Associate Professor
School of Computing

National University of Singapore

15 Computing Drive, COM2 Building, #03-20, S(117418)

Tel: (+65) 6516 4240 Fax: (+65) 6779 4580

Email: benleong at


Results of CS1010FC (Semester 2, 2013/2014) Mid-term Survey + My Responses

The following are the results for the online survey that we did after the mid-term exam. I've also included some of my comments to the mid-term survey.

There are several reasons for this survey:

  • Timely Feedback - We cannot teach well unless we know what's going on and what students do not understand. Waiting till the end of the semester would be too late and there's nothing much that we can do. That said, I hope that students will appreciate that the lecturers are only human and it's not always possible to address all concerns and fix all problems this semester. In any case, the feedback will be taken seriously and future batches of students will benefit.

  • Allows Lecturer to Respond - This survey also presents the lecturers with a opportunity to address the concerns of the class and to clarify some issues from the perspective of the teaching staff, which is also why this particular page exists. 

Note: Feedback on the Tutors are omitted here because of privacy reasons. I do not feel that it is right for me to put up the feedback they received on this site (not implying that they are bad). They can choose to put up their feedback if they wish.  This is an anonymous survey. We have no idea who said what. We just know what was said. :-)

Total Number of Respondents : 49/49 [98 students signed up for the course originally, but only 49 of them finally completed the course]


Understanding Your Background
1) Multiple Choice

Did you have any prior programming experience?




( 12.3%)


( 26.5%)


( 61.2%)

Seems like the majority of students do not have any programming background! But overall, they seem to be doing swimming well thus far.

2) Multiple Choice

How many MOOCs* (on Coursera, edX or other platforms) have you enrolled in (but not necessarily completed) previously? * Massive Open Online Courses



None; this is the first one.


Between 1 and 2


Between 3 and 4


Between 5 and 8


More than 8


Seems like the majority of students have not taken an online course before. And we have one MOOC junkie. More than 8? No kidding? :-)

3) Multiple Choice

How many MOOCs have you completed?



None; this will be the first one.


Between 1 and 2


Between 3 and 4


Between 5 and 8


More than 8


These results confirms the general finding that most MOOC students do not complete their MOOCs. I would be keen to find out who exactly is the MOOC junkie among the students and learn about his motivations.

1) Multiple Choice

How do you find the online lectures?



I have no clue what the lecturer is talking about most of the time


I have no idea what's happening half the time


Lectures are ok


Lectures are clear and I am able to follow the material quite well


Lectures are way cool. Easily the best class that I've taken at NUS (not like I've taken a lot, but...)


Doesn't look too bad, but it's quite bad compared to the feedback for my live lectures. :-'( Seems like I need to work harder to level up on my video recordings. It's really quite challenging.

2) Multiple Choice

How effective are the WebEx recitations in facilitating your learning?



I have not been attending them because of my other commitments.


I have no idea what the instructor is saying most of the time.


I have a hard time understanding what is taught in recitation


Recitations are okay


Recitations are clear and helpful in reinforcing the material covered in lectures


Recitations are brilliant. I understand the concepts completely because of them.


I sort of expected these results because recitation attendance was rather low in spite of us organizing 2 different sessions.

3) Essay

Please give us your feedback on Coursera as a lecture hosting platform.

1. Ok...

2. they should have uploaded them to coursemology instead. it is trouble some although I quite like the download feature

3. It is adequate enough.

4. Coursera serves its purpose well. Really nothing to say abt it coz we do our work at coursemology.

5. I sometimes get problems when scrolling through the lecture videos, like the video won't buffer.

6. it's simple to use and effective, though it crashes occasionally, especially so in the night when I'm all set to do the most work.

7. It's okay. Does not crash, unlike Coursemology.

8. Coursera is somewhat reliant on internet connection - but even if downloaded or viewed online its loading speed is slow, easy to jam, and very unresponsive or tends to reboot automatically (for online). It's a good website to compile all the lectures but perhaps we could use a more reliable site?

9. Good, but I find face-to-face lectures better.

10. I think it is okay

11. Videos sometimes restart automatically.

12. It doesn't stream the lectures well. If you were to pause the lecture, sometimes it doesn't continue when you resume so you'll have to restart. Very troublesome, have to download the lectures to watch.

13. quite good

14. Nil. (I only download lecture video from coursera)

15. Currently I am taking other iMOOCs as well and they are using Coursera as well. So far I think there isn't too much of an issue using it as a lecture hosting platform.

16. Coursera is buggy unless you download the videos beforehand.

17. It does what it's supposed to do: serve as a platform for hosting lectures.

18. Good, better than lectures seen in IVLE

19. I always download my lecture from there so I think in terms of availability and stability of the portal it's good.

20. Coursera is a useful platform, I've actually been using Coursera for other courses as well, and I've found it very effective.

21. It is good as a platform as it is easily accessible and it does not need any applications to be installed in the computer as a pre-requisite.

22. Hmm not too bad though sometimes my video connection will drop and I have to pause and play again and start the video all over again. (of course will forward to the point)

23. It would be best if Coursera and Coursemology could be combined.

24. Coursera is a good platform. Only feedback: when i login straight from coursera homepage, not through the nus coursera one, i will not be able to find the CS1010FC module. Not a very big issue, as i figured to just bookmark the nus coursera homepage.

25. No issues with accessing or viewing the lectures on Coursera. Nothing to add really.

26. seems ok

27. ok

28. It is a good initiative for army/ORD personnels to catch up to their female counterparts and I definitely think it was as effective as in-classroom learning if not better.

29. Lectures stream quite stably

30. Neutral. No downtime issues.

31. The video player is not very good. The html player is terrible, the flash player is still not too bad.

32. it's quite interactive though I find it weird how the missions can easily be explained in a training format and just done in that way. It would put all the content online without having to download anything. In addition, it would be useful if there's a IDLE interface during the training exercises. Many a time I had to copy my code onto my IDLE platform on my comp, debug then copy back. As the formats are different in terms of the indentation, I have to re-indent every line which can be quite frustrating for long answers.

33. It is good however it would be better if you were able to integrate both Coursemology and Coursera together instead of having to go between sites.

34. Pretty good!

35. Mainly Coursera is for videos, so it's okay

36. Good

37. Coursera seems to be a duplication of resource since there are already Coursemology and IVLE to upload the video lectures.

38. Excellent. I like the degree of freedom I get in controlling how fast or how slow the lecturer goes and to make him repeat particular section millions of times until I understand.

39. It is quite good besides the problem of having to go through two websites for the course.

40. Unable to access the website due to slow response sometimes. Other than that it's ok.
41. It's basically just a video hosting platform. Could probably private share on YouTube and save the costs of having to use a whole other platform.
42. Good. I like the fact that unlike live lectures, I can replay the parts that are hard to understand, and change speed when the lecturer is talking too fast.
43. Its good. Login is irritating.

Skip: 6 (12.2%)

Seems like most students are satisfied with Coursera as a video delivery platform. It is not possible for us to directly integrate with Coursera, at least not yet. We decided to use Coursera to deliver the videos because it is difficult to delivery video reliably. We could have tried to host the videos on Coursemology, but I suspect that the performance would be very poor. We do not have the scale and experience that Coursera has in delivering video content.

4) Essay

How can the online lectures be improved?

1. Provide more examples on how the functions can be utilized.

2. to be honest I have not watched the lectures since higher order functions or something.

3. It can include a segment which troubleshoots popular misconceptions (based on forum inputs) people have.

4. More examples would be nice!

5. Nothing much really, other than the buffering issue.

6. it is as good as it can get, as of now.

7. I think they are good for now. I can't think of anything offhand.

8. The online lectures could be improved by covering what basics need to be taught, because some of the lectures actually link to the missions when they could be omitted, and leave it to perhaps a separate video file.

9. Go slower on the lectures, as some examples in the lectures felt like it was being rushed through, or the explanation was too brief.

10. I prefer watching the entire week's lectures in a single continuous video

11. Be a bit slower.

12. Can be hosted on a different platform, IVLE seems more than sufficient.

13. maybe use more examples when teaching a new concept

14. More examples to be gone through during the lecture.

15. Using wishful thinking while teaching new concepts is ok, but I think using it without showing how the 'wishfully thought' code is defined/how it works impairs our learning. If we are unable to write the wishfully thought code by ourselves, we won't know how the code taught in lecture is supposed to work.

16. Since it's supposed to be a 'lecture', shouldn't we be shown how the code is fully run once through first before getting us to apply/modify it to solve different problems?

17. They are fine. I feel like more practice questions could be implemented. It was hard to find questions to practice for the midterms, as the questions applicable to our examination are hard to find online.

18. I don't really know... I'm okay with them now.

19. Show more examples

20. I think it's already good. It's not long and it's concise.

21. Subtitles would be helpful (though additional work is required). Putting the slides up for download would be good too.

22. The online lectured can be more comprehensive as often, the focus was on tough questions for long periods in the video. eg. Towers of hanoi and count change.

23. There should be more coverage in terms of depth for those more complex concepts (usually that's where we get lost) using simple illustrations/examples if possible.

24. Nothing much to add other than sometimes Prof Ben can move pretty fast through the content - but then there is a rewind button.

25. its fine for general overviews which I guess is the main point of it anyway

26. Have -much- greater synergy with the homework

27. I think the lectures can be more detailed and can afford to have more illustrations, other than just reading off lecture slides.

28. More examples could be given.

29. They are fine.

30. They are fine in terms of length and content as we understand the lecturers want us to go and get the information ourselves.

31. It is already very informative

32. I think they are just fine!

33. Maybe the online lectures could be split into two parts and uploaded on different days, which allows students more time to catch up and also missions can be made into sub parts as well, to test students on their understanding of each part.

34. More explanation can be done on complicated segments. Quite rushed sometimes and can be difficult to understand what is happening.

35. It's pretty fine the way it is. But if possible I would like to see lectures videos that go through the answers for the missions and sidequests.

36. Possibly to condense them into documents?

37. Maybe it can be better if more variety of examples are given to explain a certain point, especially the more challenging ones. Also, some things may seem straightforward to the lecturer, but it may not be for the students.

38. Slides can be more informative. and Slides can be split into individual portions

Skip: 11 (22.4%)

Many students ask for examples, but the truth of the matter is that the follow up examples are covered in the recitations, so I suspect again, many of the students are the same ones who are not attending/watching the recitations. I really don't want to include too many examples in the lectures so that they can be kept concise.

The slides are uploaded to the Coursemology Workbin. Apparently at least one student didn't realize that.

Videos that go over the answers for missions and side quests? That's an interesting idea. We will consider that.

To respond to comment #15, if the wishfully thought code was not given, the student is expected to be able to write it. If you have trouble writing it, please post on the forums.

We did have a segment in the initial lectures where we clarified misconceptions, but later on, it seemed that the forum was very active and most people found their answers there, so we didn't see the need. If we find concepts that we think require clarification, we will introduce those segments again.

5) Essay

Feedback for Lecturer Ben Leong.

1. Clear in explanations.

2. Lectures are short and sweet!

3. I guess having a "live" online class is cool and all but sometimes i cannot tahan the sound system. Really bad uh. Not your voice, don't worry. ;)

4. Goes a bit fast sometimes during lectures but still understandable.

5. caring and understanding prof who takes every individual's need into consideration.

6. It would be nice to add in the weekly schedule in the daily administrative emails, because the reminders about each online session in the week is sometimes given in Coursemology announcements only a few hours before the lesson kicks off. Also, stalk the forums more please, as and when you can...

7. Perhaps we can cover the concepts in depth instead of skimming them (as what I feel) and let us understand more about what we are using, because programming methodology (I feel) has certain trains of thought that has to be moulded or imparted but it cannot be done just by assigning work, giving answers, without the theory behind it, or at least enough coverage so that we understand where to think from.

8. Legendary. As my senior says, one of the best prof in SoC, which I find true. Yet evil due to the questions set =(

9. He can be quite fierce at times, but overall very engaging as a lecturer

10. Lectures can be a bit slower, especially when explaining new or more complicated concepts.

11. Overall very pleased with everything! I like that we're updated weekly unlike the other courses where not much is said.

12. Outstanding. Keep it up :-)))

13. His lesson is awesome. I really learnt something from his class. However the workload may be too much for those who have not complete their NS.

14. We must have a class for struggling students only, no point going to the remedial, then all these who are already leading, ask questions that struggling students have no idea what they are talking about. Then the problems that struggling students have are left unsolved.

