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Alice Armstrong
(Computer Science)


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Comment Summary
Total
Past Month
Past 6 Mo.
Positive
3
0
0
Negative
9
0
0
Neutral
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0
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This Professor's Average Ratings
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How effective was this teacher?
Not Effective (1)
3.82
Very Effective (10)
What is the difficulty level of classes taught by this professor?
Very Difficult (1)
3.00
Very Easy (10)
How would you rate this professor's availability outside of the classroom?
Never Around (1)
3.92
Always Around (10)
What is your overall rating? Would you recommend this prof to your friends? 
Not Recommend (1)
3.25
Highly Recommend (10)

This professor has been rated 12 time(s).


Student Comments about this Professor
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Positive Comments (3)

Subject: Not as bad as people make her out to be  (Jan 11 2011, 04:22PM)
Student: L (Chemistry)
Class:Comp. Sci. 1 (C)
 9 of 34 students found this review helpful.

 She's a very hands on type of teacher. She'll give you 20 mins of lecture then have you code. If you write the code IN CLASS and ask her questions it's not bad at all. However I and many like me decided to just goof off in class and then when it was the night before the code and questions were due you sat there dumbfounded. Dr. A is a rather competent teacher, but has a different way of teaching. If you work hard this class isn't bad at all.
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Subject: A Good Start  (Mar 31 2010, 10:27AM)
Student: Anonymous (CS)
Class:Design Patterns (B+)
 9 of 34 students found this review helpful.

 I had this Armstrong a few semesters ago for Design Patterns, which I believe was her first class. It took her a little while to get the flow of class down, but once she did it was an engaging and interesting class. She kept it fun and thoroughly explained the designs through examples. The projects were weekly, which was a bit taxing, but she graded them in a forgiving way. As long as you followed her instruction and wrote nearly a plethora of JUNIT tests, you could get almost full credit if your project didn't work. Overall, she is a fun professor who knows her stuff. Class was interesting and challenging.
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Subject: Not easy  (Feb 18 2010, 10:58AM)
Student: Anonymous (Computer Science)
Class:CS1 & CS2 (A)
 9 of 34 students found this review helpful.

 I thought Dr. Armstrong was a pretty good professor. I will admit that her classes are difficult. Be prepared to spend more time on her CS1 and CS2 classes than all of your other classes combined. But, I also think it is important to have a solid foundation in the fundamentals of computer science, so these tough classes may help you later. My advice to do well in her class: study hard, go to the tutor, go to office hours and take advantage of any extra credit.
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Negative Comments (9)

Subject: Computer Science? I'd say Knitting Science.  (Feb 12 2014, 04:51AM)
Student: Anonymous (Computer Science)
Class:CSC 1 Lab (D)
 9 of 34 students found this review helpful.

 To start this off, Ill start positive because Armstrong is not a bad person, she is just misguided in the classroom. Armstrong has a great personality. I loved how she would joke around with students during class. Also Armstrong had great intentions for my class, which is admirable. But in applying her new class systems she ended up making the course impossible. The coding and quizzes were very easy throughout the course, but that was the end of "easy". There are 2 reasons why her class structure fell apart and lead to a staggering dropout rate. First off, ill start with her worst idea, Knitting. To be honest, Armstrong's original idea was great, have us learn a new skill while coding to make us more ready to learn how to code. She stated in class that if we spent 10 minutes every day we would be fine on our knitting projects. Armstrong's idea fell apart because she was extremely harsh with her grading of knitting. Some students tried their hardest, sometimes knitting for 10 hours a week, and ended up with failing grades (I was part of this group). This class stopped being about coding and began to be about knitting. If you didn't knit and focus on the subject matter, you would end up with a failing grade within 3 weeks. Secondly, what made her knitting so merciless was her barbaric "professionalism" grading system. This system punishes the slightest mistakes and is nearly impossible to raise. Professionalism grading would be combined into your regular grade. So if you had an 85 in the class and 85 in professionalism your final grade would be a 72. I cannot stress how broken her class system was. To any computer science majors. Avoid Armstrong by any means necessary, unless you are good at knitting, then go take your free A and a pat on the back. My only hope is that she reads this and improves her system for the sake of her future students.
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Subject: Aweful--Avoid if you can!  (Nov 14 2013, 09:49PM)
Student: Anonymous (Mathematics)
Class:Computer Science 2 (C)
 11 of 36 students found this review helpful.

 I put my heart and soul into this class. I would spend anywhere from 20-25 hours on each lab assignment and be rewarded with nothing more than a failing grade. Her extra credit is what helped me pass. For an introductory to programming class, SHE DOES NOT TEACH YOU HOW TO PROGRAM! She vaguely goes over concepts but never will she ever teach you what you need to actually code. And the few examples we would do in class, she would fly through them so nobody had a chance to copy them down. Nor would she post them online afterwards. More than half of the class was failing. We started with 32 students at the start of the semester, we ended with 21. What does that tell you? She doesn't deserve to teach a class like this simpler because she doesn't teach at all. If you don't have substantial previous programming experience, you're screwed with her..
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Subject: Awful  (Apr 14 2013, 06:55AM)
Student: Anonymous (Computer Engineering / Mathematics)
Class:CSC II  (--)
 9 of 34 students found this review helpful.

 She's absolutely awful. By far the worst professor here at ship. Her grading scale is so whacked up it's not even funny. It's based on two things, professionalism and quality. Somehow, if you get an 85% on the professionalism and an 85% on the quality, you end up with a 72% as a final grade. She's never around when you need her (always in 'meetings') and even when she is around, she makes you feel stupid whenever you ask a question. I've had some pretty bad teachers here at ship but Dr. Armstrong is by far the worst.
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Subject: Prepare To Be Confused!  (Oct 02 2010, 10:14AM)
Student: Anonymous (Computer Science)
Class:Computer Science II (D)
 9 of 34 students found this review helpful.

