ACCESS User Training Course 21-24 March 2016 Course Feedback Page

Email: Request for reviews and comments

From: Michael Naughton
Sent: Thursday, 31 March 2016 12:30 PM
Subject: Request for reviews and comments for last week's ACCESS User Training Course

ACCESS colleagues,

Thanks again to all those who participated in last week's ACCESS User Training Course.

We would like to invite feedback from course participants. To keep it simple, can those who are willing please send back a short reply, by the end of next week.

  1. Please give a rating from 1-5 for the value of the course, i.e. from lowest to highest.
  1. Please indicate your level of prior experience with the ACCESS model and with Rose & Cylc.
  1. Please provide whatever review comments you would like on the course. Comments are welcome on what was done well, what could be improved, what we did too much of, and what we missed out on.

Responses will be tallied, and provided through the course wiki page, in the next couple of weeks. This will consist of a simple statistical summary of the ratings, and summarised listing of the comments. Please let us know whether you’re happy for your comments to be attributed to you on the wiki, otherwise they’ll be anonymous.

PS. Several people have asked about the video recordings. We'll also send out message when the video recordings are available.

for the Organising Committee
(Michael Naughton, Joao Teixeira, Martin Dix, Scott Wales, Robin Bowen, Val Jemmeson, Wenming Lu, Yi Xiao, Oscar Alves, Ben Evans)


Response 1 -- 1 April

  1. Course rating 3 - neutral - I learned things but felt there was room for improvement.
  2. Prior experience close to nil - I am familiar with ACCESS output through CMIP but have never looked at the modelling input side before.
  3. Availability of presentations for download was great. Video conferencing worked better than expected (though I have low expectations!). Technical difficulties were a little frustrating. Teaching style could do with review and improvement, I felt.
    • Although it will slow things down it would have been beneficial for there to be sets of instructions (a worksheet) for us to work through, and be stepped through them explicitly - some attendees didn't even bother attempting a run because it was not obvious the initial set up at the start of day 1 needed to be done by everyone, then when that was apparent we didn't have the instructions in front of us any more. I did manage to make a copy of the suite, but the modifications we made caused it not to build and as I was participating remotely I couldn't ask someone to help me troubleshoot. So I tried running the copied suite unmodified, but part of it failed, and again I was unable to troubleshoot why, and because of the long Raijin queues I didn't know it had failed until the next day anyway. The issues with accessdev overload didn't help!
    • Although a lot of the technical things like accessdev having too many users on at once, and Raijin's queues, are hard to control, a more tutorial-like and less lecture-like approach would have helped, I think - a downloadable set of instructions to follow, and more opportunity to ask questions (it didn't feel like there was on that level at least as a remote participant).
    • I definitely feel I have a greater understanding of how ACCESS works, and I was very impressed with rose/cylc, but I didn't think the delivery was optimal.
    • I attended days 1-2 and the afternoon of day 3 only.

Thanks for organising this course!

Response 2 -- 1 April

  1. Rating: 5. The course was extremely informative and helpful.
  2. Minimal experience, had read some of the rose and cylc documentation.
  3. The ability to attend remotely was very useful. Personally, I think having the presentations available online (in real time) for the attendees was exceptionally helpful. Attendees were able to download and view their own copy of the presentations allowing them to review previous slides if having trouble with the practical exercises.

Response 3 -- 1 April

Thanks for a fantastic workshop.

  1. Value: 5
  2. Prior experience: none
  3. Comments: a fabulous introduction and overview for someone like me with no prior experience. The hands on sessions were particularly beneficial. It was far too much information for me to retain but the course materials are of excellent quality and are very in depth and I imagine they will prove very useful in the future.

More than happy for you to include my responses on the wiki.

Louise Wilson
CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research

Response 4 -- 1 April

  1. Rating: 5
  2. Prior experience
    • I don't have any exposure to ACCESS model at all. So I gained a limited understanding of ACCESS and UM.
    • I work with SMS on BNOC operational scheduler. Now I have got a useful, hands-on introduction to Rose & Cylc, through the workshop.
    • I find the workshop very useful , well organised and well executed.