15. The speed/pace of the lectures are ok.

16. Talk a bit slower on recitations, like on the lecture. Otherwise, I am enjoying this class thoroughly and learning a lot from Prof Ben.

17. He's clear in delivery. Would be more interesting to listen to him in real life though.

18. Speak too fast

19. The lecturer's pace and tone is good. It's not boring so you wouldn't fall asleep in lecture.

20. Prof Ben speaks like a crazy madman during the first recitation done by him. Then very quickly he will ask to tick off or cross. But your face to face remedial's speed is quite ok!

21. Awesome.

22. Lectures are well organised and concise. Recitations by the Professor are clear and easy to understand.

23. Interaction in more recent recitations is good as code is hard to say but very easy to type - good idea.

24. seems ok

25. The lectures are clear and concise, but when it comes to doing the missions and tutorials, I find that the link to the lectures isn't very strong. Especially for missions. Like I understand the lectures and ??? blank out ??? for the homework.

26. Tend to speak really fast during recitations, should speak slower so that we can understand better. During the midterm exams, prof tried to ease the stressful atmosphere by cracking jokes every now and then but I found it to be a little distracting..

27. Prof, please go easy on noobs <--less intelligent people like me sorry.

28. Very patient and clear.

29. Talks too fast sometimes. Prof Ben could give a little more time for students to think and respond when asking students questions. It is very pressurizing for student when he continuously prompts the student.

30. Very good and supportive lecturer who tries his best to ensure that all queries are answered. However, sometimes I feel maybe explanation could be made in more lay-man terms. But still a fantastic lecturer who engages his students as compared to the other iMOOCs that I am currently taking.

31. You've got a refreshing humour and you run an awesome course! =D

32. Good!

33. He can explain more in depth for some topics

34. I like the way the Prof conducts his WebEx lessons, making use of the whiteboards etc. for students to present and share their anwers.

35. Tends to not go into too much details and coupled with the fast speed he goes, i tend to get lost in his explanations. But really interesting to listen to him lecture. At least I don't fall asleep which I often do.

36. Prof Ben is very good in his teachings and i can understand them well, he also encourages students to learn themselves by leaving some parts in the lectures as homework.

37. Awesome lecturer!

38. Great, but sometimes the way you talk is a bit monotonous

39. Speaks Fast. Some concepts are not explained clearly or leaps in knowledge seem to happen. Overall good.

Skip: 10 (20.4%)

Seems like we're doing mostly okay. Yeah, I realized that I spoke way too fast during the first WebEx recitation. Perhaps I was too nervous. :-)

But I think that I sort of figured it out the WebEx along the way. Still, teaching via WebEx is still not quite as good as face-to-face as students should now have figured out, but it's not *too* bad.

I believe that the students who are complaining about the lack of details are the same one who are not attending/watching the recitations. I guess now that we have face-to-face lessons and everyone is dragged to campus, the problem should mostly be alleviated.

6) Multiple Choice

How effective are the WebEx tutorials in facilitating your learning?



I have not been attending them because of my other commitments.


Doing tutorials are a complete waste of my time.


I have no idea what the instructor is saying most of the time.


Tutorials are okay


Tutorials are helpful for my learning


Tutorials are brilliant. Every module at NUS should have something similar!


Seems that the TAs have done well with their WebEx tutorials! :-)

Again, I am a bit concerned about the students who have not been attending tutorials.

6) Multiple Choice

How does WebEx compare to classroom learning experiences you have had?



I have not been able to attend a WebEx session yet.


I don't attend WebEx sessions because I prefer to watch the recordings.


I'd rather have face-to-face lessons any day, circumstances permitting, even if it means travelling to NUS just for it.


It is bearable enough. There is a price to pay for the convenience of not having to commute.


There is no big difference between learning on WebEx and in a normal classroom to me.


I actually have a better learning experience on WebEx than a classroom!


Seems like we did pretty well with our WebEx lessons, but as expected, some students really do not like online lessons. Personally, I think it's okay. There's some amount of efficiency loss, i.e. it probably takes an extra 25% of time to teach the same things compared to face-to-face, but I think the effectiveness is reasonable. 

7) Essay

Please let us have your suggestions on how we can make online lessons/virtual classroom sessions better.

1. Go slower for tough questions.

2. A zoom function where we can zoom into the shared screen will be helpful to see things clearer.

3. Improve the latency of WebEx, if at all possible.

4. it's as good as it can get as of now. improvements that can be made are not within our control.

5. More focus on the chat boxes during these sessions would be good, I mumble and fumble with speech a lot.

6. NA. I just prefer face-to-face lessons.

7. Use a textbox instead of writing with the pen so it looks neater

8. Slow down a bit to let us understand what has been said.

9. Having a preference for face-to-face lessons, I think the online lessons so far are not bad. The only negative thing is that some of us are too shy to ask qns or will just blindly 'put a tick' so that the session will carry on (again, shy to keep the whole class waiting).

10. All okay. Talk slower :)

11. It is as good as virtual classroom sessions can be (at least to me), so I don't know how to improve it.

12. Online lessons with recordings are great! I don't have to be worried even when my schedule makes me miss any of the WebEx lessons. I hope the staff can continue to be nice and not force us to attend WebEx live! Other modules should do this too!

13. Maybe we can go through questions we have not come across before in tutorials or recitations. So that you can actually go through the whole process of solving the question on the spot.

14. Currently, I think the sessions are conducted well.

15. Perhaps instead of discussing the homework at the end of each recitation on the forums, perhaps spend a bit of time in the next session to review the homework for a more dynamic feel and to encourage people to do the homework.

16. seems ok

17. Less lag.

18. I find that the sound quality for recitations to be bad. It is hard to hear properly what is being said.

19. The pacing is a little slow.

20. There could be more interaction between the students. I really feel for the students who are struggling but have no friends in the module to ask for help.

21. I think it is fine except for the times when there were technical problems and getting used to the platform of Webex.

22. Allow students to type instead of speaking as some of us may be shy =)

23. I think it's fine currently

24. Should spend more time explaining key concepts

25. None. I don't like it, but it can't be helped.

26. It would be good if a mobile version could have been made as some of us are working and may not have the time/access to a computer during the lesson timeslots

27. Online lectures can be less rushed and clearer

28. Transcripts for virtual lectures would be great.

29. During WebEx lessons, most of the times I cannot hear the TA very clearly, and the TA sometimes spend too much time trying to get someone to answer a question when most people seems to have problems with their mics. My suggestion is rather than using WebEx, I would like to see a similar platform where the TA will post a question, and the students can type out and display their answers to everyone. The TA can then straight away point out and explain any mistakes in the answers submitted. I think this would be better especially for a programming module, since it's more practical to show codes rather than 'talk' codes.

30. Take them offline.

Skip: 19 (38.8%)

Sorry, we can't do anything about the lag or the poor quality of the recitation recordings. I think the audio quality of the "live" stream is quite okay. These are limitations of the tool, which mostly work ok.

As for asking questions, students are already allowed to type in the chat window if they do not have a mic. Also, the problem with shyness is not something that we can do anything about. The whole point of interactive virtual classes is to allow students to ask until they understand. If people are shy about asking questions and holding up the class, there's nothing we can do since we won't even know. My advice is to shamelessly ask. The instructor will then have the discretion to repeat or to hold the question till the end and do a one-on-one. It is the student's responsibility to make sure that he ask the instructor to repeat until he understands.

I think we cannot do much about the slower pace. That's just the price of having it virtual instead of in the person. There's a cost in getting students to check off to make sure that the class is following.

8) Essay

Please suggest what else the teaching staff can do to improve your learning experience, and/or facilitate your learning.

1. Targeted remedial lessons for those who are behind and accelerated learning for those who have completed all and waiting for the next week assignment to come.

2. they're as helpful as they can get as of now.

3. Spend more time on the forums. But yeah, that's about it.

4. I want to see the lecturer's face when he/she is teaching. I think a person's passion for a subject is contagious and seeing his/her expression while teaching will help to convey that to students.

5. Have a list of useful websites on programming and python

6. Better platform for us to ask tutor question we are stuck at

7. They have already started remedial sessions, which I think is beneficial. However, sometimes there will be too many people/too many qns asked at remedial and the manpower present is not enough to cope.

8. More practice problems that are manageable ! I feel like problems on coursemology are either too easy or too hard. There are questions where I can code immediately, and questions where I take many days to get the logic behind the question.

9. They are doing a good job.

10. Have remedial WebEx lessons

11. Comparing to EG1109 and PC1431, this module is clearly more fun, interesting and better for learning. So please don't sweat if I cant find anything to write here. :D

12. Quick response to questions on the forum.

13. A quick reference sheet with the purposes of built-in functions would be nice.

14. seems ok

15. Improve synergy between what is taught and what is asked for in homework. I'm too confused doing the homework because I have no idea how I'm supposed to write that code

16. There should be a mini test or quiz after every topic to reinforce concepts and instill confidence in us especially since we haven't had any exams or tests in 2 years! The mid-terms was tricky enough and most of us could have done better if we were more accustomed to the stressful exam/test atmosphere.

17. There could be more interaction between the tutors and the students. Perhaps the tutors could give a way of reaching out when the student is struggling and maybe reach out to students.

18. Look over the codes we submitted in the coursemology trainings and give pointers for improvement.

19. Solutions for the past missions so that we can have a clearer view of how the problems could have been solved

20. In addition to missions, we should have small quizzes to see if we really understand the material so far, and didn't finish the missions by a fluke.

21. The pacing can be better. Work gets hard too quickly. Especially the missions.

Skip: 28 (57.1%)

Glad to see that most of the students are quite satisfied with what we have and don't really need more to be done.

I did show my face in the first lecture, but frankly, it's very hard to do the talking head thing properly. When I record lectures, I need to look at the slides and if I record my head, I won't be looking into the camera and it looks very odd. Also, I personally find a talking head distracting. I'm trying to emulate the Khan Academy style. I think it's okay. I just need more practice to improve my online lecturing. It's really not easy.

Re: Forum, I actually read every single forum message, but I try to leave the students to discuss. Also, we have a question tagging system to ensure that all questions are eventually responded to. My TAs and Tutors also try to help answer forum questions.

We already had one WebEx remedial session. I will discuss with the TAs to see if we should have more.

As for more questions to do, there are already A LOT of trainings and practice problems on Coursemology and also past year papers. I really don't think that there's a lack of questions to try/do. With regards to the difficulty, I guess students just need to grit their teeth and keep at it. There are no short cuts.

Missions & Side Quests
1) Multiple Choice

Given that programming is something new to most of you, we expect students to spend about 4 to 6 hours a week programming. Granted that for some of the weeks, you spend less time on the subject; and on other weeks, you spend a lot more on it. On average, how much time per week have you spent on the homework (Trainings, Missions & Side Quests) for CS1010FC?



At most 4 hours


Between 5 and 7 hours


Between 8 and 10 hours


Between 11 and 13 hours


More than 13 hours


Seems like the workload is rather heavy. But I think it cannot be helped. There is a need to practice to learn how to code.  The trouble with coding is that those who run into trouble can take a lot more time than those who do not and it's hard to control. That's just the way it is. :-'(

2) Multiple Choice

There are 15 missions for CS1010FC this term, which divides naturally into 7 sets of related missions. Keep in mind that the Side Quests are optional and many of the trainings are also optional, so they should not be counted into the workload. What is your view on this workload?



Way too little work. More please ...


Workload is somewhat light


This is just nice


Work load is somewhat heavy


CS1010FC missions are killing me ...


Seems like the situation has improved compared to CS1010S last Semester. More than half the students think that the workload is just nice or light.

3) Essay

What are your views on the EXP distribution thus far? (Is it commensurate with the effort you've put in?)

1. Fair.

2. i assume everyone put in equal or more effort than me so i cant really complain..

3. Yes. More EXP for extra practice questions for added incentive.

4. The exp kind of shows how much effort i put in BUT it doent show how much of the concepts i had or had not mastered.

5. I think maybe instead of high EXP for missions, which can sometimes be straightforward, more EXP should be awarded for completing the tougher Extra Trainings. I believe it will push us more to want to learn and tackle tougher problems.

6. yes it is, but I think the late submissions exp deduction is not such a good idea. Exp should be awarded based on finally completing the work. This is especially degrading and demoralizing for those students who still have so many commitments, as compared to those on the top of the leader board who are so free at home everyday since january.

