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Workload of SecDev

Verfasst: 21. Nov 2015 18:38
von Fritz
Hi all,
I just wrote an E-Mail to Dr. ben Othmane requesting him to consider reducing the workload. In my opinion, it's sadly not viable to commit a great proportion of my time on a 3 ECTS lecture (The subject is awesome but in the end, we got to get credits).

Please read my E-Mail and comment on it whether you agree or whether I am completely wrong :). Of course, everyone has different skills and takes a different amount of time for the labs but even with the upcoming task we have one more task to go before the final exam(according to that old grading slide from the first lecture). If a lot of you agree with me, perhaps we can convince Dr. ben Othmane to cancel or reduce some of the upcoming tasks. If you don't agree, I will be quiet and hone my skills further until this lecture is easy for me too. :wink:
Dear Dr. ben Othmane,

I am currently a student in your lecture on Secure Software Development. Let me start by assuring you that I enjoyed the Labs given to us this far very much. Your approach of letting the students exploit systems themselves is in my opinion an excellent way of teaching these concepts and learning how to run new exploits.

That said, up until now, at least a quarter of the time me and my colleagues spent on our courses this semester was spent on SecDev. While this is initially not a problem, the fact that the course will only be weighted with 3 ECTS is. As students bound to the Bologna Process, the University recommends us an average workload of 30 ECTS every semester. According to the University, per 30 hours of workload, one ECTS is added to the lecture. With its 3 ECTS and one lecture each week, in theory SecDev should only have half the workload of most of the other courses which have 6 ECTS. However, as I said before, SecDev is consuming a large proportion of the overall workload while not nearly giving the same proportion of ECTS.

Please understand that I am not complaining on my personal situation or that I require too much time to solve your labs. This is not the case. I am of course also willing to put easily the double amount of time into one lecture if I am not able to solve exercises and have to work harder on them. However, even when we as students are mainly learning the required skills instead of simply gaining a degree, we are expected to gain 120 ECTS in 4 Semeters. With your current workload and the sadly not corresponding ECTS points, some of your students might be forced to quit your lecture simply because the ratio of workload to ECTS is not realistic. Although I enjoy the Labs given to us, please consider cancelling future tasks or greatly decreasing their workload. Otherwise, some of your students will see no other choice than quitting SecDev (me included).

In future, please consider offering your lecture as a 6 ECTS lecture. The current workload induced by SecDev would well fit into that ECTS range and gaining an appropriate amount of credits for that workload would greatly benefit the students.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me. I will also post this message into the forum for you to see other student’s opinions on this topic.

Thank you very much.

Yours sincerely,

Re: Workload of SecDev

Verfasst: 22. Nov 2015 00:24
von dnezn
Completely Agreed!

Re: Workload of SecDev

Verfasst: 22. Nov 2015 00:34
von pranay
Well, yes, I agree to some extend too.
And in the last class, I was really surprised by the number of people attending the lecture.. (may be because of the reason specified by you, who knows)

Re: Workload of SecDev

Verfasst: 23. Nov 2015 00:08
von Fritz
Okay it seems that the E-Mail provided on the Website does not work ( Does anyone have a working E-Mail? Because Lisa is not responsible for this course anymore right?

Re: Workload of SecDev

Verfasst: 23. Nov 2015 11:46
von lbenothmane

I understand that some students find that the workload of the course is high for a 3 credits. Initially, we compared the course to other courses and we found that it should be 3 credits, especially we have only 10 lectures. The course is given for the first time and our estimates could be biased. Thus, we reduced the effort that you should put on the mini-project and research activity--e.g., number of expected pages of the report is less. I hope this helps.