 When picking my classes for my spring semester of 2010, I had the choice of Briggs or Armstrong, so I chose the lesser of two evils. Though, just because she is better than Briggs doesn't mean that her class isn't evil. I got a B in CS2 and loved the course, then CS1 rolled around and right off the bat it was just discouraging. She lectured 3/4 days a week, the 4th day being a lab day, just to work in class on labs and getting a chance to directly ask questions (and you needed it too since it literally would take a full day for her to answer a question on her email and it takes her about 15 min to give you the answer that you were looking for when asking in person). If you take her classes and have the typical week long labs, be prepared to never finish the majority of them because her lab descriptions were incredibly vague; not that they begged questions like "well how do I solve this problem?" but questions like "what is this lab about?" or "what is she trying to say?"; so she forced you to ask those questions and it would take far too long to get a response that actually answered your question. By the time you figure out one problem, you realize its the end of the week and you will never get another answer out of her in time. You would think that her lectures would be directly related to what the labs were about but really, the first day of covering the chapter about 10 minutes of it is directly related, then the rest of the day and next 2 days are ramblings on things that are barely relevant and definitely had nothing to do with the lab. Oh yes, and besides her lectures being irrelevant, they were also impossible to understand because she makes everything very complicated; she never likes to put things in simple terms, which is one of the reasons her answers to questions always begged more questions. She also often made us copy complete pages of code out of our textbook, not explaining what it was doing, just telling us to do it and then expand off of it which obviously was extremely difficult, because no one knew what the heck it was. She made up a really stupid policy that on Thursdays we would have to have reached a certain point in the lab assignment or else we would get 10% of the lab grade taken off, not that we were rewarded for getting that far, but it just was an opportunity for her to take off points. She also had a ridiculous grading system in which she made labs all different amounts of points (70 - 170), but weighted them UP to make them all the same worth; later on I realized that most teachers have the common sense to weight them DOWN because that actually helps the students grade, weighting it up deliberately brings down the grade. I had a 69.5 after this genius grading policy affected it, when my normal grade was a 74.3, but did she say "Well you came to class every day, you came to my office hours, and you asked lots of questions, so you tried and deserve that little boost to a 70, especially since my grading system brought it down", NOPE. What torture right. My grudge is set in stone now. Avoid her, unless Briggs is your only other option, otherwise anyone else would be better.
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Subject: Terrible Professor  (Feb 05 2010, 11:42PM)
Student: Anonymous ()
Class:Comp Sci I (A)
 9 of 34 students found this review helpful.

 Dr. Armstrong is by far the worst professor I've had at Shippensburg thus far. For the most part, she's a pretty nice person, but unless you have a strong programming background before taking her, stay as far away as you can. The book you use for Comp Sci I was written by Dr. Wellington and is not helpful at all when you have to do everything on your own, and with Dr. Armstrong you do EVERYTHING on your own. She treats people like they're stupid if they ask a question and blatantly shows her annoyance with certain students. At the beginning of each week, you have to have the lab done for the previous week and she randomly selects a group of people to have their labs graded. So you could have done the entire lab for that week and it would have been a complete waste of time because she doesn't even collect it for grading. Her tests are extremely hard and she takes off points whenever she has a chance, even if the answer is partially correct. She's basically never in her office outside of office hours and it's not an uncommon occurrence for her to cancel her office hours randomly and doesn't give any notification other than a Post-it note on her door.. The only positive thing about her was she gave chances for extra credit. Honestly, avoid her if you can.
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Subject: She sucks  (Apr 09 2009, 05:34PM)
Student: Anonymous (CS)
Class:-- (A)
 9 of 34 students found this review helpful.

 []She doesn't understand how to teach, just reads powerpoint slides all class. Assignments and tests are horrendous, you have to wonder if she even reads them before giving them out. Basically, she is a new professor, and it shows. However, it doesn't look like she will be getting any better, so I would stay away. Hopefully she isn't teaching any of your required courses.
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Subject: Problematic  (Mar 18 2009, 04:17PM)
Student: Anonymous (Computer Science)
Class:CSII (--)
 9 of 34 students found this review helpful.

 The thing is that she does understand what she's talking about, the problem is that no one else does. She is very smart but cannot teach well. You finally figure out what you are supposed to do for hw a day or two before it is due, and by that point it may be too late. It also is almost like a guessing game as to what she wants. You can ask for help but it isn't always effective.
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Subject: Do yourself a Favor   (Mar 17 2009, 01:35PM)
Student: Anonymous (Computer Science)
Class:Computer Science 2 (--)
 9 of 34 students found this review helpful.

 I would totally stay away from this teacher for a couple years. She admitted to us it is the first time she has ever taught this class. She gave us 160 words to memorize for a vocab test which we only had 50 mins to complete. The test had no organization to it. As for the avg grade of the whole class at least Half the class was failing the whole way throughout the semester. She reorganized the structure 3 times and it still didn't help. Also I emailed her for help close to a deadline and the response I got was don't worry about that you only have 45 mins just hand it in. I handed it in and I got a 26% cuz that part wasn't completed.
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Subject: its horrible.  (Mar 17 2009, 01:16PM)
Student: Anonymous ()
Class:CS2 (F)
 9 of 34 students found this review helpful.

 []The class is basically impossible..shes available and I give her credit for trying to help when we have questions but shes generally a horrible teacher and doesn't communicate information well. And despite hard working efforts for huge projects she will still fail if you don't follow her often mis-communicated instructions.
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