7. Yes, I can feel that the difficulty curve and the exp curve parallel each other by about 90%

8. Not very much in tandem - we can end up spending copious amounts of hours trying to solve it.

9. Fair, though the optional practice could use some more EXP because some optional exercises are tough!

10. Yes, the EXP is fair.

11. Less exp for missions and sidequests, but more exp for extra practice

12. Just fine. Some people are rather worried about exp though, evident from the threads asking if their solution is correct rather than just submitting and learning from mistakes.

13. good

14. That is a cool idea cos we can compete with other students.

15. For mission wise, instead of giving the exp so long you finish before the deadline. I feel that so long you finish the mission even though the deadline is over you should still be given the exp. For these who are faster can get bonus exp instead?

16. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. For eg, the extra practice questions can be quite difficult at times and the EXP allocated to it is only 20. It seems too much of an effort just to do them for that amount of EXP. But for the missions and tutorials I think the EXP distribution is still ok.

17. It is okay. I am doing side quests at my own time but I can never complete it by the scheduled deadlines.

18. It is.

19. Side quest 2.1 & 2.2 should be given more EXP, doesn't match the effort I put in for Mission 7

20. I wouldn't know about the commensurate with the effort part because to me the exp allocation is more of an indicator of how much or how hard the missions would be. And generally it has been the more exp there is, there more struggle it is for the missions.

21. I feel it's quite fair, perhaps slightly more could be given to trainings.

22. Yup it is! Mission rewards are quite well matched. Though tutorials also require a lot of effort sometimes!

23. It's ok.

24. Slightly more EXP can be given for extra trainings.

25. Perhaps a bit more XP for the tougher extra practices (Card Magician, Sudoku etc.) as those take a lot of thinking and effort. No issue with Mission and Training XP.

26. exp doesn't really matter to me

27. Definitely not.

28. Yes.

29. Its a fair representative of how much effort you have put in.

30. It's alright

31. The tutorials and extra trainings give way too little EXP for the effort required that some times it feels like its not worth the effort to attempt. I understand that the EXP should be low as its optional but its way too low to make a big difference in level. More xp allocated to these would motivate student to attempt them.

32. I don't really bother with exp so much as I just do everything.

33. It is fine

34. I think it differs from missions to missions. Those which you can understand quickly, you fell fine but when you have a mission that takes some time to understand and clear, the exp sometimes seem to little.

35. Maybe tutorials and other practices deserve slightly more EXP?

36. Hmm, currently working thus I may not have enough time I just do what I can. Not sure whether the EXP is good or not

37. It is commensurate with the effort I have put in

38. It is alright.

39. I only have issues with the EXP distribution people get for commenting in the forums. Looks like there isn't any guidelines (i.e. how many exp per post) in giving exp for that. I don't even know why I get none, more or less exp for participating in the forum in some weeks. What's worse is for those that have commitments outside. How to fight with those bums with no commitments and spend 24 hours on coursemology?

40. The EXP distribution is quite fair and on par with the effort put in.

41. Yes. Since there are optional side quests to make up for mistakes I've made in missions, I can keep up with the rest of the class.

42. A good way to motivate people to study, although it makes it a bit stressful as well? A 50/50 implementation.

43. I think it would be nice if we can have one chance to resubmit our answer for each mission and get extra points if we get it right the 2nd time.

44. EXP distribution seems just right

45. Some missions are easy and have a lot of XP. Some missions are hard but have less XP. Overall its okay.

Skip: 4 (8.2%)

I am glad that most students think that the EXP distribution is okay.

We cannot increase the EXP for the side quests and the optional trainings because they are well, optional. The students who choose not to do them should be not significantly disadvantaged if they do not do them.

4) Essay

Please let us have your feedback on the missions and side quests for the class.

1. Do not really understand some or the questions. And totally lost for some qns, no idea where to start from or whether I am on the right track of solving it.

2. So far the PDF is adequate enough.

3. The difficulty is just nice or because the way I see it, u don't need background knowledge of computing to do those missions and sidequests.

4. Most of the missions have an adequate level of difficulty. Some side quests have been fun to solve. Maybe a few tougher questions in them so that we could feel a little more accomplished when completing them.

5. it's necessary and effective in allowing us to pick up the required skills.

6. The use of external engines/files/classes/etc. for some of the assignments are intriguing.

7. It helps us understand the basics and application, which is good, but it may end up with being too difficult.

8. Sometimes the instructions are not clear enough, so I'm not sure how to answer some questions at times.

9. I think the missions and side quests are okay.

10. Gamification makes them a fun challenge to complete. The fact that they are graded by a tutor who gives feedback is also good

11. So far, so good.

12. more challenging missions are welcome

13. Can we have solutions on missions and side quests? And maybe selected solution from different students so that we can learn how other ppl approach to the question.

14. I am literally suffering because of the missions, I spend days just to finish 1.

15. Some of the missions/side quests are manageable while some are very difficult. If no one is there to help you or if you don't know how to apply or understand the hints given on the forum, you could be stuck for a very long time.

16. They are challenging enough, and often take up days of my time. It is fine for me now as I am only taking two modules.

17. Missions are a really good way to introduce us to the topic they are covering. Side quests are useful for us to further understand the topics. Sometimes I feel the side quests are quite important so I think those who don't do them are actually missing out quite a lot.

18. Quite fun

19. I don't know about the missions but for the side quests right for example mission 9.1 on the merge sort, it was not in the main mission and so to practice doing it you must actually do the side quests, and so side quests is more of a must rather than optional? Not to mention it's just as hard as the main mission. And also the fact that the exp awarded for the side quests is just as high or comparable to the main missions which could pretty much determine whether you level up or not. It's actually really hard to feel that we don't need to really finish it. Sometimes I stuck with having the need to complete it because of the exp points or the fact that it's optional. Of course if I have such feelings it means the side quests is hard on me. Of course if I have the time I would try to finish it. But sometimes I feel for side quests, submitting a partially done is better than not submitting at all. At least get some exp because it's always the last or towards the end of the side quests that the tasks gets hard and you just can't figure out what to do.

20. They've been good, the little back story helps to make a slightly more interesting.

21. Quite interesting! Usually quite challenging, and always relieved and satisfied when I finally finish each one

22. Some parts of the mission are very difficult and it was an uphill struggle without having tutorials in school weekly to ask questions.

23. The missions often introduce new concepts which makes them less boring to do. Overall, I spend more time figuring out what the question is actually asking and the context of some of the missions/ side quests.

24. Mostly the instructions are clear and understandable but other times can be a bit vague with what is expected to be returned. But the instructions are usually updated if doubts are surfaced on the forums - which is good.

25. seems ok,i found the further readings quite interesting, would be a lot more interesting if I could figure out what half the wikipedia entry was saying though ha.

26. Too much guesswork. The synergy with the lectures is not there. Either that, or I'm missing something critical. PDF files are usually greek to me.

27. Very good revision and application of knowledge from lectures and recitations.

28. Missions should be build up from easy questions to harder so that it is easier to gasp what is happening.

29. They are challenging and quite fun.

30. Assignments are usually very different and more complex than what we experience from lectures, tutorials and trainings. However, the pdf does a good job on guiding students in doing the assignment.

31. They are effective in allowing us to understand the concepts

32. Challenging enough!

33. It is hard to judge how far you stand base on EXP as some may have done side quest and the optional work but some have not. sometimes Missions are very vague and the new stuffs are included although not really learned before. for instances the graph plotting missions (curve and make points) can be rather time consuming in this case since it will usually take a long time to really understand something out of nothing

34. They are quite interesting and are of acceptable difficulty level. Not too difficult such that you have to wreck your brain to think of the solution, but also not too easy such that you do not require any effort to complete it.

35. Perhaps the number of marks in every mission and side quest can be increased, so that a difference of 1 mark will not have such a drastic difference in the EXP awarded. Also, the deadline for missions and side quests are often just a few days after the recitation/tutorial so students who could not understand the concepts in the lecture will have to wait until the recitation/tutorial to clarify their doubts and "chiong" through the missions and side quests in just a few days...

36. Great, but unforgiving at times.

37. The missions and side quests do test what was taught in the lectures well.

38. Some missions, such as the curve drawing missions are quite difficult to complete because it is not directly covered in the lecture videos. However I like it the way most questions are designed such that it requires me to solve it myself rather than being taught the "model answer".

39. Sometimes I understand the concept but my answer get penalized because I didn't understand what the question is asking for. Other than that i think the mission and side quests are pretty interesting.

40. Rather tricky.

41. Some of the missions have rather unclear explanation, example mission 4

42. Its hard. Hints provided at later missions are good and help give a clear direction.

Skip: 7 (14.3%)

The complaints about the clarity of the questions is a perennial problem. Two things: (i) students can post on the forum to ask for clarifications. Typically, this will prompt a response from the teaching staff and we will typically also modify the pdf in response; and (ii) students are welcome to suggest how we can update the problems so that the next batch will have a easy/better time.

We discussed the release of solutions but we have decided that as a course policy, we will not release the solutions. The tutors are expected to give enough hints/advice to ensure that all the students understand their mistakes.

4) Essay

Please give us your suggestions on how we can improve the missions and side quests. 

1. Provide some hints.

2. they way test cases are given in the later few missions in the template are excellent. although I prefer the way one of the buses mission template where after each part they will be something like print(task'2a) which shows clearly which answer is for which question/parts

3. The story line at the front can include an explanation of how what we are going to learn in the mission can used in the real world like for example, something we can see before but never knew there's somewhat programming involved (sudoku/bus routes).

4. Maybe split missions into smaller, sub-missions. So we can submit one small chunk of code at a time.

5. Perhaps make it more manageable?

6. Better phrasing of questions.

7. Some of the backstories are irrelevant. I feel that they are thrown in just for the sake of it, especially those that say something along the lines of "well done, you have now become a wizard"

8. More sidequests if possible as they are fun to do

9. Perhaps more practical ones like the bus route one and not the runes one. I think that'll be beneficial in understanding concepts as we can see the usefulness and practicality of such methodologies.

10. the description may be made more concise

11. Same ans as Q4

12. More examples provided

13. Is it possible for the solutions to the missions and sidequests to be uploaded (some time after the deadline to prevent people from copying)? So that if we are unable to figure out why we are wrong we can at least refer to something.

14. I like the missions as it is. Some of them are a bit time consuming and sometimes I feel like I'm stuck not because I don't have the logic down, but because I don't know how to code, and it can get frustrating sometimes.

15. They are currently good enough for me.

16. It is probably the time "constraints" I guess although we are actually given two weeks. Probably because normally it might take more than a week to finish one mission. It sounds ridiculous but it's true because we still need to complete trainings, recitations and tutorials before we actually get to the mission itself. By then, being stuck here and there could waste almost or a week for you depending on how fast or how slow you managed to figure things out. And by the one week passed, you realized yet another mission was released and so you can't help but panic. Not to mention I always feel it's miraculous that I managed to meet the deadlines thus far. It's probably because the time taken to figure out or drawing the link between the examples of what we learned and how to apply it in the mission. And yes the time taken can be very long.

17. Split tasks into smaller bits so that we won't get stuck.

18. However, given that they are new concepts and often require more in depth understanding, the write up in the missions (or introductions) can be made clearer so that we understand the context of the questions of the missions better. Also, the phrasing of the questions can be made simpler if possible.

19. Perhaps bonus XP for the challenges at the end to motivate those who may have lost XP in previous missions.
give hints for failing private test cases? can be asked in the forums but it would be a lot more efficient if say I only forgot to account for negative numbers or sth.

20. increased synergy with what is being taught in the lectures / pdf documents

21. There are many ways of solving each problem in the assignments. The grader could provide hints or suggestions that it can be coded another way( eg, You can try doing this with recursion too OR your code is really expensive to run, try not to call functions too much, assign variables to them instead)

22. I think it is fine

23. Allow us to view other people's solutions after we have solved the mission/sidequest

24. Maybe more info on work that have not been gone through in lectures.

25. They are good enough

26. It will be great to have more optional challenging questions to further test our knowledge of the topic. In addition, the teaching team may wish to look into releasing the solutions for the missions and sidequests once the deadline is up.

27. Give more chance to gain back exp/points.

28. Solutions of the previous missions/sidequests can be uploaded to allow us to further our understanding of answering the questions.

29. As I have mentioned, some missions involving other elements such as curve drawing and bus routing is confusing at the start because the background information is too vague. I spent quite a lot of time figuring out how the curve graph is drawn and displayed, and how the parametric equations work rather than programming the solution for the question itself.

