The Course

  • A conventional course on concurrent programming using Java.
  • Textbook: Steve Hartley's Concurrent Programming with Java (Oxford U. Press, 1998)

  • 10 weeks, 30 hours (20 class meetings)
  • Six homework assignments, one midterm (not held in group lab), final exam -- all conventional.
  • Homework submitted electronically via WebCT.

Use of Groupwork Lab

  • Assigned reading must be done before class occurs
  • Lecture notes released via WebCT to class
  • Class periods typically consist of brief "introductory talk" by instructor
  • Students then download lab instructions from WebCT and begin work

Groupwork Assignments

  • Some questions require discussion and a written answer
  • Factual recall
  • "What happens when this program is executed?"
  • "Design a program to solve the following problem..."
  • Others (very few, in fact) require programming
    • Since the class periods were only 90 minutes, full-blown programming projects couldn't be done
  • Tended to stick with design rather than implementation after a few labs where Java thread programming was introduced.
  • Out-of-class homework assignments gave opportunity for writing full programs.