Jeremy Gray's Course Feedback

Apr 24, 2015 • Jeremy Gray

I really enjoyed this training course, and feel like I got serious value from it. While taking the course, I was teaching my first course as an instructor, and tried to integrate and use the content of the course for my class (Biostatistics and R). Hopefully I succeeded, at least a little, either way it definitely changed my course for the better.

The biggest take away I got from the course was that there is serious research about how to be a good teacher. The readings were great, and Greg’s instruction was a great example. I think any serious university teacher has probably thought a lot about how to teach, but has very little formal instruction in teaching as opposed to their area of interest. This has lead me to take an interest in a new field.

There were a couple of ways I think the course could be improved. I think the problems people had with markdown and github have been well covered elsewhere.

My main suggestion is having a sort of syllabus or course outline. I was expecting a lot more training on the actual topics we teach, rather than how to teach. After taking the course, I’m glad it is focused as it is, but was surprised we did not cover much actual coding.

The timeline of the course was also somewhat of a mystery to me - It was unclear until the very last meeting that we were nearly done. I think a timetable would also help to stem the loss of dropouts. Some idea of timing would also allow people to determine if they will be able to complete the course.

I am strongly in favour of the spread out version of the course rather than a two day workshop. I think the primary value I got was from readings and reflection on the exercises, and this would be hard to match in a classroom setting.