30. Some things in the mission PDF file can be explained clearer. Like for example mission 4 should show more examples on how a curve is displayed and mission 7 and 8 didn't really explain what is abstraction barrier.

31. Maybe a video can be attach to explain the mission with better clarity, esp those that might be more complex.

32. provide the model answer upon completion perhaps.
33. Give more hints. Also, give more examples if the question seems vague. Sometimes it is hard to understand what the mission wants

Skip: 16 (32.7%)

We will not be giving out model answers. That's just our policy. There are also privacy issues with letting students see the solutions of other students. The focus of the class should not be on getting the answers but the process of getting there.

To respond to comment #30, the abstraction barrier is supposed to be explain in the lecture. Perhaps I didn't do a very good job. >_<

To respond to the students who complain that the homework take time, that's just the way it is. People will have to struggle. That's part and parcel. Sadly, we cannot really put a bound on how long people get stuck.

We will look into improving the back stories for the next batch.


5) Essay

Please let us have your feedback on the helpfulness of the comments/feedback that your graders give for missions and sidequests. 

1. Good.

2. For my grader, he takes the effort to reply most of the time.

3. At most he say, "Good job!". Really not much comments between me and my grader.

4. Yichen has been very helpful. He gives comments which are sensible and easily understood. He grades missions and sidequests almost immediately too.

5. Once I submitted a mission at 5am and he even graded it immediately, I am pretty impressed with him overall.

6. not that helpful, they just direct me to the forums all the time.

7. Sometimes thoughtful, but sometimes not as informative as I would like them to be.

8. Sometimes I do not understand what some of them say, and some are mostly just willing to put down "go check on the forums" or suggest we go and revise ourselves.

9.  It'll be good to allow us to resubmit answers to questions which we've gotten wrong, after some helpful hints on where the error is.

10. The comments are useful, they help me to see exactly where I went wrong

11. My grader has been very helpful, answering to any queries I have

12. Thanks for the feedback!

13. They have been very helpful.

14. Not very helpful when you can't do these questions. The replies are too general, so have no idea how to do

15. Helpful to some extent. Like if we get a qn/part wrong, they will try to tell us where we went wrong and sometimes even showing us the correct code (which becomes not helpful in the event that we do not understand it and they don't reply to our comments).

16. It is great. My grader gives me good feedback and sufficient prompts so that the answer is not revealed so I can think hard about the solution.

17. Very useful. They give useful feedback when I have mistakes in my submissions.

18. Shao Hong's comments are helpful

19. It's helpful that we can see the mistakes that we did in the missions like though we might past the test cases it's not the best or the right way to do things.

20. Feedback has been constructive and helpful.

21. My grader Wai Won is nice and helpful! He bothers to look through all of my workings and give advice on how to improve. He is prompt in replying my comments too! Thanks!

22. The graders are good!

23. My grader has been good so far!

24. They can be more specific to the reason on what the error was because sometimes we don't understand the question too well ourselves.

25. Perhaps comments where even though the code is correct, provide suggestions to allow the student to refine the code in the interest of reducing length, reducing order of growth or increasing clarity etc.

26. quite helpful

27. generally helpful

28. My grader tend to be unresponsive on both coursemology and emails.. sometimes replying only 4 days later or none at all. However, when he does reply,

29. my grader gives very helpful and clear explanations of my mistakes.

30. Very encouraging and helpful in pointing out mistakes.

31. There is little feedback from the tutors/graders.

32. So far they have provided very effective and useful feedback and answers any doubts we have with their feedback

33. Instead of merely pointing out the fault, maybe the graders can also show us what could have been done or what is a better way to do it?

34. it is rather helpful and replies are pretty fast. but sometimes there is no reply and you kinda fall into despair cause there's nothing you cna do to solve the mission.

35. My grader help me improve my code by telling me which lines of codes are unnecessary.

36. The comments and feedback have been helpful. The grader also took time to write me descriptive emails when there are major mistakes in my submissions.

37. Great, but sometimes queries don't get answered even when the deadline is over. Mistakes are well-explained. I learnt quite a lot from the explanations.

38. The graders help us in understanding where we went wrong with our answers and clarifies our doubts if any as well.

39. Some are quite vague and needs more explanation but mostly ok.

40. Very helpful

41. Very good.They require a lot of time, and I am not good at creating my own picture haha, but they are interesting

Skip: 8 (16.3%)

Seems like most of my graders are quite good and the students are generally happy. I am very grateful to the graders and TAs.

6) Essay

Please let us have your comments about the Programming Contests.  

1. Good to have for those who are really proficient in the topics.

2. i suck at art. so basically i participated for that 50 xp

3. The requirement is somewhat too much.

4. More consolation prize?

5. Maybe add a few more contests.

6. I think it's unnecessary.

7. There hasn't been one in quite a while. Take into consideration workload for the week though, before implementing one.

8. I don't really have time for the contests

9.  It is a fun way to get students motivated to code

10. Not much, have to see how future contests are like.

11. I am not interested in contests

12. The contest is killing me

13. Not much comment - I didn't attempt these.

14. Good way to earn badges, because both of the contests we've had give badges. Other than free badges, I just see them as a Sidequest with less restrictions. Still fun to attempt.

15. Good to see other classmate's work

16. It's very random.

17. It was an interesting avenue for students to explore and have a bit of fun with programming.

18. Err! I am not artistic nor creative so I don't really expect to win. I just submit to get the basic exp for trying.

19. The contests are optional and just for fun and experimentation anyway so nothing to comment.

20. The contests encourages creativity and really helps us to take a small break from the missions and tutorials.

21. Judging criteria would be nice.

22. seems ok

23. Judging from the huge disparity in quality of submissions...

24. There was only one contest so far and I thought it was a good opportunity for us to display our creativity.

25. Contest that have more to do with programming and less with art would be preferred. eg. Fastest algorithm

26. The previous contests had a lot of "illegal" entries. For example, there was use of overlay and imported images for the 2D section, which specifically said it was not allowed. Although these entries might not have won, I think they should have been screened before being uploaded for the voting process

27. I understand that it is to make learning fun but this aspect is not working for me.

28. Didn't really interest me because I'm not a graphics kind of person. It would have been cooler if the contest was to solve challenges like the Python challenge.

29. the random EXP given makes it hard to judge your standing base on EXP

30. Quite interesting

31. Kind of pointless. Please don't conduct anymore of these.

32. The contests allows us to relax ourselves and play with coding which is quite fun and interesting

33. Too time consuming, did not attempt.

34. Contests should give more EXPs for efforts!

Skip: 15 (30.6%)

Basically there are some students who finish their work really early and don't have anything to do. The contests are meant to help soak up their time.

We chose to have a more "artistic" and less "programming" first contest to encourage more people who are new to programming to write some code for fun under a less threatening environment.

6) Essay

Please let us have your comments on the Trainings.  

1. Introduces us to the topic.

2. private cases are too.... MYSTERIOUS i believe most of the private cases are not familiar to us if we are not specialised in that topic. i.e decimal to bases conversion, taxi fares, etc etc so i hope the private cases are stated more explicitly in the qns?

3. Perhaps more hints on which private yet case we fail?

4. From what i know, the tutors can see those who had attempted the trainings and had given what answer for every question. Maybe the tutors also after seeing a student getting multiple wrong answers for a particular question, the tutor can comment?

5. Trainings are adequate. Not too difficult, and easy to learn from.

6. no time to do after completing each mission!

7. Easy, fun and casual. Personally prefer the multiple choice questions because they tend to give explanations about why some of the choices are wrong. It's harder the capture wrong cases of code for the parts we have to type, especially if some just give the message that we failed to pass a private test case.

8. Well structured.

9.  The trainings are okay, I think the grading system should indicate to students what criteria the marker is looking for in the answer (e.g. "1. must include for loop, 2. must check for empty input, etc...") instead of just saying "Correct!"

10. The hints could be a bit better, especially for private test cases which don't work.

11. Good that the trainings reinforce concepts taught in lectures.

12. very helpful

13. The trainings are hard as well

14. Although it has been mentioned before that the qns are not meant to be skip-able, I think it would be better for them to be skip-able so that if we get stuck on one qn. we are still able to try the others first before coming back to it. It would be quite frustrating to be stuck at an early qn and find out after clearing it later on that we are actually able to complete the subsequent qns more easily.

15. The normal trainings are a bit too easy, while the extra is too hard. More questions leaning toward the easy side could be useful for exam prep, as we do not have a textbook and the only material we can use to prepare for exams are the Training / Tutorials / Recitations.

16. Trainings are great to practise coding, to familiarise with the syntax of the language.

17. Good.

18. Sometimes the exp dealt does not do justice to the time taken but yes because it's for our learning that we cannot skip the questions and that we have to force ourselves to think hard. But sometimes after hours being stuck it can be rather demoralising but that is where you just have to keep at it. Or try again the next day when you feel better.

19. Given that training questions can't be skipped, it might be good to be more detailed in feedback given, which I have observed in some instances, but slightly more would be good.

20. I like that how we can afford to be wrong in trainings. However, getting stuck in trainings is really no fun at all. So hopefully for some harder questions, there can be more hints to guide us through applying the concept! It kinda sucks when you get stuck when you haven't come to the real problems to solve.

21. The trainings are ok.

22. The trainings are useful but often we spend much time trying to guess what the private test cases are, because they are unknown to us. We really might not know which private test cases that we have missed during the submission of the trainings (however, it is still good for us to learn debugging from it).

23. seems ok.

24. trainings are useful. hints given are helpful

25. They were great, however I hope to have more face to face trainings like mini quiz every now and then.

26. There should be more trainings as trainings really helped me understand a lot better.

27. It's very useful for practicing.

28. The trainings are really good in enforcing the theory we learnt from the lectures.

29. Effective in consolidating and checking whether we have understood the lectures.

30. Pretty helpful!

31. training is good to strengthen the basic concepts

32. Very useful in reinforcing my understanding of key concepts. Can include more challenging questions

33. Very good. The practices allow us to reinforce our knowledge. However, similar to the suggestion on improving the missions and sidequests, the teaching team may wish to look into releasing the solutions for the Trainings.

34. Excellent. I'd like to have more.

35. Trainings help to reinforce what we have learnt from the lectures and ensure that we understand them before we attempt the missions.

36. The auto grader is useful.

37. Great. But there should be a hint given every time my code fails a private test case.

38. Private test cases are irritating - they seldom offer useful feedback on exactly what is wrong.

39. Its okay. Should allow skipping of questions. Some questions are kind of vague.

Skip: 10 (20.4%)

The tutors are supposed to check on the students to give hints when they find that some of you are stuck, but sometimes they might miss you. If you need help, drop the tutors a note and they will check + give hints.

We do give hints for the private test cases at the beginning, but I gave instructions that we will not give hints in the later half of the class because people need to learn how to debug. Having someone tell you that something is wrong is already a luxury.

I agree that getting stuck is frustrating, but it was designed that way to train tenacity. People will tend to try harder. The trainings was designed not to allow skipping for a reason.

1) Multiple Choice

Comment on the difficulty of the midterm



Too easy


Somewhat easy


Just right


Somewhat hard


Way over your head


Looks like the difficulty of the midterm was just right.

2) Multiple Choice

Comment on time allocated for the midterm



Way too little. Too long, too little time.


Time is somewhat short


Time allocated is just nice


Too much time, too little to do


I can nap for an hour during the midterm and still finish every question




These numbers also suggests that the midterm was well-set. It is normal for a midterm to be somewhat hard/too long to about 50% of the students.

Coursemology Pedagogy
1) Multiple Response

Which parts of the game system have a positive impact on your learning? Tick all that apply



The role-playing concept: EXP and achievements


The leaderboard


Having storylines for each mission


Side quests


Trainings 36
Content delivery and submissions through Coursemology


Interaction with teaching staff through comments system on Coursemology


The whole idea of game immersion


I am glad to see that Coursemology was rather well-received. It actually seems that Coursemology is better received by CS1010FC than CS1010S last Semester.

2) Essay

Please explain your selections for the previous question.

1. Forces you to stick to the deadlines.

2. at least not so boring I supposed..... although the story lines are not really that fantastic.

3. 1. EXP gives us a sense of achievement. 2. Trainings help to reinforce what is being taught and rectify certain misconceptions we might have before we start to attempt the other (harder) assignments.

4. Because knowing I have the biggest disadvantage among my peers (no H2 math), I hope by psychoing myself to do all the work given, I can be on par with the rest.

