INF3705 Advanced Systems Development :: I’m starting exam prep now

This module is about software engineering, so if I go into the recesses of my mind (or pick up my old textbook), the concepts from Information System 3 back in 2010 are still buried there somewhere. It also helps that I have developers around me, so I’m always exposed to the terms (the different type of software dev models, user requirements spec etc).

What worries me about this module is that the lecturer has created a study guide to go along with it. In my first year Geo-environmental Science module back in 2007 (!), the lecturer gave us a study guide which she had written, which was much thicker than the actual textbook. I don’t think I even opened the textbook that semester.

My concern now is that this lecturer has stated which chapters should be read alongside the study guide units for a “complete mastering of the work”. It’s going to be hard for me to ignore the textbook, or to ignore the study guide. What’s probably going to happen is that I’m going to attempt to study the entire text book and study guide. That’s impossible.

What it does seem like is that the study guide contains all the core concepts, and leaves out all the waffling from the textbook. I detest writing my own notes – I prefer to do the red underline/green underline/highlight method. I know if I try to make my own notes, I’ll just ending up studying the study guide, the textbook and my notes.

Also, out of 50 questions in Assignment 1, 6 of them are incorrectly phrased. It also doesn’t count for any marks, only for exam admission. I’m worried.

Geodesign: Change Your World MOOC: I think I’ll keep my world the same for now.

I was so excited to see that Penn State was offering another MOOC this year, this time about geodesign. It’s been on my watchlist for the past few months, so when I got the email to announce that class was starting, I immediately checked it out.

After my last Penn State MOOC though, I was a bit more wary this time around. A cursory glance down the left pane showed me what I was hoping I would not find:Geodesign_PeerAssessments

I half-heartedly went through the course content after that, but I had already decided not to carry on. The peer assessment assignment is 40% of the grade for the course. I’ve mentioned here before that peer assessments in a MOOC are a dealbreaker for me. I learn best on my own. I enjoy working as part of a team, but on my own as part of a team.

This week I started with the two other modules I need to get into Hons. The one is about software engineering principles, while the other is about advanced database development using an old version of Oracle (why, Unisa, why). I’m quite excited about the SQL one, as it will give me more opportunities to flex my SQL muscles, and to get exposure to a different database platform (something other than SQL Server).

Basically, even if I wanted to do this MOOC now, I can’t. Best of luck to the Geodesign students, and hopefully with the next offering, they will relax the peer assessment requirement.