Carmel's blog post on Delivering a Great Presentation
inspired me to think about how to become a better teacher/presenter. Thanks to our weekly Development and Research meetings, which covers a wide range of topics from understanding our products, presenting ideas, improving presentations and rehearsing seminars/courses, I am more aware of where a great presentation/teaching comes from.
I roughly summarize the secret recipe in five words: goal, prepare, engage, visual, practice. Why do we talk? What is the knowledge and ideas that we want to deliver? How to engage my audience? Where should I add necessary visuals? Keep working on improving after receiving feedback.
However, there is still one missing puzzle: learning from the best people. I once led labs as a teaching assistant for Data Visualization
at GSAS Columbia University, an interdisciplinary course that encourages students to look at data critically and tell stories with data visualizations. Therefore, I am interested in getting better at teaching programming languages in front of a student body with mixed technology and domain backgrounds. We all treat MOOCs as a great resource to learn from knowledgeable teachers. However, I think it also teaches us how to become effective teachers. In terms of leading a programming lab, I find watching Coursera data science specialization courses helpful. Even though the language may not be the same, the approaches, case studies and manners to deliver information are enlightening.
My high school Chinese teacher was an apprentice of an experienced teacher while he was teaching my class at that time. Being able to communicate and learn directly from an experienced well-known teacher is valuable, but not many novice teachers are lucky enough to have the opportunity. Even though some of the young teachers have mentors, they can only learn closely from one mentor. The main benefit of MOOCs is that it is highly accessible and teachers can choose to watch many teachers whose teaching style matches their personal approach. Teachers are no longer limited by geography or time, as they can view a specific part of a lecture multiple times even while taking the subway. The newest MOOCs videos are more likely to contain up-to-date cases and examples as opposed to some out of date videos in libraries.
Have you ever learned to teach from MOOCs videos? What is your opinion? How did you learn to teach? Look forward to knowing your experiences.