5. EXP and the leaderboard really pushes me to try and score as high as possible every time and complete every training and tutorial, which is nice. They really motivate me to continuously put in effort to improve.

6. They all have a positive impact to a certain extent. EXCEPT the leader board. It definitely has a negative impact on my learning, and those not on it as it clearly demoralizes the other not-30s.

7. Leaderboard: I see the leader-board as a way of seeing at what level you should be at the current point of time. Side-quests: they're optional, but everyone is doing them. Competition does have it's perks - in this case it's making me to do them. Trainings: The difficulty of the trainings (especially the MCQs) suit me the most. I think the trainings need to have more MCQ questions, alongside the questions in which we need to type.

8. As a gamer, nothing attracts us more than the idea of EXP, levelling up & having lots of achievements.

9. Competition on leaderboard really motivates me, but I'm not sure how others who are struggling will feel :/

10. Gamification makes it fun to do work on coursemology as it becomes just like a computer game. Storylines are cool but I can't really seem to follow or remember it

11.  They all played a part in ensuring concepts are understood and have made the course feel more interesting.

12. The exp and leaderboard concept tell us how much we have learnt.

13. I like games, but this CS1010FC doesn't feel like game

14. Being a gamer, options 1,2 and 8 naturally appeal to me. I find the trainings useful as it tests us how much we have learnt from the lectures (reinforce the basics) before attempting the tutorials and missions.

15. I like the platform. The "role-playing" talk is refreshing, but doesn't necessarily aid in my learning. It does make things a lot less dry and a lot more interesting! The platform however is well structured and I find myself checking in now and then.

16. Actually I liked everything about this gamification thing, because I can relate to it as I play a lot of computer games.

17. Sounds fun.

18. The role-playing concept: EXP and achievements is good because you know how much further you are to achieve that 35% of the module score that you need from Coursemology. Side quests is good to have as it helps to bring you one step closer to the 35% Trainings is good to have since you have something/basic questions to test you on your learning first to ensure that you know what you're supposed to learn before actually doing the main work like the missions. Content delivery and submissions through coursemology is good and plain simple to use to obtain what we need and submit easily. Interaction with teaching staff through comments system on Coursemology is good as at least you know help is always available and that you're not alone.

19. They have helped to create a more engaging and motivating experience on overall. Interaction with teaching staff allow feedback which facilitates learning despite the lack of face-to-face sessions.

20. Achievements are for fun, and somewhat fun for me. They are quite cute! Hahaha. The leaderboard lets me know roughly where I stand compared to the super smart or insanely genius like Royston. It comforts me knowing I am somewhat there below them. The storylines make the missions interesting! I actually read every background of each mission, its like a cool story man. Side quests make me happy cause after doing long missions, I usually can finish side quests quickly. Its not that time consuming and I get EXP too. Trainings are really essential I feel. If its like other modules, where after lecture we are suppose to get straight down to quiz (that has only 1 or 2 attempts) or tutorials, then we are trying to solve the problem even without knowing if our content has been sorted out. The short questions and no penalty for being wrong allows us to try and apply our knowledge and corrects anything we may have picked up wrongly. Submitting homework through coursemology is very simple and easy. It supports python well. Its quite incredible how you guys managed to find and integrate so well with such an awesome portal.

21. It is quite fun to see yourself 'level-up' whilst doing the missions and training. As there are incentives to be gained from completing each task.

22. It makes doing work addictive even if I hate it.

23.  The leaderboard, role-playing concept, the whole idea of game immersion, sidequests and trainings encourages competition. The most important aspect, is the forum that helping others gives you exp as well, which encourages friendly competition instead of fierce competition between students. Overall, they make us study harder knowing that it contributes to our grades, both through learning (to tackle exams later) and the exp.

24. Quite an avid gamer myself, the XP and level system is a prime motivator. The 1-on-1 comments for submissions is something hard to get in physical lessons so that is a great bonus. A storyline is just icing on the cake after that.

25. storylines are amusing. doesn't really do anything but its a nice detail to have. side quests and trainings are practice. having a convenient way to get in touch with the tutors is really nice.

26. Its a new concept to learning and homework; and a refreshing one. Not once have I seen this concept used in my classes on such a large scale, to the extent that the whole course (or at least 35% of grades) is based off it.

27. 1.Level up system motivates us to complete missions and trainings. 2.Leaderboard. Motivation as well. Don't like to lose. 3.Storyline: Makes the mission slightly more interesting. 4.Side quest:Good training. 5.Content delivery was good. 6.Interaction was highly active and that is very commendable.

28. Like the new concept of gamification

29. Being an avid gamer, I like the whole idea of EXP missions etc.

30. The leaderboard lets me see if I am falling behind on my work. Coursemology is a great platform as the resource is well organised and I can access them with ease. It gives a feeling that progress is made every time work is done.

31. It prompts students to do assignments and to do well, as their "grade" can be viewed in real time as a level. It makes learning more interesting and fun.
Sufficient practice and the stories makes it more interesting and exposes us to different material

32. The EXP and achievements allow us to know where we currently stand, however with the leaderboard, it pushes some people to go faster and further which causes undue stress to the others who may have more things on their hands. Storylines some but not all of them, helps us to link and relate to how we can apply some of the things we are learning into real life examples.

33. The whole gamification concept motivates me to work hard! Being able to get instant feedback on my answers also accelerated my learning curve.

34. The submission is hassle free, and grading is done very fast.

35. The real-time EXP, achievements and leaderboards allow us to constantly monitor our standing among our peers, serving as a motivation in a way. The graded and auto-graded submissions allow different modes of learning, where the latter may be a somewhat-informal formative assessment and the former is a summative assessment.

36. I liked this whole idea, though I find the storylines a bit pointless and skip those parts often, but I really appreciate the effort and gives the whole game immersion idea a special touch.

37. The game concept is interesting and to delve further into the game we have to complete our assignments, which spurs me on to complete more stuff and also to get most of the EXP available. Achievements are also a plus as it makes it feel more like an online game. Furthermore, the teaching staff are helpful and prompt in answering our queries

38. The trainings help a lot when learning a new topic as it builds my fundamentals. I can move on to missions after i complete the trainings. The leaderboard greatly encourages me to stay on par with my classmates. Once I'm on the leaderboard, I try my best to stay on it and climb up. The exp system encourages me to do my assignments to the best of my ability to get a perfect score.

39. I like the whole idea of game immersion

40. It's extra training.

41. It is a quick way to check if anyone else is having the same difficulties as yourself and it also allows a faster way to share tips to a larger group

42. Having the leaderboard, allows you to keep track of your progress throughout the course, gives you an idea if you are falling behind the class or not.

43. Role playing concept allows you to pioritize work. Trainings help to reinforce content that lectures teach. Teaching staff are quick to reply and they are helpful overall. Also, submission online allows for submission at any time of the day.

44. around 4 years ago I watched Jane McGonigal's TED talk on how gaming can change the world. I agree with what she suggested in her talk to exploiting the use of gamers who spend excessive amounts of time on gaming, give them a platform and design or formulate a series of solutions for the world. Through an online platform we can deliver large quantities of information without having to repeat it continually, and if the concepts and materials are effective on one, it should theoretically apply to as many that it teaches. Coursemology has succeeded in applying that idea, no doubt. I have seen gaming platforms where they nurture schoolkids in the use of creative concepts inclusive of maths, science, languages. And I think it obeys the same concept - to learn is to have fun. The trainings, content and interactions with the staff positively impact my learning because even when we use an online platform for fun we still need to be drilled in our basics and have consistent communication with our teachers who can respond when we have a need or query to be answered.
45. it makes the whole learning journey more interesting
46. sadly I'm not someone who plays MMORPG games. thus the MMORPG concept is indifferent to me. And like I said the random EXP given through contest and optional quest makes it hard to judge how far back you are in the course
47. Leaderboard is a form of negative motivation, if you're lagging (oh, I need to catch up), and probably positive if you're on top of the game (I need to maintain my lead). Studying is about sustaining motivation, so regardless, it's a good thing. I generally find side quests and trainings comparable or harder than missions, and they help in understanding the material better. Especially for a programming course, I think building a strong foundation through such exercises a good thing. The coursemology system and forums are much much more impactful than those of the other FC modules i am attending. I guess it's in part the topic, as well as having the regular physical sessions early on (the forum regulars were initially the remedial regulars, and they helped seed participation in the forums - nobody would like to be the first to do something).

Skip: 2 (4.1%)

I'm glad that the majority of the students have found the gamification to be helpful. To respond to comment #44, the student is right on the dollar. Jane McGonigal's talk was in fact the inspiration behind the entire Coursemology system.

Basically, I watched the talk and asked myself, "can this really be done?" and I tried to see if I could do it. The rest is history. So the lesson here is that it is important to try out new ideas for ourselves.

3) Multiple Response

Which parts of the game system have a negative impact on your learning? Tick all that apply



The role-playing concept: EXP and achievements


The leaderboard


Having storylines for each mission


Side quests


Trainings 3
Content delivery and submissions through Coursemology


Interaction with teaching staff through comments system on Coursemology


The whole idea of game immersion


None of the above (or I didn't think there was anything negative)


We are aware that the leaderboard generates stress for some students, but it is a double-edged sword that can also do good, we kept it. Stress is not always a bad thing though.

4) Essay

Please explain your selections for the previous question.

1. if i am not wrong, final exp level is related to our grades.(sorry if i am wrong) although Side Quests are optional and many of the trainings are also optional, but they still give exp and somehow becomes compulsory to get better grades.

2. It is good to encourage us to work hard but it can be a form of added pressure.

3. Nothing really, Coursemology has been one of the best online learning platforms I have used thus far.

4. CLEARLY. The not-30s would unanimously agree.

5. The storyline is something I cannot see as being helpful because even if it does give a storyline that some are interested, the truth is that it does not appeal to me. So this one is more a personal bias. I cannot disassociate the concept that work and play can be one. Not when there is a grade that can determine our performance. So we end up pressurising ourselves on having to complete it. Also, having the leaderboard is somewhat pressurizing because one sees and develop unnecessary competitiveness. It does not feel like a learning game anymore.

6. Provides an unhealthy sense of competition, whereby people will always aim to be the top, which is good IF you can get there, but for the average person and those weaker ones (at the bottom of the leaderboard), it affects their morale. Which isn't good for the person's character. Makes the person feel depressed, like he is a failure =(

7. As I said earlier, the storylines are quite unnecessary sometimes. Although the stories used in exam papers look quite interesting (e.g. Inception, Flappy Bird)

8. I think it has been mostly positive overall, but sometimes I get stuck in the trainings and it doesn't really tell me where I went wrong.

9. totally useless. can be more concise

10.  I did not even read the whole story for most of the time.

11. Feel too much pressure from the exp system, and the leaderboard shows the gap between students.

12. Like a double edged sword, the EXP and leaderboard have negative impacts as well. If we get too caught up in trying to be at the top or earning as many achievements as possible, we would start to 'anyhow whack' all sorts of codes until we pass.

13. It's okay. Sometimes I feel side quests should have a later deadline so we have more time to do it after we complete our main assignments.

14. The leaderboard is really a double-edged sword: sometimes it makes you depressed because you're not on it, but when you're on it it gives you a sense of accomplishment. Yet being on the leaderboard means you have to keep up to remain there, or else you'll just get overtaken by everyone else. Again, this can either encourage you to work harder or just wallow in self pity and watch as your name disappears.

15. The leaderboard puts some pressure on you because you tend to compare yourself with others and that you want to reach their levels as fast as possible. But of course due to some people who takes unreasonably short time to complete it can be rather demoralising. Hence why I normally just ignore The Leaderboard while some people tends to compare or want to reach the 1st position. For me I feel it's unnecessary to give myself that much pressure since it's not like I'm not doing my work but rather it's just how slow or how fast can I do it.

16. Sometimes when we get stuck in extra practices or tutorials, its quite sad that even if you get stuck at the last question, you get no credit for the whole practice or tutorial. So if you get infinitely stuck, too bad no credit. Then we are forced to bother people in forum or tutors to help. Maybe for extra practices, there can be a (skip) or give up selection? Maybe if its still within the deadline, we can still come back to edit it and score credit for that part the next time.
Sometime I am too focused on gaining EXP and submitting within the deadline instead of actually learning the concept fully.

17. I feel that there is not really a negative impact of the game system. The story lines just takes some time to read but intrigues students and engages us. Not much of negative impact but if I need to choose one option, it would be storylines.

