Basic .NET Development Course Feedback

February 8, 2010

Last week, I gave a lecture on Basic .NET Development (focusing on C# and ASP.NET). To say the truth, I can’t count myself as an expert on these technologies (actually, I’m not an expert in any particular technology).

At the end of the course, I asked the students to fill a fairly simple form, which asked them what were the three worst problems and the three best things they experienced during the class. I decided to post it here because it can be useful for people preparing lectures who happen to stumble with this page. Helps to say: the form was anonymous.  The results (only for the three worst problems) are categorized below:

.NET Basic Development Course Feedback

.NET Basic Development Course Feedback (Bad Stuff)

Click here for the full responses (portuguese only). This link also includes the positive feedback.

Some interesting comments:

  • Short Timespan: That’s 100% my fault. Maybe I tried to squeeze as much content as I could in the fixed timespan we got. Doing this, you will always give people the feeling that you are out of time, and so are they.
  • Physical Infrastructure: If you are to prepare a course, don’t underestimate this. People don’t like to stay in an uncomfortable chair with wires all around. And this WILL affect the quality of the attention they will be able to pay on you.
  • The Technology Sucks: We encoutered some bugs when dealing with some examples/exercises and had to get workarounds for them. Truth is every technology/programming language/software have bugs.
  • Software Infrastructue: Some (few) machines were not ready for some steps of the course.

I suppose there aren’t any comments regarding the instructor because the instructor asked for the feedback :).

The interesting stuff to notice here is : If I had spent more time(4 hours would be more than enough) preparing everything to improve the quality of the environment we spent together, I could get 70% of this stuff solved. They were simple, easy-to-notice, easy-to-solve issues.

So, the lesson I learned was: Get yourself involved in every step of the course. Prepare the environment yourself (or at least check it early). Check the software. Get yourself prepared. It’s not so different from developing software, is it? If you let any aspect get out of control, it will hunt you and make you regret disregarding it.

Also, always get feedback. I spent 3 minutes to set up the google form to enable the students to answer the survey. Actually, it’s so simple it makes you feel bad about thinking of using anything else. And remember: The only thing worse than bad stuff you do is bad stuff you do and don’t know is bad, because you’ll do it again.

So, want to talk about situations you got feedback (class-related or not) that was useful later? Comment below.

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