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What are three ways that the UH ICS program could improve?

If you can think of more than three things, then please limit your response to your top three!

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What are three ways that the UH ICS program could improve?

1) Increasing the weight of the homework score more than the test. It's important because I know how much about the class, but we can use a variety of medias to solve our task in a more comprehensive way when solving a task.

2) I think there should be a well-equipped environment where students can systematically learn the competencies that S/W engineers should have.

3) Currently we have non-face-to-face classes due to COVID-19. I've never taken an in-person class at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, so I'm not sure what needs to be improved.

1. I wish we had more specialized degrees and classes for ICS. I feel like other universities have many more degree options for computer science majors.

2. There should be more classes offered for the ICS prerequisite classes. I had difficulty enrolling in 311 and 314 due to the limited seating. I also feel like this is an issue for ICS 211 and ICS 241 here. 

3. Oral communication courses in ICS would be nice so I would not have to venture outside of my major to meet this degree requirement. 

1. For some of the ICS classes there is limited class availability. Meaning that the classes are usually full and there are about 2 time slots for each ICS class, and these time slots may be very inconvenient. 

2. Assignments are very time consuming and may interfere with other class deadlines or tests. They are time consuming because I am not very experienced in coding, so fixing bugs and thinking of an algorithm takes a lot of my time.

3. The cost of the resources is pretty high. Getting new books every semester, having the right equipment for the class uses up a lot of money.

1. How hard it is to make connections with people within the ICS community. I personally have friends that had belong to other majors and not my own. 

2. How hard it is to jungle time between knowing how many hours I need to put everyday for each class to be successful. 

3. Not having classes with multiple time slots, some ics class only have a certain time and date that isn't flexible.  

1. I think that ICS classes should offer more graduation attributes. I think that ICS 314 is the only ICS class that offers a WI credit (correct me if I'm wrong). More variety for the students to take would be nice so that we would not have to struggle to find certain classes that meet graduation requirements. 

2. I think that a web development class would be nice. I believe that a lot of regular students as well as ICS students wouldn't mind learning how to create a website. A class purely devoted to HTML and CSS, and it could be an Level 100 class. There is a lack of variety in the Level 100 courses, students outside of ICS would only be able to take ICS 101 and 110.

3. Lastly, I think that some kind of support class or group for the required math courses would be great. I know some fellow ICS students that happened to fail Calc 1, and the failure for that class resulted in them being delayed a year for graduation. They would have to retake the course, and not be able to take further ICS courses (some like ICS 314 and 311 have heavy math prereqs), putting them further behind. Some kind of support group would help those students who really want to move further in ICS. Instead of them feeling discouraged after failing one course. 

1. I feel like some of the information in the classes is very overwhelming, and hard to keep up with sometimes.

2. The daily quizzes in my 311 class are definitely a good way to motivate people to read the material, but I am a person that learns a lot through trial and error, so quizzes seem pretty punishing to me.

3. I feel like it would be better if there was multiple mediums that the professors use to communicate announcements. For example, for ICS314 many of the important announcements are made on Discord. I find myself checking my emails and laulima more often than Discord, so I wish there was a way for announcements to be sent using those instead of just discord.

1. Connections/collaborations with other institutions

2. More diverse/multidisciplinary upper level electives.

3. A clearer directory for classes previously, currently, and planned to be offered as well as the associated professors. 

1. There aren't adequate and many resources available to help ICS students. The only resources to help students is the learning emporium, the lab, and the TAs. Often when going for help at the lab or the learning emporium, there will be one person helping 10 other students with their work.

2. The timing of classes. A lot of the time ICS classes are done later around 5 to 7 pm. I know a lot of students would like more choices when it comes to choosing their classes instead of having to be forced to take a class at 6pm. I personally am more productive earlier than later.

3. The flipped classroom format. I enjoy the flipped classroom format, however, I think it only works with certain classes. Often with a flipped classroom format, in-class students would ask questions but I think it is hard for students to ask questions. For me personally, I have a hard time asking questions in class, I think it would be beneficial if the teacher still lectured instead of relying on students questions to lead the course. 

1) A large dedicated study area like how Daniel mentioned would be nice.

2) Perhaps if there were more research opportunities available and bulletin for everyone to see it would be a great improvement.

3) Having more access to internship opportunities would be great too!

1. The time that classes are able to be taken. For ICS 311, as an example, they only have classes available in the evening, which can be tough for students who have it difficult in terms of transportation. Though this semester could be one exception due to COVID, it may be difficult for students in the upcoming years.

2. The pace of some ICS courses. While it is true that we have to set time outside of class to work on that course, it doesn't take into account other courses the students may be taking. Not everyone is able to keep up with the course material and would otherwise fall behind, forcing the student to re-take the course should they fail. Some faster paced courses could be split into two classes/semesters for those who need it.

3. Advising on courses. I remember going to my mandatory advising in the first year, but I was not told of all I needed to take in order to graduate. While it is true that star shows you the recommended courses to take per semester, it does not fully tell you all the credits you need in order to graduate. Personally, I do check up on everything and make sure I'm doing what I need to do in order to graduate, but improving advising for those who don't would be extremely helpful so they don't add an extra year or more to their expected graduation date.

1) Experiencing impostor syndrome can reflect how we feel about ourselves.  

2) There are not enough prerequisite ICS courses seats that are available.

3)  Encountering bugs can be time consuming and frustrating.

1) Computer Science, as many have mentioned requires a lot of different skills which aren't needed for different specializations, such as having to take calculus II, and other numerous core requirements on top of a very broad spectrum of computer science classes. For example, as someone who wants to develop video games there are a lot of difficult classes which won't help later in my career.

2) Related to the previous answer, computer science has one of if not the highest dropout rate of any major; which with the need for more computer scientists, it doesn't make sense that more hasn't been done to help this.

3) Many ICS students are shy and uninvolved with the administration side of the university, which means that there isn't much of a voice for ICS students. If I remember correctly it was hard for clubs, including ACM I believe, to get new members last semester, or to even choose presidents for some clubs as the seniors graduated.



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