18. Being an avid gamer, sometimes I may be too overzealous to be up there and rush through my missions, which can make me do some sillies.
had to pick an option, imo its either positive or zero impact

19. The stress of wanting to obtain full exp. And how you have to wonder how people reach level 30, knowing you are so far behind.

20. There is a time delay between when the question is asked and the reply

21. Not that it has a negative impact but I normally skip the story.

22. It can sometimes be demoralising when u see that people are doing so well especially the fact u can see it real-time, not at tests or the end of the module.

23. The leaderboard, it pushes some people to go faster and further which causes undue stress to the others who may have more things on their hands.

24. It isn't detrimental to my learning. In fact, it makes it more interesting. However, I feel that storylines used during exams should be more concise to avoid confusing the student.

25. The whole concept of game system is innovative and interesting.

26. The worst part is the leaderboard. Just creates unnecessary stress and a feeling of haplessness when you look at Royston or Sebastian, so I don't look at the leaderboard nowadays.

27. The leaderboard is somewhat demoralising as the stronger students are able to breeze through the newer missions when they are first released and stay on the top of the leaderboard, hence the weaker students may feel demoralised

28. Too long and uninteresting, I normally just skip to the question.

29. n/a Although I think the storylines don't exactly contribute? but not exactly negative as well

30. Somewhat pressurizing

31. Everything is fine for me

32. I think that the story lines for each mission are redundant

33. Its okay overall.

Skip: 16 (32.7%)

We are quite aware that the leaderboard will create stress. On one level, the stress is likely good to keep the students who are falling behind on their toes.

We will try to work on the story lines to make them more interesting. Thus far, most of the focus has been on the actual programming work. In future semesters, we will have more time to deal with the bells and whistles.

5) Multiple Response

Which of these game features encourage you to finish missions the most?





Achievements and badges






Tutors/Being graded




You Enjoy Doing Missions Because They are Fun!




It is interesting to note that the gamification mechanisms seem to be working since it inspires half the students to finish their work.

6) Essay

Please explain your selections for the previous question.

1. Require exp to level up which contributes to the 35% weightage.

2. at least I know what i leant can be applied to more variety of situations

3. 1. Being rewarded for your effort is a good feeling.

4. I'm a very competitive person. Whenever I see myself nearing the top, I will "chiong" till I'm there.

5. Since missions award the most EXP, it allows me to climb the leaderboard at a quicker rate.

6. All EXCEPT the leader board.

7. If you're not in the leaderboard, you're falling behind. Need to start doing more.

8. The feeling you get when your code works!!! Like 'top of the world' feeling!!!

9. I would check the leaderboard and make sure I'm not too far behind the top students

10. Other than the fact that programming is interesting and missions provide a way of using such skills, the level & exp system further encourages me to get the maximum available exp.

11. To understand how a particular topic is applied by solving the questions.

12. I would say that the EXP and achievements are helpful in spurring us on to complete the missions. Doing missions also allow us to put what we have learnt to applying them in real life situations (such as the bus routes mission). However, being in the Singapore education system for so long, the one and only honest reason why we complete missions (homework), is simply because we have to (35%-which is a lot, of our final grade depends on it after all).

13. Deadlines / getting graded and because I learn a lot from doing missions are the main factors that encourage me to complete missions. Each time I complete a mission, I feel like I can code a lot better.

14. I also have no idea why an arbitrary number representing a level spurs me on. I guess I just like seeing big numbers.

15. Levelling Up / EXP is a motivation I guess? Because after all, you have to get the 35% here since it's something we can work towards and to some extent within our control since we have the time to think properly. Compared to exams where the time is short and one wrong mistake could mean significant percentage of our grade lost.

16. A bit of the achiever mentality in me :)

17. Well! Its being graded and carries a somewhat high weightage because the exp given is quite high in proportion!

18. Having a high level gives you a sense that you are ok in your work.

19. I feel I become a better person.

20. For most of us, studying is close to an alien language after 2 years of army. The discipline it requires to complete the workload is a different form as compared in army and the vigour of studying is different from what we are used to. Often, i find deadlines the key factor to what determines that i complete the work as I have other commitments as well. But after some time, I am able to find the balance and not depend on deadlines to complete my work, I find the "Levelling Up/ EXP" factor a bigger one.

21. seeing a bunch of green colour attempt buttons at once annoys me,i don't know why

22. Having friends to share the pain of being completely confused when you read the mission pdf, and helping each other out

23. I don't like to be out of the leaderboard.

24.  Deadlines push people to do work!
25. Deadlines
26. It is different for me as I was working and taking 3 modules at one shot so Deadlines play a major role for me.
27. I feel that the missions make what we learn more meaningful. How I wish that we can have more missions to simulate real applications of the knowledge that we acquire.
28. If I judge my progress on EXP, I usually force myself to complete mission on time to prevent myself from falling behind. and after deadlines means 0 exp.
29. A sense of competition motivates me to do better

30. I like to complete everything as it gives me the quest-like feel and allows me to capture all the available EXP.

31. Once I'm on it, I'll try my best to stay on it.
32. Deadlines because.....deadlines?
33. EXP/badges give me some sense of achievement. I also enjoy doing missions because they are all part of the learning experience.
34. Self-explanatory
35. It allows me to learn more than the tutorials as they have more interesting questions
36. Only deadlines can motivate me. It provides the most stress.

Skip: 13 (26.5%)

Seems like the students are short of time and deadlines are a much more important factor compared to the in-school students.

7) Multiple Choice

Which of the following best describes your motivation to get on the leaderboard, in relation to the work you do?



I do everything I can to get on it


I am generally motivated to get onto the leaderboard


Being on the leaderboard is a nice side-effect of doing my work


I don't really care about it


These results are quite typical. 

8) Multiple Choice

How much has the game system enhanced your learning compared to regular instruction?



Not at all :(


A little


Moderately :)


Very much!


It's a brilliant scheme!


It's nice to see that the game system seems to have enhanced the learning experience for about 80% of the students. :-)

9) Multiple Choice

Which statement best describes how you feel about Coursemology's auto-grading feature?



It is a hindrance and my goal is just to get past it by hook or by crook. Just give me my EXP!!


I just anyhow whack until I get through them, sorry. Oops.


I've passed all the test cases but I still feel insecure about my code. What if it's not correct and I passed by accident?


I love it! The instant feedback it gives me really helps my learning.


The auto-grading system (Trainings) is one of our key innovations. I am glad to see that it's very well-received! :-)

10) Essay

Please comment on the usefulness of the discussion forum to your learning.

1. Helps us to clear some of our doubts.

2. useful, but there is too little help. I guess for me and most other people, helping other people when we are not even that good ourselves isnt a good idea.

3. I sometimes get more confused by other people's confusion.

4. Very useful. Some of your peers may also have the same problem you. So u can go to the forum and maybe by chance, somebody has helped to ask yr question in the forum and someone else answered it.

5. It is very nice to know that most/all of the questions I have can be answered within a short period of time.

6. it's useful, as it 'unstucks' me more often than not, as the problems faced by my peers are often faced by myself as well.

7. Useful at times, but can be improved.

8. The discussion forum, whilst I do admit it does have comments that do help sometimes, I cannot understand most of what is being posted. In one of my posts I actually cross-referred and tried my best to make it, put simply, as intelligible as I managed. But some of the posts online are either not explained, or just made in specified context which some may not understand.

9. Quite useful.

10. People on the forums respond very quickly so it has helped to speed up my learning by a lot

11. It is a great platform for asking questions. Responses from the teachers are quick and helpful while not spoonfeeding

12. It's rather useful though I hope the teaching staff do verify the answers that are provided by students.

13. I seldom use. right now i have around 200 unread comments in forum

14. It is very useful to get hints from our peers.

15. Not very useful, doesn't mean that there will be useful reply

16. It is only useful when we understand what the people who are answering are saying, if not it is useless.

17. It is great. I like how peers can help each other to get to the correct answer - it's almost like we're working together in this course.

18. Very useful. Of course I try not to ask for help there when I can, and only do so after I can almost make a dent in my walls after repeated attempts of head-bashing.

19. Some students are helpful. Allow me to shamelessly ask questions

20. You will be able to find some clues to your difficulties and that could somehow allow you to progress.

21. Forums have been very helpful to clarify questions/doubts and also to facilitate discussion.

22. Super awesome! The other forums say for EG1109 or PC1431 in coursera platforms are so dead. I guess its just so boring to be talking about how to solve physics questions. I really hope you could see how heavily used coursemology's forum is compared to the other 2! I suppose forum participation marks helps a bit for those who likes to help answer peoples queries!

23. The forum is good but most of the times it takes a long time (more than 1hr) to get a reply. During that period I am still stuck on that question. I agree that the long time might be due to the smaller class size though.

24. The discussion forums really aids my learning, often the questions i have difficulty understanding are similar to those questions posted on the forum.
By answering questions from my peers, I get to reinforce my assumption that I know the content well and the forum sometimes contains good points for reference to.
25. quite useful
26. It is... not very helpful to the wildly confused.
27. Very useful. Students and tutors were very helpful in clarifying doubts.
28. It is very helpful as it discusses problems faced by me from other people.
29. Useful peer support

30. Allows me to ask questions easily

31. Its heartening to know that i am not the only one having difficulties.
32. The forums are great in reaching out and discussing common problems, or even personal questions. It is good that the teaching staff constantly patrol the forums and correct incorrect posts and frequently reply (:
33. It is very helpful as you get get various viewpoints from others regarding your question. At the same time, you can see how some others approach the questions.
34. So so.. Most of the time I avoid asking questions in the forum because questions there take pretty long to be answered. Sometimes, they don't even get answered because I'm not allowed to post my entire script. I'd rather keep trying by myself till I get it..
35. Pretty good. But thanks to a lot of the more pro students who give comments also
36. I am able to get help for some of the difficult question by putting them on the forum. By looking through the comments of tutors and fellow students, I am able to gain invaluable insight.
37. It is useful as it presents an avenue for peer-learning, and also as an avenue to pose questions to the lecturer.
38. I sometimes consult the forum for tips in checking the validity of my submissions.
39. Allows us to gather tips and hints from the tutors
40. When I'm stuck, the forum usually doesn't help, only after trying on my own for a few hours I can solve the question. Also when I don't understand something I think it is more efficiently taught to me through other means and not through forum.
41. It helps to be able to ask questions for everyone to participate. However, as we get to know each other, I think most of us are more comfortable asking each other privately than in the context of a public forum.
42. Great
43. The discussion forum is a very useful platform for students to discuss their doubts and help each other out, additionally tutors are able to keep a close eye at the same time to ensure that what is explained in the forum are correct.
44. Very helpful. Answering of questions may be slow but overall its good.

Skip: 5 (10.2%)

I am glad that the forum is very active for CS1010FC. I think peer learning is a very important component of the class. Also, we are improving the clarity of the assignments from the comments and feedback from the forum. Thanks everyone!

11) Essay

Please give us your suggestions on how the discussion forum can be improved

1. I suppose there should be more professional helps and the hints should be to the point. some replies which i saw on the forum and feel like slapping them are things like 'maybe you should look at it from another perspective'

2. It can have a search function.

3. I really wish there will be a search bar. As the progression of this mod continues, there will be more topics added in the forum. Sure will be messy.

4. Maybe a notification system when someone posts something in a thread started by you (which can be user toggled on/off).
perhaps pertaining to the reply thread portion? sometimes people either reply to a question by clicking the reply button, and sometimes posting a new comment. this can be confusing at times. just saying.

5. The tutors should go on more often, as and when they can (and feel like).

6. Perhaps we can start assigning more specific topics in general discussions - people tend to create their own posts which makes searching troublesome for some, and when we want to find one particular topic we end up having to search all around the place for the one hint which could be in a specified location. For example - topics as the most general forum, then inside there is lectures, tutorials, trainings, etc..., and then on another end as another very general forum we have Missions and Sidequests. Organisation of information becomes harder as we start to create more files and forums as and when we want.

7. Forum could have some sort of live feed showing snippets of latest posts "e.g. BlahBlah posted 'I don't understand this this this' 5 seconds ago". Kind of like social media I guess

8. Give each person a title like "Guru" or "Expert" or "Newbie" based on how many questions he or she has answered to motivate people to contribute more.

9. Replying the first post of a thread does not indent the reply and when others reply, sometimes the hierarchy gets rather confusing. Perhaps follow reddit-style comments, with little whitespace and easy to read replies. Also, the upvote and downvote currently doesn't serve much purpose.

