Monday, January 20, 2020

A New Semester

Later this evening I will be delivering my first class of the new semester - a class on Advanced Business Data Analysis to students on the Higher Diploma in Data Analytics. Most of my teaching now is with H Dip students - I also have final year students for Statistics. The previous semester is not yet over in that there are still some exam processing to complete. I always look forward to semester II - the days get longer and we come out of the dreary winter, and of course there is the end of the semester to look forward to ahead of the summer holidays. The semester is also stretched out a little bit with reading weeks around St Patrick's Day and Easter.

At this stage in their course, students should be well settled in to their studies. On a one year course like the Higher Diploma in Data Analytics - students are half-way through, and are hopefully motivated to stick it out to completion. During semester I, we lost some students who, for a variety of reasons, have dropped out. There seems to be no clear reason why students drop out, but only this morning I got another email from a student announcing that while he liked the course, he was dropping out due to work commitments and a change of job. We also have new students starting out, some of whom I will have for my Programming for Big Data on-line class next Wednesday. It is always nice to meet new students - on day one everybody is very motivated and keen to get started. Many have dreams of changing careers and getting into the Big Data world, starting something new, getting a new job, earning more money, and learning lots of new skills. It can be a daunting prospect for many to be back at College after many years. Attending lectures, completing assignments, studying and preparing for exams, takes serious commitment - especially for those who are also working during the day.

So - to both continuing and new students, welcome to semester II. I do hope it will be an enjoyable learning experience for you. It's likely to be my last semester, so I hope to also enjoy it as both a learning and teaching experience.

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