Fall 2017 was the first semester of the Master in Software & Data Engineering (MSDE) at USI. USI monitors teaching quality by means of student evaluations. On average, the six courses we offered were evaluated with a 8.3 score on a scale from 1 to 10 (min=7.3, max=9.7). Overall the students appreciated all courses, also expressing their satisfactions in the open comments they left in the evaluation form:

This is one of the most beautiful courses I’ve taken

Can I just write best course ever? It makes students do gymnastics for a chosen programming language: this course is the best way a student can boost their experience and knowledge about its preferred language. It also has peer reviews, so that you can learn not only about your language (and have other people’s opinions) but also other people’s languages too.

Very efficient teaching. Good communication. Very well done presentations.

Our engaged and critical students didn’t just rave about our courses, they also provided lots of constructive feedback. We are integrating student feedback and teaching team experiences to make the second instance of our MSDE an even more exciting learning experience!

One example impacting the curriculum at large is the change to the “Introduction to Software & Data Engineering” (ISDE) course. ISDE was co-taught by four professors, and students missed a clear point of reference for that course. Also, being a 3 ECTS course, ISDE had lectures scheduled in the first half of the semester (7 weeks), and was then replaced in the second half by “Design 101”, another 3 ECTS course. This, according to students, made both courses too short considering the number of topics and assignments they feature. For these reasons, starting from the academic year 2018/2019, we will combine ISDE and Design 101 in a 6 ECTS course named “Software & Data Engineering Atelier: Design 101”. The course will be taught by a single professor, and will span the whole semester to ease the scheduling of the activities for students.

This is not the only improvement we plan for our program. Stay tuned in the next days for inside perspectives on each MSDE course.