10. Not really a suggestion. Prof Ben asked us to interact on that platform. But most of time, only a few students are really able to give a useful suggestion. And sometimes even I want to help, someone else already answered those qns.

11. More tutor engagement. Maybe have forum that allow us to ask tutor questions

12. Search function.

13. Threading is a problem once there are too many "replies to replies" and it can get quite confusing to figure who is actually addressing who. But it can be fixed from the user's perspective if people just @user to address them so it's clearing who's talking to who.

14. Sort discussions by time/date

15. None! Cheers to tutors who constantly patrol the forum for questions. It really helped relieve the stress when we realise we are stuck and sometimes no matter how hard you try you still don't know how to get it. Thats when the forum helps so much.

16. The discussion forum can be better organised into "Archive" or "Unanswered" questions which can be determined by the student posting the question, so that we can access the forum easily.

17. Stickies for very active topics or topics with good pointers.

18. seems ok

19. The forums are great (:

20. It is good at the moment

21. Integrate a question board/forum into each challenge/training/mission etc. That means if someone has trouble solving a problem, he/she can click on a button on the side of the page to open up a board specific to that question/mission. This way, people can learn from the problems that other people have faced and maybe even tap on some answers in the board to solve their problem.
no idea

22. Perhaps there can be more folders, e.g. one folder for every Mission, Training, Sidequest etc.

23. Remove the exp giving idea.

24. Introduction of non-course related subforums for friendliness
25. In addition to a forum maybe have a general chat group?
26. Weekly discussions on topics in sticky threads.

Skip: 23 (49.5%)

Good ideas everyone. This is the first semester that we've introduced a Forum in Coursemology. I am not fully happy with the current interface. We will take this feedback and improve the Forum. Thanks!

12) Essay

Please let us have any final comments and suggestions on the platform

1. Sometimes it is still tough to articulate our thoughts through words, so face-to-face sessions may still be more effective.

2. It is a great platform that teaches programming in a fun and yet challenging manner.

3. Coursemology has been one of the best online learning platforms I have used thus far.

4. Remove the leader board, perhaps…

5. I feel that coursemology is brilliant, I wish they had this in our secondary schools and JCs

6. It is great!

7. Overall very polished, just that the lesson plan is still rather difficult to read and we don't get updates when it changes. Perhaps use a shared google calender?

8. Not very effective I feel

9. A search function for the forum is critical so that we can find our questions easily without reposting.

10. Nope. It's great, keep it up!!

11. Can continue to use this

12. Sometimes it gets down. Hopefully the disruption will always be kept short!

13. After we finish the trainings. we should be able to see the model answers so that we can learn from it.

14. It is a great platform for online learning, and has many awesome features.

15. Nothing much to add on beside those above.

16. seems ok

17. I think this platform has the potential to be a very viable form of conducting courses. As of now I feel that the disparity between what is taught and what is asked for in the homework is too great. I'll be taking notes in the lectures and finding out that those notes are almost useless when I start doing the homework, missions in particular.

18. More tests to drill us aside from trainings.

19. As a person who don't organise my materials, having Coursemology to do all that has been great.

20. Coursemology is awesome!

21. Technical issues aside, it is a good platform.

22. I thought having the pending actions on the main page was pretty good. It would be even better if everything (recitations, tutorials, etc.) can be collapsed into the pending actions list or into a calendar. Somehow, I feel that the lesson plan is pretty obscure and it would definitely be better if it were in a calendar form.

23. pretty good in a way. I think having the ability to study at my own pace is more efficient. but I do hope mission cna be released earlier as sometimes we are stuck waiting for reply we can read about he next mission

24. Perhaps a mobile app to check announcements, reply on the discussion forum and to download files from the workbin...? :) Also, it will be great if the teaching team can release the "levelling up" structure (i.e. how many EXP required to "level up" to the next level), the number of EXP for all the missions, so that students can have an approximation of the weighing of every Mission.
25. Excellent. I love the degree of freedom I get in completing my homework.
26. Overall it is quite good besides the hosting problem
27. Good platform, only complaint is the lag sometimes.
28. It's a good platform with potential. I've tried codecademy, and I feel coursemology leads in that it's an interaction between the content creators and participants. Most other platforms are just individuals interacting with content, and it gets boring/pointless pretty quickly. They may have forums, but it's different interacting with content creators and with other participants. This of course also translates into more work to maintain the platform, but it's a pretty good balance thus far.
29. Could break down a bit less often.

30. Its good. The stability can be improved though.

Skip: 19 (49.5%)

First, let me apologize for some of the downtime that we've experienced over the semester. It's a hosting problem. We are using Digital Ocean. It's a startup. It's cheap and fast and bleeding edge, but that means sometimes we bleed with it. Over time, we will hopefully have more experience managing the platform and will be able to achieve better availability.

I am aware that the interface for the Lesson Plan is wanting. We will be working on improving it. Thanks for the feedback!

1) Multiple Choice

What is your overall impression of CS1101FC thus far?



This is a horrible class. Truly regret choosing it. It is a miracle that I still haven't dropped it...


CS1101FC is worse than the other iMOOC classes that I'm taking.


CS1101FC just another class to me...


CS1101S is cool


CS1101FC rocks. Coolest class I have taken in my life. Can't wait to matriculate at NUS.


Glad to learn that 80% of the class is generally happy with CS1010FC. As for the 5 students who are unhappy, or struggling, do come to ask for help and we will see how we can best help you.

2) Multiple Choice

Has CS1010FC been able to arouse your interest in programming?







I was already interested in programming before CS1101FC!


I was once interested in programming, but CS1101FC killed it :-'(


I am glad to see that 80% of the students are now interested in programming. As for the last 20%, I guess the consolation is that you now minimally know what programming is about and why it's not for you. Stay with us and let's get through the class together.

3) Multiple Choice

Would you recommend CS1010FC to other students?







I am glad to see that 90% of the students will recommend the class to their friends. :-)

4) Essay

This is the first time that we're trying to teach a regular NUS module to NSmen. If you had difficulties juggling CS1010FC, NS and other commitments, please describe your difficulties.

1. CS1010FC requires quite a fair bit of time to solve the missions and homework.

2. Not many, if any.

3. For the first 3 months of the course, I had extreme difficult in juggling all my commitments. This is not because of bad time management, as I handled 3 CCAs in secondary school before. I had to work on weekdays, and weekends were dead packed for me as well. Guess we all didn't know what 3 iMOOC modules, work, and many other commitments entailed. Thankfully the tutors were understanding.

4. It's difficult to get back into the momentum for learning once you've lost it. Most of my JC computing concepts are out of reach to me now...

5. Working and studying at the same time is really a challenge! It's not easy, but at least it helps to grow one's character (& time management) =)

6. I already ORDed but have started working so a bit hard to attend WebEx sometimes.

7. I had ORDed already, but after I went for a 5 day holiday in late January I was behind in schedule and struggled a bit to keep up. From now till June I might want to travel again but I'm not sure if that will affect my work.

8. None so far, ORD lo.

9. Really too little time for NSmem to keep track on the module. And sometimes when I see so many people have completed those missions and I haven't even started. That make me very stressed .And physical attendance for tutorial may be a problem because I am not sure whether SAF will allow us to go for the lesson during working hour.

10. When stuck at particular questions, little help are found to help us unstuck

11. Having ORD-ed before the start of this course, I think the main difficulty faced was trying to get my brain to start functioning again.

12. Depends on my NS schedules

13. It was hard in the first 3 months since I haven't ORDed yet and it was hard to think about the missions with the limited time I have. Not to mention to think while being tired after NS commitments so I always have myself thinking about the missions while doing other things and then just code whatever I thought of when I reach my laptop. But you definitely don't have the time to really just sit down to think deeply. My basics could have been shaky back then since all I wanted back then was to get through all the missions and tutorials to get as much exp as possible. And it was only the starting too. To fall in the early stages could be detrimental later. Not to mention the midterm month is the month I ORDed.

14. Lucky I am a somewhat full time 'imooc' student taking 3 modules. My weekdays are free and I spend the whole day and sometimes night to study this.

15. Really somewhat like a full time student just that I sometimes get free time at night to play games. Its just a bit time consuming, cant imagine how it'll be like to be half working/NS while learning this. Quite tough. For a stay-in NSF who can only use computers on weekends, I might say its quite hard to meet all the deadlines.

16. My difficulties are juggling between finding and working on a source of income and the course itself, the course requires a higher level of focus and understanding as compared what we are used to in army. Also, many of us consider taking on other recreational activities in our free time, travelling, photography, singing, dance, etc. This course in generally requires many hours on the computer. Fortunately, it is online, if most of us had to travel to and fro to NUS, I think most of us will drop the course as the time commitment is really too high.

17. No major difficulties as my ORD was during the 1st relaxed week.

18. its fine, had a lot more time once I orded.

19. Its very hard to find a job to fit the schedule of the class.

20. Before I ORD in March, it was really difficult to juggle especially since I applied for 2 iMOOC modules. Now that I've ORD-ed I have more time to catch up and hopefully do better for the re-midterms. I was too nervous for midterms to do well...

21. It was hard for me at first as I was still in NS and in a stay-in unit while the rest have either ORD or in a stay out unit. Afterwards, just have to put in some effort and you will naturally be back on track.

22. Some weeks the workload is rather high considering I could only access my computer on the weekends

23. I ORDed early so no issues here.

24. It might be difficult if you are juggling NS/work/other modules with the module. Alone, I think it is doing a good job.

25. Juggling a full-time Temporary Job and three modules is quite taxing but is manageable, it would just require more time.

26. Work and taking 3 modules is definitely not easy. CS1010FC plays a part in it when you can't pass the missions. However for my other modules, it was the lack of support and the ridiculous length of the lectures that made it difficult. So, on the CS1010FC part, I think the lecturers, TAs and the undergrad students are doing a fine job.

27. Yah. I only ORD on 24 June 2014, which means that I will still be in-service when classroom lessons commence. It isn't a problem for me because I have a kind and understanding superior who granted me off (because my leave was not enough to cover all the tutorials and lessons that I have, especially when taking into consideration other modules that I'm attending as well) but it might be for some others. I feel that there should be alternative solutions for NSFs who are still in-service till/past June.

28. Not really, but it takes up pretty much of my free time. life now is basically work and study

29. Cannot make it for a lot of webbex session due to weekend duties.

30. It may be quite difficult to attend all the WebEx lessons even though there are two sessions. And the commitment required to complete all the Trainings, Tutorials, Missions and Sidequest may be quite tough especially with NS still ongoing.

31. This whole thing started before I ORD-ed, so at one point of time I had so much work stacked that I almost couldn't meet the deadline. It's not that I don't want to ask for extension, but work will stack if I make it a habit to ask for extensions. Then after ORD I want to work, but schedules are so uncertain I found it difficult to find work. Now that I found one, I hope to be able to excuse myself for some face-to-face classroom lessons when it starts.

32. Time commitment is a slight issue due to work commitments

33. I was unable to attend most of the online webex due to work and other commitments, however I can complete all the tutorials so I don't think I need it that much. I would rather attend classes that teach us concepts rather than how to solve tutorial questions.

34. It is ok as a module. Probably shouldn't have signed up for so many though...

35. 5 days between lessons is a long time and 2 days per lesson is not.

36. Hard to change mindset from going through NS to studying. The first few weeks were not indicative of the work in the later parts, which results in me taking a part time job, which was regrettable when the workload increased.

37. My difficulties are catching up - due to the difficulty of doing the work once you fall behind you more or less have to sacrifice other CS1010FC things like sidequests, and yet you may face difficulty catching up. For those who go back there is a repeated break in their learning so time has to be dedicated to revise, and then more time to do the assignments.

Skip: 12 (24.5%)

Thanks for sharing the difficulties and concerns. This is the first time that we're doing this iMOOC thing and it's a learning experience for us also. We try our best to accommodate the students. Overall, we have been granting amnesty for late submissions in view of the scheduling uncertainties for the students. It seems to us that at least the students who finally decided to register for CS1010FC are doing okay.

5) Essay

Please give us your comments and suggestions on how to make your learning in CS1010FC more efficient and interesting.

1. Its already at tip top condition.

2. The main flaw to me is WebEx. The system just does not seem very stable and the voices are not very clear at times. Maybe a small bit of money could be invested into a good microphone, which can produce clearer sound quality.

