Gas station without pumps

2012 September 27

Good news for circuits course

Filed under: Circuits course — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 21:30
Tags: , , ,

After the bad news for the circuits course last week, I’m pleased to have gotten some cautiously good news today:

  • I talked with the co-instructor I was hoping to teach with, and he is still eager to teach the course.  He’s even willing to go through all the bureaucratic hassle of getting added to yet another instructor pool and getting permission from the union to take on a third course winter quarter.  He’ll also take on the task of trying to get the appropriate instructional lab space scheduled.
  • We decided that we did not need a TA, but an undergrad group tutor (half the price or less) would be useful.
  • I sent e-mail to my chair requesting funding for the course (instructor salary, undergrad group tutor, and about $1000 for building the special-purpose lab setups)—he responded “I intend to try mightily to support this financially. I will review department $ with SOE.”

So, it is looking probable (though not guaranteed) that we will get to teach the course this year.  Despite my normal pessimistic attitude, I’m going to go full-speed ahead on the course design.

To help with planning, I sent the bioengineering undergrads a message asking them to respond with one of the following:

  • Will definitely take it Winter 2013 if offered.
  • Interested for Winter 2013, but not sure I can schedule it.
  • Not this year (Winter 2013)—but interested in future.
  • Not interested—will take EE 101.

At the moment (after about 5 hours), the counts are 6 Yes, 4 unsure, 7 future, and 2 take-101.  The students who said they would take EE 101 were already enrolled in it, and didn’t want to drop it on just the chance of the different course. The mail went out to about 220 students, so we’re not even at 10% returns yet.  I suspect that many of the premajors have no opinion and that many of the students who have already taken EE 101 won’t reply, but I’m hoping to get 40–100 votes, for an estimated class size of 16–40 students this year.  I’d like to see the “yes” votes plus half the “unsure” votes exceed 20 to offer one lab section, and exceed 35 to offer two lab sections (the lab capacity is about 24 students).   I’ll review the counts again on Monday, after students have had a chance to talk with each other and think about their scheduling over the weekend.

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