Course Evaluation

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But at the laste, as every thing hath ende, She took hir leve, and nedes wolde wende.

Which is to say, we will spend some time Friday with a course evaluation exercise and a more traditional paper evaluation form.

Possible questions for group discussion:

  • What's next? Has the course influenced how you see your research developing in the years ahead?
  • Was the course what you anticipated?
  • What topics do you consider essential for a course of this type?
  • What was duff?
  • What's the most beneficial thing you learned?
  • What was missing that you would recommend including in a future course?
  • Do you have any comments about the structure of the course? Did the daily schedule work for you? How about the full two weeks overall? Was there sufficient time for working the examples?
  • Was there an appropriate balance between technical (fortran, python, svn, etc.) and scientific material?
  • Is there anything you would recommend for future students to prepare for such a course?
  • Who's the fairest of them all?
  • Can you think of a good collective noun for (numerical) glaciologists?


Room for Improvement:

  1. More time introducing numerical techniques.
  2. Subversion should have been introduced on first day and then used through course.
  3. Distinction between overview and more in-depth lectures could have been better.
  4. Cookbook stuff is good but it would have been nice to have more advanced problems as additional work.
  5. There was too much to do sometimes.
  6. Wiki was not always easy to navigate. Should have a list of topics/keywords.
  7. Would have liked to have debrief time at the end of each day. What have we learned? What was the point of this exercise?
  8. Would have been nice to have time for problem solving during the week that was not specific to an assigned problem but about broad topics.
  9. Perhaps more glaciology fundamentals. Guided exploration questions could have been added to the exercises.
  10. Summary of expected skills or basic knowledge in advance of course.
  11. More from instructors on their ongoing research. What are the big issues? What are tractable issues?
  12. Needs a better name.
  13. Computational glaciology may be a name for the discipline.
  14. PCs: better support for individuals' computers? Virtual machine is suggested as a way to save time for individuals who want to use their own computer. There are issues with performance and management with that model. Mixture of machines could be a problem here as well. Discussion continues.

Topics that could have been included:

  1. model spinup and boundary condition issues
  2. calving
  3. (more) surface mass balance
  4. isostasy
  5. paleo

Things we liked:

  1. We love Nancy.
  2. Breakfast time was quality time for discussion, review, regrouping for the new day.
  3. The wiki was a wicked cool safety net during course and will be a future resource. Never had the feeling that material would be lost to me if I couldn't complete an exercise.
  4. Links among wiki pages were helpful.
  5. Group size was good, overall and within smaller work groups. People resorted as course progressed. Nobody agrees on optimal size for smaller work groups.
  6. Professional introductions will be important to my future work.
  7. Ratio of students to instructors was just right. Helpful for interaction. Beneficial to hear from many different instructors.
  8. Blurring of distinction between student and instructor was good.
  9. Model uncertainty was important component.
  10. Glimmer-CISM exercises were illuminating.
  11. Mixture of languages and tools was helpful. COMSOL was good for getting to a result I could interpret in terms of glaciology.
  12. I am an ice sheet modeler now. Steve has his doubts.
  13. This short course has been excellent on a productivity basis. It would take months to gain this on my own.
  14. Social icebreaker activities and team building exercises were important.
  15. Student presentation was unsurprisingly awesome although we still don't know what they are doing for their research projects.
  16. Students enjoyed organizing the student-organized presentation.
  17. I like Patrick. He's the fairest of them all. The competition with Steve was fierce.
  18. Two weeks was about right. Shorter would not have worked as well. Perhaps start on Monday instead of Tuesday.
  19. Two break days were important.
  20. Field trip was super!
  21. Suggestions for extracurricular activities were awesome and diverse, dude.
  22. Informal feeling was helpful. No pressure.
  23. Minimal paper!
  24. Portland was great place for the school, chance to get out into the city; didn't feel stuck somewhere. Public transportation.
  25. Farmers' Market!!!!!!!111!!1!!!