfully be really strawberry floating proud of that. Have a few celebration beers this weekend and enjoy yourself. :D

And yeah, judging your own work is really difficult. The amount of times I handed in what I thought was a broken mess and received strong marks for it. Or the opposite, when you’re so happy with what you’ve done and are really excited to get the marks back and it comes in as a 55. Soul crushing. :lol:

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PostRe: The Higher Education Megathread
by Mini E » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:14 pm

Congratulations Red. Great news.

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PostRe: The Higher Education Megathread
by Karl_ » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:16 pm

Corazon de Leon wrote:And yeah, judging your own work is really difficult. The amount of times I handed in what I thought was a broken mess and received strong marks for it. Or the opposite, when you’re so happy with what you’ve done and are really excited to get the marks back and it comes in as a 55. Soul crushing. :lol:

I once worked really hard on an assignment, going above and beyond and doing a lot of research outside of what was covered in the notes for it, and got: "Why did you do this? Stick to the assignment. 55%".

Years later and I am still mad about it. Out of pure petty resentment I put zero effort into any other assignments in that course and, of course, got better marks for it. Some people just shouldn't be teaching. :fp:

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PostRe: The Higher Education Megathread
by Mini E » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:18 pm

Karl_ wrote:
Corazon de Leon wrote:And yeah, judging your own work is really difficult. The amount of times I handed in what I thought was a broken mess and received strong marks for it. Or the opposite, when you’re so happy with what you’ve done and are really excited to get the marks back and it comes in as a 55. Soul crushing. :lol:

I once worked really hard on an assignment, going above and beyond and doing a lot of research outside of what was covered in the notes for it, and got: "Why did you do this? Stick to the assignment. 55%".

Still mad about it. Out of resentment I very obviously put zero effort into any other assignments in that course and, of course, got better marks for it. Some people just shouldn't be teaching. :fp:


I'm gonna play devils advocate here and note that the lecturers are generally quite handcuffed by marking rubrics/assessment criteria, so when external examiners look at a sample of the work, the do it purely by comparing the grade to the pre-submitted criteria. Effort ≠ grades, unfortunately ;-).

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PostRe: The Higher Education Megathread
by Karl_ » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:22 pm

Mini E wrote:I'm gonna play devils advocate here and note that the lecturers are generally quite handcuffed by marking rubrics/assessment criteria, so when external examiners look at a sample of the work, the do it purely by comparing the grade to the pre-submitted criteria. Effort ≠ grades, unfortunately ;-).

It was a postgraduate course, and doing a bit teaching myself now, I genuinely believe the lecturer was just being a twat. Even if he was genuinely boxed in by some very specific mark scheme he could have been a lot nicer about it.

I was a bit disappointed by the grade but it was the snide comment that made it stand out as such an annoying experience.


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