lectures are useless!

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It would be help if the lecture material was in sync with the labs and not one week after. (I don't care how to do lab2 when lab2 was already done in lab last week)

-- (lecture@useless.com), February 02, 1999


I have also found that the lectures are in no way facilitating the material required in the labs. The labs sheets are extremely sparse in terms of infomation required to perform the labs.

Can you reconcile the degree of difficulty of the first and second labs? In the first lab, we were asked to "fill in the blanks" and the second we were required to create an interface for the 68K bus. Is this situation not similar to asking us to first step over a pebble then asking us to climb Mt. Everest? just because we know what mountain equipment looks like?

-- lectures??? (unknown@unknown.com), February 03, 1999.

Lectures and labs are related but not 100%. The main objective of the lectures is to introduce a series of practical topics. The labs are designed to teach you writing VHDL for large circuits and debugging them. As I mentioned before the main purpose of the labs is teaching and not evaluation. However, I agree with you in that the lecture materials and labs should be synchronized in parts that are related. This has been my intention, but we missed 2 lectures bcz of the field trip and the weather conditions. The course assistants and I tried to make up for that by posting the necessary info on the web page. Also, future labs will hopefully be after related lectures. The information that was given in the lecture after lab2 (on Feb 1st) is also useful for lab3 (maybe even lab4), and since the majority of students didn't finish lab2, I decided to go ahead with them as planned.

Also, on a related note: you shouldn't compare the difficulty of lab1 and lab2. Lab1 was only designed to refresh your memory and get you familiar with logic analyzer. In the previous years the equivalent of this lab had no marks assigned; we decided to allocate some mark to this lab just to boost you lab marks. Lab2 is the 1st real lab, and I have already talked about the reasons it was difficult in the lectures.

Finally, I find the title of this Q a bit too extreme. Are you making this comment only based on the second lab? If somebody thinks the lectures are useless independent of the labs, then s/he disagrees with my choice of topics. The topics I have listed in the web page, as course contents, are chosen based on the topics taught in the previous years or similar courses. My choice of topics repeats the material from 341 and 241 less than prev. years. I find it hard to accept that these topics are not interesting when some students keep talking to me about them for up to half an hour after the class.

-- Alireza Kaviani (kaviani@eecg.toronto.edu), February 07, 1999.

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