25% of the class failed a course. Is this surprisingly high? I would've expected people to withdraw if they were going to fail. Is it a sign of a good teacher if the marks fit a bell shaped curve, because this class had a curve that looked like a w.
Just because there is a large (enough) amount (more than 30) students doesn't mean the distribution of results should form a bell curve.
So many factors are at work here, was it an advanced course? has the course changed? is it a new course? Does it have a new lecturer?
I think the historical failure rate is the best place to start with these type of things.
Were you one of the 25% that failed Jskid?
25% or even 50% failing a course is nothing new. And if you're in computing, you'll probably see heck of a lot more failing. Some classes just are for the very geniuses. But by the looks of it, your lecturer wasn't much of a teacher anyway...
The failure rate is from final examinations and only those students that actually handed in something are counted, so the number of people who "fail" courses is much higher. My university allows you to take final examinations (there are usually two occasions per year for a course) as many times as you want though (as long as the course is not discontinued), so you can't really fail a course; you simply won't get a grade until you have passed the course.