Lesson #4

Back to the Methods of Teaching Data Science course

Back to Technion Data Science Education website

Question Workshop: Yaniv Uriel, an entrepreneur data science teacher, facilitated a workshop about the Question Database,  a system he developed that supports the community of computer science and data science teachers in compiling a data base of computer science and data science questions to be used by the teacher community. Such a data base is one way to close the pedagogical chasm of data science education, in general and, in particular, the pedagogical chasms that are revealed with respect to the new Israeli data science unit that has been integrated into the high school computer science curriculum. This assertion about the role of the questions data base is especially relevant for new data science teachers who will take the MTDS course.

Yaniv Uriel’s workshop was structured as follows:

  • The teacher’s job – the problem and the solution: Teaching material is available but is not organized and accessible. This leads to redundant work and slows down the development process of appropriate pedagogies for the teaching of any topic, in general, and of computer science and data science, in particular.
  • Demonstration of the question database: What it can do and what it cannot do.
    • Gaining experience – Part I: The prospective teachers are asked to enter the database, and to search and find questions on any computer science topic they choose
  • Wisdom of the crowd: The option of ranking questions according to their level of difficulty and tagging them by subject and possible pedagogical usages
    • Gaining experience – Part II: The prospective teachers are asked to rank the questions they found earlier, to add tags, and to evaluate their level of difficulty
  • Worksheet preparation: The importance for prospective teacher of this system feature, which enables to automatically generate a worksheet that includes a set of selected questions, was demonstrated and explained
    • Gaining experience – Part III: Preparing, editing and distributing worksheets to the course students (as an example of a class)
  • Adding questions to the data base
  • Roadmap for future development
  • Feedback: Uriel asked the prospective teachers for feedback and ideas for future developments

In addition to demonstrating the question data base itself, in his workshop, Uriel imparted several pedagogical messages to the prospective computer science and data science teachers about

  • educational entrepreneurship and the many opportunities open to entrepreneur teachers who teach new topics such as data science
  • a variety of active-learning-based pedagogical methods and principles, such as groupwork, exploration, gaining experience, and contribution to the data base as a resource for the community
  • the development of a computer science / data science teachers’ community (mainly, but not only) by a) encouraging experienced teachers share their learning materials, questions, and expertise, and b) ranking their colleagues’ questions