Department of Computer Science and Technology

Course pages 2019–20

Instructions for lecturers

Most lecturers now place material for their students on the web. To support this, the Computer Laboratory creates each year a new set of directories and page templates, to ensure that outdated material is not left in the main student access path.

Where are the files?

Each course has its own directory, which this year can be found at:

  /anfs/www/html/teaching/1920/courseid                under Unix/Linux
= \\filer\www\html\teaching\1920\courseid              under Windows
= https://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/teaching/1920/courseid/     web pages
= https://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/teaching/current/courseid/  year-invariant alias

Please consult the lecturer index to find your pages.

You can access the /anfs/www/... path above on the departmental file space directly on any lab-managed Linux computer. If you lack one, please use ssh or PuTTY to log into one of the Linux timesharing servers (e.g., slogin.cl.cam.ac.uk).

External lecturers: The instructions on this page are mainly aimed at lecturers who have already a login on a departmental Linux server. External lecturers may find it easiest to ask a member of the department, such as the librarian, the teaching officer who sponsors their course, or the student administrators to place course materials for them onto our web server. Former members of the department, or technically keen external lecturers, may also ask a teaching officer to request for them a “discretionary Unix account” from [Javascript required], ideally sometimes in early July. (Note that remote access to Computer Laboratory servers is not entirely trivial, as password-based login from outside is disabled, and new users will have to set up VPN and Kerberos authentication first. See our sys-admin ssh pages for details.)

How should I update the pages?

An easy to edit, undecorated, “bare-bones” HTML file, materials-b.html, has been placed into your directory, where you can add any information that you would like to make available to your students, such as links to lecture notes and exercise sheets. The actual “Course materials” page, materials.html, is automatically generated from that file after you type "make" under Linux. (If there is no materials-b.html file, you can edit index-b.html instead, but this applies only to a few pages where there is no syllabus.)

To recreate all the *.html files from the respective *-b.html files, run the UNIX command:

  /anfs/www/tools/bin/ucampas -r

Simply typing “make” will achieve the same, thanks to the also provided Makefile.

Access rights

A principal lecturer has been assigned to each course. This person is the owner of the directory and has full access.

If a course has more than one lecturer, its course directory also gives write access to Unix group “teaching”, which comprises all the lecturers teaching any course at the department this year, plus teaching administrators (about 70 people). This makes collaboration easier in courses taught by several people, and also allows administrators to help with placing materials online or fixing typos. To preserve group write access, make sure the Linux command “umask” outputs “0002”.

If you prefer to disable group write access, you could do this with the Linux tools chgrp or chmod. However we do not recommend this: if user wwwupdate no longer has write access to auto-generated HTML files, the site navigation data on some of your pages may get out of date as we can no longer update it for you.

Syllabus page

The first tab of the course pages (index.html) usually shows an HTML version of the syllabus. You are not supposed to edit that yourself directly: the syllabus is edited and frozen in August/September and substantial changes require teaching-committee approval.

To update your CST Part IA, Part IB or Part II syllabus:
We produce the printed syllabus booklet using LaTeX. We generate the HTML version automatically from the LaTeX original (using latex2html). Fetch the current LaTeX source from /anfs/www/html/teaching/1920/syllabus-latex/ and then send the revised version to Nicholas Cutler and Dinah Pounds.
To update your CST Part III or MPhil ACS module syllabus:
Fetch the HTML source from /anfs/www/html/teaching/1920/syllabus-html/ and then send the revised version to Lise Gough.

Materials for supervisors

Lecturers in Part IA/IB/II are expected to prepare a Supervision Guide for supervisors of the course, and this is what the page “Information for supervisors” in subdirectory supervisors/ is for. Access to this page is restricted via Raven.

You can edit the file supervisors/.htaccess in order to grant access to individual supervisors that contact you, as explained in the comments in that file. Supervisors can also ask the Director of Studies or Megan Sammons (whoever hired them), to add them to the Lookup/Raven group cl-supervisors, to gain that access. (Comments in the .htaccess file also explain how you can grant access to your students after the end of lectures and supervisions.)

In our archive of past Tripos exam papers, students can now also access solution notes older then two years. As a result, supervisors can no longer rely on past exam questions as exercise material and need separate exercise sheets and solution notes.

Assessment page

Part II units of assessment as well as Part III and MPhil ACS modules have an assessment-b.html page, where you need to explain in detail how you are going to assess the course. This might include information about deadlines for essays or the dates and details of exams, as well as how the final mark will be calculated from all the assessed student contributions.

If your Part II unit is also available as a Part III and MPhil ACS module, please make sure you populate the assessment-tab page on both of your course pages.

Cloned course pages

Some courses (in particular many of the new "Part II units of assessment") are now offered to both Part II as well as Masters students. In these cases, we create two separate course directories for each group of students, using different course codes.

This is because while the lectures and most of the course materials may be the same, the form of assessment (and in some cases also the syllabus) will be different.

To avoid lecturers having to maintain two copies of their syllabus and course-materials pages, we have set up the syllabus and materials pages of these "cloned" Masters courses such that they automatically copy over the text from the respective Part II parent-course pages. This is done using a magic <div class="ucampas-include-html"> element, which extracts and copies the relevant HTML and also adjusts embedded URLs to work correctly. If you want, you can add additional text above or below that magic div element, or you can alternatively also delete it and replace it with your own manually maintained copy of your text, as you prefer. See the comments in the materials-b.html files for more details.

After each edit to the materials page of the parent course, make sure you also run ucampas on the corresponding cloned page to update it with the latest text. The default Makefile provided in your parent-course directory will do that automatically.

Video recordings

The red-button activated Epiphan Lecture Recorder x2 devices previously installed in LT1 and LT2 have both died and are no longer available. A new recording system is still under consideration.

Until then, you can record your lectures yourself when using a laptop. A suitable open-source screencasting software is OBS Studio. A 3.5-mm audio plug cable is coming out of an audio-splitter under the bench and is available to supply the radio-microphone audio signal to your laptop for such recordings. (Unfortunatelely, the NUC PCs currently installed in LT1 and LT2 have no analog audio input, and therefore are not yet suitable for recording lectures. Ask Brian Jones for advice if you want to run OBS Studio there.)

If you would like to add these videos to your course pages, please create and set-up a dedicated directory and index web page for your course videos, by calling the script

$ /anfs/www/VH-cl/scripts/make-video-dir

This asks for your courseid and then creates and links a video directory for your course under /anfs/www-video/teaching/1920/courseid. Read and follow the instructions given by this script carefully. The default Makefile placed there to automatically fetch the latest videos will have to be updated according to how you do the recordings. Markus Kuhn can help if you have any questions on this.

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