Thanks to the quick pace of studying matrices, MST124’s TMA03 was handed in early, putting me a month ahead of schedule in both modules. I’ve decided to concentrate on just maths revision for the last few months of the academic year, so switched back to TM129 to complete the last block, Linux.
The first few weeks have many inconsistencies, typos, and factual errors, but then the block improves. Actually, despite working professionally with Linux, I came to enjoy the block. The materials weren’t personally challenging, but the ePortfolio again provided fun avenues for self-directed learning. (Bonus: I picked up many tips.)
A minor issue was the ePortfolio back loading. The ePortfolio works best if you work on it as you go. This both checks current understanding, and distributes the workload. The Linux block has small, mundane activities at the beginning, and several large, interesting ones after completing the final week of study. This results in students crushed with many longer ePortfolio activities, then the final TMA, then the EMA, in consecutive batterings. I feel the module team may have missed this perspective.
The TMA is also a bit questionable. Several marks aren’t covered at all in the materials … which isn’t necessarily bad. Independent research is clearly indicated, but methods of evaluation weren’t discussed, so it’s testing students’ innate ability rather than understanding of the learning objectives. Some marks probably test checking Linux man pages … an answer does appear in a man page, but not the related page, giving me ambiguous feelings. One question involves Intellectual Property law, entirely absent from module materials (and learning objectives), which I feel entirely inappropriate given the complexity of IP law. Difficulty linking assessment questions to learning objectives has been a consistent issue with this presentation of TM129. (Another question confuses “Linux” with “Ubuntu” …)
I’m already working on the EMA’s notes. I doubt I’ll complete it this week as hoped, though. TM129 TMA02 still isn’t back, but I’m hoping for that this week, too. I hope to switch back to maths while I’m still ahead there.