Steven Shaffer - Pennsylvania State University

Professor: Steven Shaffer
Department: Computer Science
College: Pennsylvania State University
Rating # 1
Overview:
  • Course: CMPSC101
  • Grade Received: Not sure yet
  • Overall Rating: 1.0
  • Course Difficulty: 5.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: No
  • Attendance: Mandatory
Comment:
Similar to a math class, there is simply too much material squeezed into too little time. Therefore, the professor created his own textbook. He thinks this is genius. It's not. The textbook does not clearly explain the concepts. He makes his TAs available for questions, but the answers they give are vague and wholly unhelpful. Horrible experience.
Rating # 2
Overview:
  • Course: CMPSC431W
  • Grade Received: A
  • Overall Rating: 3.0
  • Course Difficulty: 2.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: No
  • Attendance: Not Mandatory
Comment:
Hes pretty lazy. Instructions are ALWAYS vague. Some of his recorded video lectures are helpful but the others are a waste of time. He also assigns too much reading. Weekly homework is doable but the research papers were a pain.
Rating # 3
Overview:
  • Course: CMPSC431W
  • Grade Received: Not sure yet
  • Overall Rating: 1.0
  • Course Difficulty: 3.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: No
  • Would Take Again: No
  • Attendance: Not Mandatory
Comment:
Sucked. 0 class management skill and he gives more than 50% of assignments/exams within two weeks. Instructions are always vague and he doesn't curve.
Rating # 4
Overview:
  • Course: CMPSC101
  • Grade Received: B-
  • Overall Rating: 2.0
  • Course Difficulty: 5.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: No
  • Attendance: Mandatory
Comment:
Hardest class I have ever taken. This class will be especially challenging for those who are not computer science majors. Take a different class if there is one available.
Rating # 5
Overview:
  • Course: CMPSC101
  • Grade Received: C
  • Overall Rating: 1.0
  • Course Difficulty: 4.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: No
  • Attendance: Mandatory
Comment:
Professor Shaffer first forces you to use his poorly put together book that does nothing to teach you programming. The chapters are literally a page long. He does not go over anything. He does not provide notes or lectures for his material but expects you to know it for the tests.
Rating # 6
Overview:
  • Course: CMPSC431W
  • Grade Received: A
  • Overall Rating: 1.0
  • Course Difficulty: 4.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: No
  • Would Take Again: No
  • Attendance: Mandatory
Comment:
The class may look bleak at the beginning but he adds a lot of extra credit in the end which makes up for it. He has quizzes everyday in class which are quite irritating. His project turns more into a parsing course than SQL just because he keeps changing the format of the data. You are stuck using CS labs as SQL wont work the way its supposed to.
Rating # 7
Overview:
  • Course: CMPSC431W
  • Grade Received: A
  • Overall Rating: 1.0
  • Course Difficulty: 5.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: No
  • Attendance: Mandatory
Comment:
This class was way more difficult and more work than it should have been. The professor basically made up our semester project as he went along, so everyone had to redo their project every single week. He also jam packed all of the major requirements for the course into the last couple weeks of classes. Stay away from his classes at all costs!
Rating # 8
Overview:
  • Course: CMPSC101
  • Grade Received: A
  • Overall Rating: 3.0
  • Course Difficulty: 3.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: Yes
  • Attendance: Not Mandatory
Comment:
I really enjoyed the class itself, and although I knew nothing about programming originally, I seemed to pick it up pretty fast. So I don't really have anything negative to say about this guy, other than being a little awkward. He has homework due once per week and four module tests. No final for this class.
Rating # 9
Overview:
  • Course: CMPSC101
  • Grade Received: N/A
  • Overall Rating: 1.0
  • Course Difficulty: 5.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: No
  • Attendance: Mandatory
Comment:
This professor is terrible. I would rate him a 0 if I could. Teaches like you have a vast amount of background on the material coming into the class. Will not help you and will tell you to reach out to the TAs for help.