3. it's great now, thanks to the tutors!

4. Less workload per mission, with some of the starting questions (not too many) around the same difficulty level as the Trainings. That would be nice.

5. Do two semesters' worth of CS1010FC for returning NSmen. One in Early January and one in April or May (or whichever). Insist from now onwards that if students wish to take either one they must have ORDed so that their learning pattern is not broken by the need to go back to the military to serve the last bit of military service. The one in early january for those who ORD in January or earlier, and the april or may one for those who ORD in march. Then that way they have 100 percent full time to do their studies.

6. Make questions more applicable to solving everyday problems =) Don't just want to code something for the sake of solving questions. That's what coding should be about, no? =)

7. I think my learning is fine.

8. Develop an actual game like runescape where you can walk around and click things and do quests etc.

9. The current system works fine.

10. more practice. standard answers may be provided. I feel merely passing the auto grading system is not good enough. it is always good to know more solutions especially the simpler ones

11. More engagement with tutor, so clarification can be done

12. The English used in the missions/sidequests/exams can be quite hard to understand. There are times where I take much more time trying to understand what the qn is trying to say as compared to doing the actual coding. I hope the instructions and explanations can be clearer in the future.

13. I like how it is now; I feel like if there are more practice that isn't so tough it would really aid in my learning. I feel insecure about some concepts as there is a scarcity of practice questions.

14. I know it is really difficult. But is it possible at all to have some sort of chat option with graders/tutors where we can see if they are online on coursemology and be able to chat with them to ask our questions?

15. For me, most of the time spent is on debugging and figuring out what the question is looking for. In the case of the latter aspect, questions could be made clearer so that we can have a better idea of the programme that we want to compute.

16. As I had Java background before entering, I have managed to draw parallels between the 2 languages, perhaps once my Python knowledge exceed my Java, some guidance on what in Java does what X does in Python could be helpful.

17. seems ok

18. Make me less confused please. 95% of the time, I'm playing a guessing game with the codes.

19. Unlock all content instead of releasing them slowly so I can prepare in advance in case of other commitments.

20. Have remedial classes at the start of the module. This is where i struggled most, as a student with absolutely no background experience in coding. I spent really long picking up the language, which is the hardest part. Once I had a good understanding of the language, lectures and assignments made more sense!

21. More application-based learning, please!

22. I think the game system is pretty good. better than normal classes.

23. It would be cool if the whole course could be conducted online as we would be able to do more things on our own, especially if we want to take up other courses or to study/work outside

24. Have lessons face to face for more human interaction, so far online classes has not been very interactive for me.

25. So far those open ended questions in tutorials or extra practice are not graded, thus I wont be sure if what I answered was right, so maybe the tutorials with open ended questions can have the same marking system as the missions.

Skip: 24 (51.8%)

Thanks for the suggestions.

It's probably not possible to improve WebEx. That's a commercial product that is not under our control and I think it's already state-of-art. The clarity is okay from my end, so I suspect that for the student who is complaining, it has to do with his network, which I don't think we can really control. That's the price to pay for convenience.

I don't like the idea of a fully online course. I wouldn't have done WebEx if we had a choice. I also think that face-to-face classes are better and not that we have started our face-to-face classes, I hope that the students also agree. But I think what we have done is a good compromise that works very well to accommodate the weird and wonderful schedules of the students who ORD later.

I don't think there's a scarcity of practice questions. We didn't want to overwhelm the students. I am quite sure that by the end of the semester, students will not feel that there are not enough questions. We have this OCD award for the students who finish every single thing in the system.

To make things more practical, we have recently introduced a 2048 side quest where you get to write the 2048 game for homework. Hopefully, this will provide the students with a taste of how what you have learnt is something that is immediately applicable.

6) Essay

Tell us more about what you think about CS1010FC. This is your chance to tell us anything you want that is not already covered by the previous questions.

1. past year papers are so much easier than this midterm

2. I think prelims will help, or times mock papers in an examination setting. Most of is haven't taken an exam in a long time

3. Until i have completed this mod, I cannot give any comments about this mod.

4. It has been a great module so far.

5. I'm just confused on how the freshman grade less system will work… will this course be ungraded or graded since the new system only kicks in this august??? Also, if this course can be taken as ungraded, can I map it to my first semester then?? (sorry this is a more general issue!)

6. I think we should allow more face-to-face sessions. They actually use more time but at this stage we would need more face-to-face for instant solving or troubleshooting for our problems or concepts.

7. A bit outrageous to ask, but maybe we could have some sort of cohesion event just to socialize a bit? haha. I don't really know the people in this course yet.

8. It is a great class that has made me understand what programming is and how challenging yet rewarding it can be.

9. This has been a interesting and fruitful first module in NUS. Glad that the teaching staff were courageous enough to take on the challenge!

10. I feel that it is not very effective. When you are stuck, you go to the forum, it is still almost impossible to clarify what you don't know. You ask around sometimes, it is still ok. But if you are stuck almost every questions, you are bothering others and they may not reply. When you ask under comment section, the reply is almost useless. Hence, for struggling people, we have no idea what to do, not that we never try our best

11. (Very) Painful class but it is a core requirement for my major. Will continue to do my best nevertheless.

12. I like it. So far, everything is okay.

13. Weave a more connected narrative. I got rather confused when one moment I was deciphering runes in Egypt and the next I was chasing buses???

14. It's a good thing that I took it now. With the amount of time I have I'm still struggling with the workload since the time to think and all. I can't imagine having to deal this in the regular semester with all the other works from other modules.

15. I love python cause its so simple to use. Btw whoever who designed this survey really got my 100% view about this module out of me. I should learn from you!

16. CS1010FC is great because of the game aspect and I believe team of tutors have been very engaging and approachable. This is one of the reasons I believe many are not dropping this course, keep up the good work!

17. Good job!

18. I'm still interested in programming but I feel that the course should be structured such that I'm confused less than 95% of the time. Disparity is really too great. (I spent hours on the pdf files for missions before giving up and trying again when i have more time)

19. More contest!

20. CS1010FC is a great module. I especially like the part where you guys keep emphasizing that this is a module on managing complexity, not programming.

21. It makes the module seem much more worth it and applicable outside programming

22. I personally feel that computing exams should be done on computers. It could be just me but I tend to make changes to my program as I write, so writing it on paper makes my paper really messy and I waste a lot of time writing and re-writing the code.

23. I appreciate the time and effort of the lecturer and the TAs during the WebEx lessons, especially when the WebEx lessons often drag beyond an hour (moreover the lessons are at night) and the lecturer/TAs are still willing to answer our questions after the lessons. Thank you Prof Ben, Brian and Michelle! :D

24. Excellent for me.

25. Quite a cool mod for new students. Gives a good insight into the world of programming

26. I like the pace of the lesson plan. The time we have to complete the assignments are adequate and makes it a good way for me to warm up my brain and get ready for university.

27. I generally prefer classroom lessons, if possible. May need a bit more personal interaction.

28. Its good overall. Its quite difficult as an introductory module but it may be a good look into life in a university. The pacing could be a little better which allows us who spent 2 years away from studying to get into the studying mood again.

Skip: 21 (42.9%)

I am afraid that I don't know the details of the gradeless first year yet, but it really shouldn't be a concern. Everyone should just do their best and just keep in mind that they don't have to be too stressed about their grade for CS1010FC and focus on learning.

And to respond to comment #22, there will be a practical exam. It is hard to test some concepts using a computer. There are good reasons why we still have paper exams for this class. I would have gotten rid of the paper exams if we don't need them. Practical exams are actually slightly easier to administer.

7) Essay

Do you have any concerns about CS1010FC? If so, what are they and how can we help?

1. Not sure if what we know is adequate for the exams.

2. Same problem. My lackness of knowledge of h2 maths or even A maths from sec sch. Took neither. Just scared next time, I will be beyond lost.

3. just apprehensive of what's coming up? of the finals and practical exams? after mid terms…

4. Although I know the syntax, I don't think I can come up with good algorithms by myself. Most of my solutions tend to be greedy solutions, with variations being limited.

5. Not enough remedials. Heh.

6. Learning should be made fun & exciting, & my interest in programming has grown after taking this module!

7. my only concern is I may not be able to ace it.

8. I am going to study electrical engineering. And as I know, I will need c programming for many of my modules. So what I have learnt in cs1010fc is enough for my course?

9. Based on the mid-term exam, the questions we are expected to be able to do are quite application based. Perhaps we could have some of that incorporated into the tutorials/missions so that we are better prepared for the final exam/practical exam?

10. I am putting in a lot of effort into the course, working on it for hours almost everyday. I don't attend the remedial sessions because I don't feel like there's anything I can contribute to the session. I don't have specific questions to ask, and most concepts I can figure out on my own. However, I feel like I didn't do that well in the midterms. If anything, give more questions for us to practice!

11. Instead of attending Face to Face classes, can I attend WebEx classes instead?

12. With regards to the missions, sometimes the tutors feel that the question I'm asking may reveal the answer although sometimes I feel the question I'm asking is what I need to progress with that task. I understand that we are being forced to think but to maintain a balance between hints that are obvious to tutors but not obvious to us makes it hard to progress and sometimes you will feel discouraged about asking questions since it's more like what else can we ask since it's supposed to be obvious already. With that said the how can we help part, I'm not really sure because I dunno to what extend can I actually ask for it.

13. Kinda worried the transition from python to C might be hard. Python is quite easy to learn, even new concepts taught makes logical sense, just need to apply.

14. Mid-terms was a horror show. How to improve?

15. Main concern is the time commitment, because of the lectures, tutorials where we will have to go down, finding a temporary job with such not committed and flexible hours has very low chances for students just holding 'A' levels certification. We can't earn a side source of income and we are still need pocket money, what the team can help is just the consideration of minimizing time commitment for students, which I feel the teaching team is already trying your best, keep doing your best!

16. Written exams for programming = not very useful for judging a student IMO. I am the type of programmer who uses errors to debug my code as it is nearly never perfect the first time. In written code, missing brackets, colons and spelling errors come to mind. Something along the lines of a mission without sample test cases and references would be more preferable to me, but I understand that this may not work for some questions.

17. I honestly don't know if I can catch up

18. More past year papers and solutions please.

19. Can we know the rough percentages for grades for this module? (eg. >85% is A grade) At the start of the module, it was mentioned that there will be no moderation and bell curve for this module, so it would be great if we knew the cut off percentages for grades, so we can estimate and plan out our grades/goals!

20. My concern is whether I am able to understand and have the fundamentals as I move ahead with other programming modules using other platforms.

21. All good to go!

22. not much concerns, this is my first Uni module so I wanna try and set the attitude for uni life. I want to do well so I can take one less module in uni as well.

23. I want to work. Is it possible to conduct the face-to-face lessons on weekend when it starts?

24. Grades after matriculation as programming might be hard for us without background.

25. I am looking forward to face to face lessons so that tutors can focus on our individual learning and make it ore effective for us.

26. I feel exams should be allowing us to use IDLE, It is not useful to test us without allowing us to check answers on IDLE, When people program, they will always have the use of a computer

Skip: 23 (46.9%)

Let me try my best to respond to the above concerns.

First, you will definitely be taught enough to handle the exams. Whether you learn the material well enough to do well in the exams will depend on you.

Second, we will be covering C Programming towards the end of the course. If you learn what you're expected to learn in CS1010FC, you will be fine even if you are going to major in Engineering. C is not that hard. Then again, Python isn't hard either, is it? :-)

Third, we will be organizing more remedial classes from now till the end of the course. We might also have WebEx remedials if there is a demand. We will be doing a quite survey.

There are already a lot of past year papers in the Workbin in Coursemology. Your focus should be on learning the material instead of doing past year papers.

It is not possible to conduct face-to-face lessons on the weekend. We have already burnt many, many weekends so far and we have many exams on the weekends, so I would like to keep some weekends for family time and I would like my TAs to have some weekends to rest too. Sorry. Ask for your kind understanding.

As for the cutoff grades for the class, it will depend on the difficulty of the exams. Typically, I aim at set exams such that 70% will be sufficient for an A grade. The 35% for Coursemology is sort of expected. A rough estimate of what's expected for an A grade overall would be 70% for all exam components (i.e. midterm, practical + final exam) and full 35% for Coursemology (Level 35). But all in all, it's probably not possible to "aim" for this. All students should just do their best, learn the material and try to get 100% for all exams. :-)


Last updated $Date: 2015/02/26 13:12:21 $