December 01, 2007
To Next Year’s Juniors and Seniors
I would encourage any junior or senior looking to take a course which is immediately applicable to your working career to sign up and take BIT 330. The biggest thing you will realize is you really don’t know as much as you think you do about uncovering information which is freely available. For instance, I thought I was pretty good with google searching. I used quotes, I used AND & OR for searching – I quickly found out there is so much more you can do. You can make sure words are withheld, you can make sure you only search certain url’s. I thought I was utilizing my searches very well – I was waaaaaay wrong.
On top of learning ways to find and uncover information more efficiently, I also learned a lot about things I didn’t know. Specifically, I learned a lot about efficient ways to allow other people to find information for you. We all learned delicious, but learning about other websites such as Digg, Reddit, and Furl were also interesting. What about email alerts? Those are extremely useful if you want to learn more about a topic (perhaps for group projects?). Bloglines, Blogroll, the list goes on and on….the bottom line is, most of the topics covered you can immediately use.
In terms of immediate usage, I will use most of these topics post-class, but there are two concepts which I will use on a daily basis:
- RSS Feeds. Let other people find your information and have bloglines aggregate it for you. It’s a great way to follow topics and information while doing essentially zero work. Plus, I get daily updates of the Dilbert comic…..pure comedic gold.
- Page Monitors. Want to know when websites change or update? Use a page monitor, and it will send you an email when it does. I will continue to use these monitors when dealing with information not available for RSS feeds.
To be fair to everyone, I will also go through one thing I think could be improved for future classes:
I wasn’t incredibly fond of the entire test question set-up. Not because of what we tried to do, but because of the execution behind it. If you don’t know, the students wrote most of the multiple choice test questions for each of the two tests. This was cool – you get to be tested on what you feel you should know as a student and you know the questions beforehand. However, the quality of many of these questions were, well, crappy. Typically, if you signed up to take notes on a reading and report it to the class, you were also expected to come up with 10 good questions, Well, a number of students didn’t come up with 10 good questions, and things got changed at the last moment before exams. This made exam time slightly frustrating with constant changes occurring. So I would hope that another year of the class would clear those problems up, but in case they aren’t ask the professor what has been done.
Even with that thought / suggestion, I am still extremely happy I took this BIT 330 course. There is absolutely zero -- zilch – 0% chance I would have learned these things on my own. Was it the easiest class in the world? No, I had to do work and try to learn more about the information available. So…should an upperclassmen take it? Absolutely. You will learn about concepts which are not only applicable to almost everything, but becoming more important in business.
I hope this gives you a good idea about what to expect out of BIT 330!
(And if you don't like what I think --- at least the books are cheap!)
Posted by grantrob at December 1, 2007 10:56 PM