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TDDB84 Design Patterns

Course Seminars

There are two types of seminars in this course. The lab seminars, which will handle the material of what you did in the labs, and the exam seminars which will handle various topics related to the exam. The topics themselves can be found on Moodle or on the literature page, which also containts the required reading material for each seminar. The reading material is marked in red text under each specific seminar topic, where you can also find additional material of interest relating to the topic. Only exam seminars have required reading material. For lab seminars the requirement is to have done the labs.

The exam seminars will feature an initial group discussion and selection of exam questions, followed by a joint discussion in the large group on topics related to the reading material.

For each exam seminar, each team of 6 students reads the material for the seminar. Each student also prepares a suggested exam question with suggested solution that you post in the Moodel forum corresponding to the seminar. The purpose of reading these papers is that they shall give you a broader understanding of the relationships between design patterns, programming language design, application frameworks, software qualities and programming paradigms.

During the seminar, every member of the group shall present his or her question to the others, discuss with the group what the intent of each question is, and the group will then decide on which two questions they believe are their best questions, that they would like to propose for the exam. Post these in Moodle and mark your topics PROPOSED QUESTION [Group], where [Group] is the name of your group. At the second half of the seminar, there can also be an open discussion on topics about the papers related to the seminar and how to interpret them.

Good exam questions will be eligible for inclusion in the final exam. There will be a fairly large number of questions posted in the forums for each seminar, so make sure that your own question is well formulated.

What is a good exam question?

There are a number of criteria I use myself when devising exam questions:

  • They should be clearly connected to the central goals of the course, specific topic, and the specific paper. They should not be about irrelevant details, but details central to particular patterns may be important nonetheless. They can be an important tool for assessing if someone has a bit deeper understanding about an area and is able to use that knowledge to reason about an example, or if he or she simply has copied information from the literature.
  • They should specifically pay attention to verbs that are used in the course goals: should students be required to simply describe some concept, analyze some problem, or critically evaluate something? Depending on which, the questions should reflect this.
  • Questions should be able to determine if students are guessing, memorizing or if they have processed information themselves during the course.
  • Questions should be clearly formulated, and answers should be simple to correct, so there should be a clear mapping between answers provided and points awarded.
  • Questions should discern if students are able to apply their knowledge in new settings, meaning that they can provide their own examples or understand given examples that they have not seen before.

Why am I doing this? Am I just lazy?

I believe that if I give you a chance at understanding how exam questions are selected and how you will be graded, and if you can direct your studies on those topics and issues more effectively, everyone wins.

I believe the best I can do for you is to help you achieve the goals I have set for the course, and I want to try this way to help you understand what will be required for passing the course, and give you a clear incentive to work towards the goal of passing the course by providing good exam questions.

I cannot make guarantees that I will use only your questions, because it relies on your ability to formulate good questions. Also, I might tweak some questions so that it is not very obvious who posted the question. I can give comments on your understanding of topics and the quality of a question, but I cannot, naturally, say whether a given question will be present at the exam.

That said, however, I am confident from previous experiences that there will be a set of questions I will be able to include, and that it will be very beneficial for all of you to prepare for and participate actively in the seminars of the course.

Page responsible: Ola Leifler
Last updated: 2014-09-16