1. Some professors in the ICS department don't really convey the subject well leaving students with more questions than they started with.
2. Professors already emphasize it, but more emphasis on how much of a foundation the lower division (ex. Discrete Math) courses are to the thought process of programming.
3. It would be nice to have ICS courses with more focus requirements. I found myself in a spot where I have to take a whole bunch of WI's to just meet those requirements when I really want to do more ICS related work.
1. I find that ICS professors often have such extensive knowledge on the subjects they teach, that they sometimes overcomplicate subjects while they explain them. This can leave you very confused.
2. The class availability is sparse, sometimes forcing commuting students to stay on campus for extended periods of time.
3. Stress! My computer science classes are the most stressful out of any other subjects, and they require a lot of time; leaving you with very little time to de-stress.
I do wish that they had more options for the classes in different times on different days. I have the hardest time trying to select classes that I want to take. Some classes are only at night, which can be really hard to pull off for the early risers. And sometimes the classes get filled up pretty fast that some students don't get to take their 'planned-to-take' classes. Some classes are not even taught in certain semester which extends the years of being an undergrad. It would be very helpful and beneficial to have more options for the students to keep going and their schedule being flexible as possible for them.
What are three ways that the UH ICS program could improve?
1. The department may be more helpful to ICS students if it can hold more career fair events for a year. Most of students want to have a job right after their graduation. If they can have more connections to the companies, they will be more likely to be employed later.
2. The program may be more powerful if it has more campus jobs that will give the students the future-related job experiences that will be put on their resumes. If more undergraduate students can be hired as research assistants or junior developers, they will learn real programmings and be a better programmer later.
3. The number of the clubs can be the factor to make the program powerful. There are already some clubs, but if there were more clubs, there would be more students to join. They are also relevant to learn things and participate in competitions.
Similar to many other majors, ICS requires most if not all of your time dedicated to classes or finding internships/jobs. It's also very difficult to both work and be a full time student while still getting good grades. This leaves a student with little time for relaxation and other hobbies (...like surfing!).
2) Class times
I noticed that a lot of the upper division courses are scheduled in the afternoon/evening around 2-6pm. This can be added stress on a commuting student because of the traffic and long breaks between other classes.
3) Flipped classroom shock
As I just transferred from LCC to UH Manoa this semester, it was like a classroom culture shock now taking ICS 311. I actually support the flipped classroom model, but I think it would be a good idea to implement it from the beginning ICS courses at all UH campuses. I'm finding it a little difficult to adjust my habits for the flipped classroom since I have never experienced it.
I am in the Computer Engineering program rather then the ICS program, so my biggest complaint is that if I want to take any ICS sources I am required to get an override. Better integration into the Engineering program would be great.
1) I believe that many students learn well through a lecture, a face to face interaction where they can take notes and participate live. While I understand that certain students zone out, I would have preferred having a lecture and also the videos for reviews. There are some teachers that aren't very effective in teaching and teach very textbook.
2) Hearing from my upperclassman and my intro experience in this major, there isn't a lot of opportunity within classes to do hands, real career work.
3) From my previous classes that I took, many of the assignments, and exams were driven on memory and less on problem solving.
1. First thing is that ICS course will take most time of students' day. Inorder to pass course. There are too many things to learn, so students must keep study and have a little time to rest.
2. It is too expensive as a ICS students, besides tuition students also need buy expensive textbook and good labtop. However, students don't have time to work to earn extra money.
3. Students have to spent more time on self-learning than on lecture. It is better and efficient for some students to learn face to face in lecture.
Three ways that the UH ICS Program could improve:
1) On top of taking ICS classes that are challenging and demand your time outside of class to learn on your own, especially those that hold a "flipped classroom" policy, you are required to take other classes to fulfill your other academic requirements. We have focus and general science requirements with mandatory secondary language classes which are almost equally as challenging and require time outside of class to also study the material. The motto of "15 to Finish" on STAR also emphasizes taking a minimum amount of credits to graduate on time but it really puts a load on students that can severely stress them out. In addition, some students have to be working part-time jobs to help pay for their college tuition. If it's recommended that these students reduce their work hours to focus on their classes, how will they pay for their upcoming semesters? Here, it's rather reduce the stress load and take more classes in another semester to stay on course or power through and risk a poor performance.
2) Some classes starting at later times are almost detrimental to schedules. For example, my ICS 311 class starts at 4:30-5:45 on Mondays and Wednesdays while the recitation is from 4:00-4:50. For some students, myself included, I find that it's hard to start paying attention to things during the afternoon since I'm much more of a morning person. Now, after having several classes, how are we expected to perform at our best and pay full attention when the classes start at such a late time?
3) Lastly, there should be some change to the curriculum to introduce classes early on that are related to your focus rather than leaving it towards the later years after taking all the general courses. For example, I really wanted to focus into cyber security but have yet to even start learning about it because of all the time I have to invest in my other classes. I understand that having these classes teaching the basic skills required are important but having early classes in these areas can boost a student's interest and may help some find what area of computer science they want to focus on.
One of the things I was surprised to find is the focus on classes that are not ICS based. While I understand we are getting a Bachelor of Science degree, I feel like most of my time and stress has gone towards classes like Chemistry and classes that fulfill only the certain parts of our degree. For instance, I am currently taking a class that will not benefit my understanding of my chosen field, only to fulfill my ethics and writing intensive requirements. After meeting with a school counselor, we found that I might have to take more classes that are not ICS based to fulfill my oral and writing-intensive credits. This was disheartening because I was looking forward to being able to focus my attention on learning more within my field. I wish we could focus on the classes that will help us once we are out in our work field. Maybe trying to get important and required classes to fulfill these requirements would help students feel like they are not wasting their time on unnecessary classes.
Another aspect of the UH ICS program that I was surprised by, was the idea of flipped classrooms in upper-level classes. I took 311(Algorithms) last semester and found it very difficult to get used to the way the class operated. The class is notoriously one of the more difficult classes that students have to take, and I felt that there should be a lecture included in the class time. I do think that some classes could benefit from a flipped classroom, I just feel like it needs to be re-evaluated as to which classes should have it. Maybe some of the lower-level classes should implement the idea of them so students can prepare for harder classes later on in there degree.
I have heard a lot about the upper-level classes for the ICS department being held late in the day. Already I'm starting to feel like there is a lot on conflicting times with the classes that I want/need to take in a semester. Maybe polling the registered ICS students in what times they want to take these classes could help students with scheduling their classes.