Weekly Learning Update (02)

The past week has been pretty busy! I had an exam in one of my classes, a final project and a second exam coming up, and just two classes left in my third course!

My programming class: I had the first half of a big project due. We’re working on a Windows Form program, where data is shown in one window in a DataGridView (which looks like a table) and you can double click on a row, or on an edit button to generate a dialog box where you can change some of the data. We had some discussions about it after our lecture this week, and I was surprised (and a little frustrated!) at how many different events there are, that are all just slightly different. Initially I used the event CellContentDoubleClick, instead of CellDoubleClick, which made for some weird behaviours, but I caught and fixed that before submitting! Even though, by name, I would have thought that a lot of the events available would be very similar, they do all provide slightly different functionality, and I can see how you could make use of all those little differences.

Web development: I had my final project for this class due last night! I still have the exam to write, but I’m glad to not have to think about the project anymore. I’ll write up a longer post about the project soon, but for now just a quick review. I’m really glad that I spent a lot of time planning, and making mockups of each page. My SO and I are sharing my computer right now (he’s working from home some of the time for now) so there were weeks when I didn’t have as much computer time as I would have liked, but I ended up making mockups with some grid paper so that I could still get some planning done. I decided to develop the website using the mobile-first design. I believe it was the first time I’ve worked that way for the whole project, and I really liked it!

Systems analysis & design: I had my exam for this course last week! I did pretty well on it, and it really made it feel like my ridiculous note-taking was worth it. (I definitely spent way too long taking notes for each class, and I want to work on that for future classes!) Even though the class mostly dealt with projects and programs on a larger scale, I’ve picked up methodologies and techniques that I’ve already been able to apply to smaller projects, like my web dev final project! I do feel like this course had a lot of ground to cover though, and that we didn’t go as in depth with a lot of subjects as we could have, so I hope some of those topics are explored further in future classes.

Complaints about online learning: In the previous term I took two courses, and the move to online learning took place suddenly, with two or three classes left before the end of the term. Both exams were cancelled, with our grades being calculated based on our previously submitted assignments. That worked in that situation because we were all unprepared for the transition to online learning. In my classes before that, I’ve had 3 hours to write an exam (whether it was programming, or another class.) What’s happening this term is that we’re being given the exams online, and we only have an hour! That’s tight! I tend to over-analyse questions and the exact phrasing of a question, so I like to fill in my answers, literally stop and have a few sips of water, and then read over the whole test from start to finish to make sure I’m happy with my answers, but an hour doesn’t leave enough time for me to do that properly. I also worry about my instructors a little, and wonder how much support and guidance they’ve had in the transition to online learning…

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