What students said about this course in spring 2014

These are bona fide, unedited student comments from the official UF student course evaluations site. Those with no answer or “n/a” or “none” have been omitted. Students were all undergraduates in journalism or advertising who had no previous programming experience. Only eight students were enrolled in this course.

Qualities of instructor which contributed to success of the course:

“Her enthusiasm and clear description of the course and how much time we would have to devote to it to be successful.”

“She is very passionate about the course and the material which makes me what to learn more about the material as well.”

“Her enthusiasm for the subject material and our understanding of it made difficult course material easier to understand. She was always willing to give additional help, even outside of class and after work hours. The class was also broken down really intelligently so that we had a good foundation for more difficult material later in the course.”

“Ms. McAdams encouragement to play with code helped with my success in this course.”

“The instructor is very good at providing resources and teaching students how to continue learning beyond this class. She focuses on giving us the basic building blocks and then makes sure we understand how to expand our knowledge independently. Throughout the course, I felt like she really cared about helping students retain this information and understand the subject matter as best as we could. All of the in-class exercises and homework assignments served a clear purpose, and I never felt like my time was being wasted.”

“Professor McAdams is duct tape in a fragile world. Having an expert guide made it easier to understand the material.”

Qualities of instructor which hindered success of the course:

“Sometimes during meetings she seems to talk more than listen which makes me feel like my concerns aren’t being heard and acknowledged.”

“I think, at times, this course moved too fast / there was too much work assigned. The week we were assigned the Lynda tutorials was when I noticed my success in the course started to hinder a bit. Although parts of the tutorials were helpful, I felt like they taught one how to replicate code as oppose to learn from the code taught in the tutorial. Maybe in future courses, an alternative assignment can be used to reinforce / teach jQuery.”

“Maybe be a bit more hands-on with code. Lessen the reliance on online tutorials.”

“None. It’s a skills course. It’s up to us to practice what the professor showed and explained. And the professor did a good job of laying out materials and provided an organized system of accessing the covered information.”

Opinions of course, including printed materials:

“I enjoyed the course, especially the way we were introduced to programming with Python.”

“There were no printed materials for this course, which is nice, but some of the tutorials are very time consuming and difficult to understand. The material is really difficult and time consuming.”

“This is probably the best class I’ve taken at this university. I only wish it could have been longer — cramming three programming languages and additional refreshers on material we should have learned by never did into just one semester is difficult.”

“All in all, I think the course is great. It is definitely a useful course — especially since code is the future.”

“This is one of the most practical courses I’ve taken at UF. The structure and pacing is good, and the workload is not overwhelming (but not so easy you can slack off, either). There’s no printed material, which is a relief; the class is focused on learning by doing, which is really the only way to learn code.”

“Pretty great. very useful stuff.”

“Very high. I’m kind of amazed it’s not mandatory. Why isn’t it mandatory? It seems ridiculous to be in a communications college and not be more exposed to web material. Professor McAdams is the most valuable professor in that hallway because she speaks and teaches the languages the world is actually using.”

Additional comments to improve overall quality of the course:

“I think it would be helpful to move the start date for the final project up a week so that we have more time to troubleshoot. I also struggled with the Lynda tutorials.”

“Spend more weeks learning about JavaScript and jQuery and less on Python. I understand Python is important but so are JavaScript and jQuery, which I feel like I learned nothing about because we spent less time on them.”

“I loved this class. If I had to offer advice for the sake of improvement, I think I’d suggest that the project be started a week or two earlier — but I understand the problems this would create. I feel like cramming such a big, scary project for first-time programmers into three weeks might have been a little too challenging. A few more specific comments: Code School is awful, and I prefer Codecademy any day. Maybe Python should be shrunk down by a week or two, since most people don’t use it in their final projects anyway. I think we could have handled more work for the first few weeks of LPTHW, which could have left room for a better understanding of Javascript before we jumped into jQuery.”

“Although the at home exercises / independent coursework helped, maybe teaching more code as oppose to reviewing what we were suppose to do on our own would be more helpful.”

“I think the python section should be shorter. While it was interesting to learn, I don’t think it made it any easier to pick up javascript/jquery; I would have instead preferred more time spent on html/css/js.”

“I see the value, but wished the extra-credit journalism links were less serious. I think our class would’ve benefited from silly links, like the proper way to wrap a MacBook charger or other random, but pertinent information.”

Any other comments:

“Really tough course, and Prof. McAdams tries to make it as comprehensible as possible.”

“Thank you so much for this class. I’ve gained some really valuable skills and I’ve grown to love them.”

“Code is scary and it shouldn’t be. Professor McAdams is a person who isn’t scared of the internet because she sits down and tackles problems head-on. Her course is laid out to expose us to the core of languages. She took me from someone who knew nothing, to someone who’s implementing ideas in the most modern and profitable medium available today.”