Last week I had the pleasure of teaching my first Skillshare class. The subject was “Bayesian Probability and a Theory of Life” and is one I am very passionate about. I hope that I was able to convey some of that passion but I can say for sure that I learned a lot:
First, the saying that “you don’t understand something until you have taught it a dozen or more times” is definitely true. In preparing for my class and teaching it, I realized that my own grasp of some of the concepts was not as good as it should be and even teaching one time helped deepen that understanding.
Second, it is easy to try to cram way too much material into 90 minutes and I am definitely guilty of that. I will have to figure out what to cut or how to split this up into two different classes, one of which might be an “Intro to Probability.” Alternatively, I might provide this as pre-reading material so that everyone is familiar with basic terminology and notation. Since I was intent on getting through what I had prepared, I did not leave enough time for questions or discussion.
Third, I should have had some links for further reading available to distribute at the end of the class. I am pretty sure that I managed to get at least some of the attendees interested in learning more (which is what I would consider a huge success) but I did not have a resource ready to send them to. Sadly, I am still remiss on this point as I got promptly swamped with work.
Fourth, attendance at lunch time was strong. I had made 15 spaces available which all sold and 12 people showed up (for a 20% no-show rate). Also: I got wonderfully constructive feedback from several of the people who attended.