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Before you leave Grinnell, I would like to ask you some questions about your experiences in the major. (This is an aspect of the department's self-evaluation.) The principal questions are below. I'd appreciate a chance to talk with you about them in person, so that we can discuss your experiences in some depth. In addition, you may find it helpful to write down some short notes in advance as preparation for our discussion.

Note that the department will discuss responses at some time in the near future. I will do my best to keep your responses anonymous.

  1. Looking back on your experiences in the major, what did you like best?
  2. Looking back on your experiences in the major, what did you like least?
  3. What did you gain from the major?
  4. What do you wish you had gained from the major?
  5. What courses in the major do you regard as essential to your education in computer science? Why?
  6. Were there any courses in the major that you took but wish you had not taken? If so, which ones and why?
  7. Were there any courses related to the major that you wish that you had taken but didn't? If so, which ones and why?
  8. Were there courses outside the major that you regard as essential to your education in computer science? If so, which ones and why?
  9. The department is considering a new, 2-credit, software project course, which would be offered every semester. The projects would serve community organizations or open source efforts. Students would have a sustained engagement in a team project over two semesters for four credits total, starting in either the fall or the spring. Would you have considered taking such a course instead of CSC 323 or 325? If this new class replaced both CSC 323 and 325, how would this have affected your four-year plan?
  10. The department has been experimenting with offering more 1- and 2-credit courses. We are discussing the possibility of changing some existing courses, especially electives, from four credits to two credits. Would you have been interested in taking 2-credit CS electives? What do you see as the advantages or disadvantages of 2-credit electives compared to 4-credit electives?
  11. Is a 2-credit project course more or less attractive if the CS department regularly offers several 2-credit courses? Why?
  12. What suggestions do you have for improving or changing our program for majors?
  13. What else would you like me to know about your experience in the major or at Grinnell?
Topic revision: r4 - 2013-05-09, JanetDavis

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