The homework set took 15 hours and this class is not my only priority!
Each year we review the homework set from the previous year and take steps to match the average time required for the homework sets to the alloted number of hours for the course. Averaged over the term, this course should take approximately 9 hours per week for student with the expected background and pre-requisites. Some students will spend more time and some will spend less, and the amount of time spent from week to week may not be completely uniform (although we try to make it roughly constant).
Over the years, we have implemented a number of mechanisms to help reduced the number of hours spent on the class while making sure that the material is still adequately covered by the homeworks. These include:
- Removing problems from homework sets that have taken too much time in the previous year (eg, HW set #2 only had 3 problems this year instead of 4 as in previous years)
- Having the TAs go over the solution to one of the problems on each week's set in the recitation section.
- Providing TA office hours at the times that most students work on the homework solutions. TAs also respond to e-mail questions.
- Adding a tutorial session on SIMULINK in week 2 since this was causing many students problems in past years.
If you are using these mechanisms and you are still spending very large amounts of time working through the sets, we are open to suggestions. You are also welcome to discuss your particular situation with the TAs, the instructor, the course ombuds.
--Richard Murray 15:18, 22 October 2007 (PDT)