It's up to the students now! I gave my introductory lecture on the assignment they have to do. I think it went well! I used the "audience response system" and it worked, they were kept involved. But, of course, they have to stay involved until they've finished the assignment.
James was in the audience, just to see how it went, and he too thought it went well. The students have had to think about some of the caveats of the assignment. And not enough of them had done that in advance; I mailed the students twice to tell them they should read the assignment before going into the lecture, and two thirds hadn't (you can track who accesses a document on the university website). How to get the students to come prepared? Answers on the back of a postcard.
I also recorded this lecture; that was the first time I did this. We are encouraged to record everything so any students that can't come, or have concentration issues or something, can just listen to and watch the recording as often as they want. And for me it is useful too; no students can wrongly claim I haven't explained something this way without being easily found out. It's not good the likes of me (I'm not the only one) feel the need to pre-empt unjustified student complaints but it's the way it is.
On Monday we get the same students over to have them describe the core that was taken during the field trip; on the day itself the weather was atrocious. And then the week after there is a MATLAB drop-in session; if the students struggle with the software bit of the assignment they can come and ask. And after that they should be ready to write up! I hope all goes well. I want lots of A-worthy assignments this year!