5 Lessons Learned Teaching Data

Teaching others is one of the most rewarding things you can do and you learn a lot from it. In the last few months I have had the privilege of teaching to a variety of backgrounds about the art of data. Here you find my five biggest lessons learned.

1. Put yourself in their shoes


One of the advantages of still being a student is that you know how they think. Students highly appreciate it if you speak their language.

Don’t get me wrong here: you should always keep it professional. That doesn’t mean, however, you can’t create a positive and stimulating classroom environment.

2. Giving feedback is powerful


Feedback is not only important but also very powerful. A poor grade without any explanation is like getting a speed ticket without a photo.

Mistakes are oftentimes highlighted while understanding remains underexposed. I think we should challenge this idea and celebrate the triumphs in just the same way.

Retrieved from RepMarkTakano (2014)

3. Peer reviews are great (but be careful!)

While feedback is essential for learning, it is also very time consuming to give. That’s why peer reviews can be a great additional source of feedback. One format that works well is tops & tips.

It’s a different question, however, whether you should allow students to grade each other’s work..

In the Netherlands our grading system is from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).

4. If you are excited, they will be too


In the eyes of students you are a role model. They think you know the answer to each and every single question (although you obviously do not).

However, teaching is more than sharing information, it’s about inspiring people. That happens both inside and outside the classroom and the little things really do matter.

5. Create a 21st century classroom

Admittedly, there is tremendous opportunity to better integrate technology in our current education system. Not only do students love it if you do, it saves you time too.

Some of the tools and channels I played around with lately: Github, AllAnswered, YouTube and TypeForm. Give it a try yourself below!


Learning never ends

After the summer break I’ll be back in the classroom. As a student again. But that doesn’t mean my teaching ends.

Teaching has been a fantastic learning experience and it will always be.

5 Lessons Learned Teaching Data was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.