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7:45pm on Monday, 28th January, 2019:

More for Less


I was quite pleased when I heard that the introduction of Challenge Week for second-year Computer Science undergraduates would result in a cut in the number of lectures I had to give. Instead of ten lectures and ten classes this term, I'd only have to do nine — a gain of a whole four hours!

It was with some disappointment that I realised I'd have to spend two of those hours helping to mark Challenge Week work, but that still left me with a gain of two hours.

I did not reckon with how long it would take me to reorganise my lectures so that ten weeks of material would fit in nine lectures. I had to drop some content, reorganise the assignment and repurpose some of the classes. I was already planning to go through the slides checking they were up-to-date, but cutting and pasting them from one lecture to another really did a number on the continuity. What would normally take me two days had instead taken me three and a half. That's twelve hours longer than it should.

In other words, adding Challenge Week cost me an additional ten hours of work.

That's not including the extra hour it took to number all the slides because one of the second-year students asked me nicely to do so.

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Copyright © 2019 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).