Data Analysis with Python – Autumn 2019 status report

The course was organized as planned first time in period IV of Spring 2019. In addition to the project work on sequence analysis we got ready another one on regression analysis. A multiple-choice exam was created using Examinarium.

There were quite many students starting the course, but the chosen limit of requiring 80% of weekly assignments completed in order to continue to the next week turned out to be a bad choice. Some students pointed out that the course rules must have come from the Hunger Games. We soon relaxed the rules, but it was a bit too late for many. We ended up arranging a renewal version of the course soon after to give another chance for those dropped. All in all, we got 88 students passing the course, with 5 being the most common grade.

The TMC assignments were greatly improved during this first course instance. Especially the tests were improved to give better feedback on the likely reasons the submitted code was not working correctly. Peer-review of the projects worked perfectly. Self-reviews and peer-reviews were almost always matching, and this eased the final evaluation.

During summer 2020, we established a continuous self-study version of the course. We kept the 80% limit to control the progress from one part of the course assignments to the next. But now without time limits, this appears justified. Exam can be taken after all parts are completed (up to 80%). For the project work, we still need a deadline for the peer-review to work. We had one deadline in September and another is in December.

So far 18 students have completed the self-study version, but we expect to have many completing the course in December. The statistics of the TMC system look pretty interesting: 720 have started working on part 1 of the assignments, 394 have proceeded to part 2, 280 to part 3, 213 to part 4, 177 to part 5, 133 to part 6, and 115 have started the project work. These 115 students have got an unofficial certificate of completing the massive open online part of the course (roughly 4 ECTS). It will be interesting to see how many are happy with only this certificate, and how many want to have the official study credits by taking the exam and completing the project work.

We will have a normal course instance again in period IV, 2020. For that instance we’ll avoid the strict weekly limits, to avoid further references to the Hunger Games.