Rating # 10
Overview:
  • Course: CMPSC431
  • Grade Received: A
  • Overall Rating: 5.0
  • Course Difficulty: 4.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: Yes
  • Attendance: Mandatory
Comment:
Teaches for life, not just for the finals
Rating # 11
Overview:
  • Course: CMPSC121
  • Grade Received: A
  • Overall Rating: 2.0
  • Course Difficulty: 3.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: No
  • Attendance: Not Mandatory
Comment:
He was a very poor professor, and luckily for me, I had a background in programming. This class should be an easy A for anyone with some programming experience but will be difficult for those new to programming.
Rating # 12
Overview:
  • Course: CMPSC121
  • Grade Received: A
  • Overall Rating: 3.0
  • Course Difficulty: 3.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: No
  • Attendance: N/A
Comment:
A very do-able, introductory class. IT'S UP TO YOU TO DO WELL and up to videos to teach you. Annoyingly picky with his code expectations (always down to the character). Exams are therefore very stressful, big grades. Berating him in his office about how dissatisfied you are will do you no good. I think his reputation is a bit harsh. Big extra cred
Rating # 13
Overview:
  • Course: CMPSC121
  • Grade Received: D
  • Overall Rating: 1.0
  • Course Difficulty: 4.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: No
  • Attendance: Not Mandatory
Comment:
Steven Shaffer is an awful professor to have if you are a beginner coder. He doesn't even teach, everything he does is straight out of an online textbook. Class is pointless. The only time you learn is when you meet with the TAs. He expects you to learn everything on the first try without even teaching the information.
Rating # 14
Overview:
  • Course: CMPSC101
  • Grade Received: F
  • Overall Rating: 1.0
  • Course Difficulty: 4.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: No
  • Attendance: Mandatory
Comment:
midterm and final is 50% of grade. each exam has 3 questions so it's a pass or fail class.
Rating # 15
Overview:
  • Course: CMPSC121
  • Grade Received: A
  • Overall Rating: 3.0
  • Course Difficulty: 2.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: No
  • Would Take Again: Yes
  • Attendance: N/A
Comment:
Class was easy for those who had experience with programming before however many with no experience struggled. You will have to pace yourself because the class is online but if you keep up with the material it is very easy to complete. Lab period was confusing and had little relevance to the class but you got credit for simply showing up.
Rating # 16
Overview:
  • Course: CMPSC121
  • Grade Received: B
  • Overall Rating: 1.0
  • Course Difficulty: 5.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: No
  • Attendance: N/A
Comment:
Unless you need to take this class for your major, DON'T TAKE IT! This man single-handedly ruined my interest in computer science. He relies on someone else's online lectures and youtube videos to teach you the content. You are basically teaching yourself and the assignments get extremely hard. Tests are extremely nerve-wracking and difficult also.
Rating # 17
Overview:
  • Course: CMPSC121
  • Grade Received: A
  • Overall Rating: 2.0
  • Course Difficulty: 3.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: No
  • Attendance: N/A
Comment:
Wouldn't recommend for anyone the online course for anybody new to programming. Utilizes video lectures made by another professor (which you pay for), an online textbook, youtube videos, and a website called vocareum for homework (the hw is all due at the end of the semester). With that in mind, an easy A for anyone with previous experience coding
Rating # 18
Overview:
  • Course: CMPSC121
  • Grade Received: A+
  • Overall Rating: 1.0
  • Course Difficulty: 4.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: No
  • Would Take Again: No
  • Attendance: Mandatory
Comment:
He relies on youtube videos and other tutorial videos to do his job for him. He is not helpful with extra help.
Rating # 19
Overview:
  • Course: CMPSC121
  • Grade Received: C
  • Overall Rating: 1.0
  • Course Difficulty: 5.0
  • For Credit: N/A
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: No
  • Attendance: Not Mandatory
Comment:
This class is an absolute nightmare. If you like being constantly frustrated and discouraged take this class.
Rating # 20
Overview:
  • Course: CMPSC431W
  • Grade Received: A
  • Overall Rating: 2.0
  • Course Difficulty: 4.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: No
  • Attendance: Mandatory
Comment:
Dr. Shaffer made an effort to emphasize learning the material over points in the classroom. Design and Program Assigns. made up the bulk of grades, helped to learn more about DBMSs from back&front-end by implementation. Assign. due dates , values of/expectations for each assign & course syllabus were changed constantly, very hectic & unorganized.
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