Response 5 -- 4 April

  1. Rating: 4
  2. No prior experience
    • Thank you for a very well-organised course. The food was great too!
    • The general lectures were informative and good. Joao's lectures and tutorials on Access were very methodical. The exercises that I managed to complete quickly without any hiccups of access/login/other issues made the Rose/Cylc interface look very user friendly. However when I trailed behind in one or two exercises then I had difficulty catching up due to the fast pace of the lectures.
    • Access is an incredibly complex model, an amalgamation of several modules and would be impossible to cover the physics of each in one week's time. Perhaps a summary slide (which probably was presented, so when I review the slides, I may find it) would be useful.
    • Tutorials with examples of changing certain parameters in previously set-up model spec files were excellent in getting familiar with the cylc interface. Similarly, including the import of input data for example from climatology would also be useful.

Response 6 -- 4 April

  1. Rating: 4.5*
  2. None, totally new.
  3. More specific practical examples (instead of playing with the suite settings). A little more details on the various output that we can obtain would have been great. Also some indications as to what command to use in the bash shell would have been handy (even in the form of a cheat sheet). Otherwise the course was well organised and most of the lectures were interesting and helpful.

Response 7 -- 4 April

  1. Rating: 4
  2. No prior experience
    • Thank you so much for organising such a useful training course & helping me to get an account for code wiki pages.
    • For me who is a very beginner of the ACCESS-S system, it was a great opportunity to learn the overview of the model structure, what are rose & cylc, and where to get necessary information (i.e. various wiki pages). It'll definitely help me to work better in my team, understanding my colleagues' lingos!

Response 8 -- 8 April

  1. Rating: The course was useful to me overall - 3/5.
    • I walked away with an understanding of how to run and (to a lesser extent) schedule the model.
  2. The pitch of the guided exercises was a challenge. The participants ranged from absolute beginners (me) to quite advanced users.
    • The pitch was centred on semi-advanced users which bore the risk of losing the beginners.
    • A second mechanism that led to me disconnecting from most exercises some ways in was the discovery of necessary pre-requisite settings and accounts. This could be solved by succinct and adequately emphasised individual user setup testing instructions - a simple tick list of tests that ensures that the user will not encounter setting-related show stoppers during the course.
    • Thanks for putting in the big effort, and thanks to Val for the good food and background work in the foyer.

Response 9 -- 8 April

  1. Rating: 3.9/5
  2. No prior experience
    • Lectures were of high quality
    • Exercises could be made to run smoother. It would have been better to have scripts or partial scripts available, or at least allowing the commands in the powerpoint presentation to be selectable to avoid typing while listening (the commands are currently an image format).
    • Key commands summary would have been handy
    • Perhaps it would be better to do the UMPracticals after the lectures & exercises from Thursday

Response 10 -- 8 April

  1. Rating: 5
  2. No previous exposure to ACCESS or Rose-Cylc.
    1. The first morning setup and access to Rose and Cylc was too brief;
    2. The complexity of the applications caused loss of continuity during the presentations.
    3. Maybe the Organisors consider a "Beginners" course.
    4. A follow-up workshop be organised six to twelve months time.

Response 11 -- 8 April

  1. Rating
    • 2 for me right now in my current role. As the later versions of UM come closer to a production environment at BoM (APS 3 or 4?), I may need to take a similar course at that time.
  2. Prior experience
    • I am somewhat familiar with the structure of the older versions of the UM software (8.2 and 8.4), having built and run a number of models. I have little to no familiarity with model construction and parameterization.
    • The course was the first time I saw Rose and Cylc.
    • I only attended a few sessions, the first and second morning sessions, and the talk on ACCESS-S. It is good to know what may be coming down the pipeline. It was also good to meet some of the people from CAWCR, CSIRO and universities.
    • It would be interesting to know more about the relationship between ACCCESS-S and UM. For example, what UM versions have been tested, etc.
    • Also, I did not try the exercises on my laptop. From what I saw during exercises, the programming environment for the exercises lacked some controls, and the instructions for setup were not very clearly conveyed or quickly followed up. This resulted in some people having difficulties in following along. Of course, all this is second hand, since I did not try the exercises myself.

