Teaching online, smoothly

At 12:04 John Mulligan said “Is it just me or was that incredibly smooth?”

Mauro Lepore https://github.com/maurolepore

Table of Contents

At 12:04 John Mulligan said “Is it just me or was that incredibly smooth?” We had just finished teaching 30 people online and it felt super manageable. Read on to see what we did and how.

The helpers felt the workshop was incredibly smooth.

What we did

The workshop was based on the materials and philosophy of The Carpentries – a community of volunteers who “teach foundational coding and data science skills to researchers worldwide” (https://carpentries.org/). It lasted 6 hours, spread over two days (https://maurolepore.github.io/2020-05-12-rice/).

The teaching staff included two instructors and four helpers. We followed the kind of advice you get from MetaDocencia (https://metadocencia.netlify.app/):

Who we are

The learners and helpers were from Rice University. The helpers were mostly graduate students, a few faculty, and one undergraduate student. The helpers were Lisa Spiro, Clinton Heider, Miaomiao Rimmer, and John Mulligan; they were helpful and kind.

The instructors were Jackson Hoffart and I; we are data scientists at https://2degrees-investing.org/.

How we did it

The learners are the ones who know what works best. Ask them and adjust.

After speaking for 5-10 minutes Jackson or I would ask:

And after each lesson we would ask:

How you adapt to feedback is generally straightforward. If most learners finish early, then you may move faster or make exercises harder. If few learners finish on time, then you may give some hint, explain more slowly, make exercises easier, or answer questions from the Google Doc.

This worked well for the learners. After the workshop they said the workshop was exceptional – that is beyond excellent.

The learners scored the workshop as exceptional (Net Promoter Score = 70; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_Promoter).

And it also worked for the instructors and helpers. We all learned something from each other and from the experience too.

As instructors, we shared knowledge and learned from the experience.

How about you? What worked for you?


For attribution, please cite this work as

Lepore (2020, June 5). Mauro Lepore: Teaching online, smoothly. Retrieved from https://2degreesinvesting.github.io/posts/2020-06-05-teaching-online-smoothly/

BibTeX citation

  author = {Lepore, Mauro},
  title = {Mauro Lepore: Teaching online, smoothly},
  url = {https://2degreesinvesting.github.io/posts/2020-06-05-teaching-online-smoothly/},
  year = {2020}