Response 12 -- 8 April

  1. Rating: 4.5
    • This was a very useful and well organised training – particularly the magnificent contribution from Joao. I have now started to used Rose&Cylc for forecasting only experiments directly benefited from the workshop. Well done and thanks!
  2. Prior experience
    • Have been using ACCESS with UMUI for AMIP and transposeAMIP but not Rose&Cylc
    • Next time some in-depth training on some specific details will be valuable such as: i) ancillary files preparation/creation/modification i) tricks/ticks for porting/running jobs listed on shared repository on local machine here; i) diagnoses/verification/evaluation packages MO use such as VER/AutoAssess/Trui etc so our APS evaluation/verification can be easily shared with MO.
    • Thanks and congratulations for the coordination.

Response 13 -- 8 April

  1. Rating: 4-5 Joao's presentation in particular were fantastic
  2. Prior experience
    • Vicarious – had looked over people's shoulders for ages, and discussed aspects at length. This was great for filling in the gaps

Response 14 -- 8 April

Thank you for organising the course, please find my feedback below.

  1. Rating: 4
  2. No prior experience
    • The course was very valuable as an introduction to Rose/Cylc but I think some parts were lacking in detail. More in-depth practicals on running and editing the model in Rose would be useful.
    • The practical exercises were well done and provided a good way to learn the GUI and basic aspects of the model. However the first day’s practical was a bit frustrating due to it not working properly.
    • Joao was very helpful and the presentations and course materials were clear and easy to follow.

Response 15 -- 8 April

  1. Rating: 5
  2. Prior experience: none
  3. This workshop was very informative and practical. It helped me gain all the necessary information for the model and rose and cylc, which is very useful for my future work.

Response 16 -- 8 April

  1. Rating: 4
  2. Prior experience
    • I have run Access-C suite before but never played around with the source code.
    • With rose and cylc I have zero background, except enough to run access-C suite.
    • I read an idea for a follow up workshop: I think that would be a great idea.
    • Good mix of explaining how to do things and hands on time to do things.
    • A good context was given at the start of the workshop about how ACCESS got to where it is now (much apprieciated by me and other early career student/researchers).
    • An overview or similar contextualization of where BOM would find most value with linking to other research organizations would engage/motivate and inspire people to learn how to use ACCESS, Rose and Cylc.
    • ... Food was excellent.

Response 17 -- 8 April

  1. Rating: 5
  2. Prior experience
    • I have had extensive experience with ACCESS/UMUI and limited experience with Rose and Cylc.
    • The course was very useful, much more so than the one-day training in Rose and Cylc that I had previously attended. The reason for this is that it takes time to get across the big picture and detail, and every lecture and tutorial added something important. I found that the time spent stepping through multiple example suites, and ultimately creating one almost from scratch, was very valuable -- much better value than a shorter course.
    • Spending an afternoon on Iris visualisation was good: I already knew of the tool but now I’ll probably use it.
    • Many thanks to Joao for taking on such a huge teaching load and to all the presenters, tutors and organisers.
    • Perhaps one tip for a future course would be that a cheat sheet be permanently on display during the tutorial sessions including everything that needs to be typed, or at least the first several commands to set things up.

Happy for my comments to be attributed on the wiki.

All the best,
Peter Dobrohotoff
CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research

Ratings summary

  • Mean 4.2
  • 1x2, 2x3, 1x3.9, 4x4, 3x4.5, 6x5
Last modified 6 years ago Last modified on Apr 8, 2016 1:42:22 PM