Post-lesson 2 survey results

Overall, it seems based on the survey results that our pace is about right – maybe slightly on the slow side, but that’s OK I think because the focus of part 1 of the course (which we’re doing now) is beginners.

7% of respondents said they don’t feel comfortable asking questions. In the comments, this is nearly entirely due to folks feeling intimidated with all the experienced practitioners here. Therefore I’ve created beginner-only topics for all the key parts of the course. Experienced folks: please keep an eye on them and help out! (And please don’t post any interesting but non-essential stuff there…) Beginners: your questions are most welcome either in this threads, or in the main lesson topics. The most important this is to ask them, because otherwise:

  • Other beginners with the same question won’t learn either
  • You won’t get your question answered!

A couple of comments showed that we haven’t done a good enough job of explaining how questions work:

You can ask questions during classes, or afterwards, by putting your question in the lesson topic. TA’s monitor those, and if your question gets >4 "like"s, and is beginner-friendly, then the TA’s let me know about it, and I answer it in the lesson. If you have a question that isn’t of general interest (i.e it doesn’t get many "like"s), then we won’t interrupt the lesson to answer it - instead I go through every single question the day after the class. When I last checked, I didn’t find any unanswered questions (although sometimes I miss some!)

Here’s a random selection of what’s “working well”:

Here’s a random selection of things to improve:

A few folks mentioned having a mid-lesson break. I think that’s a great idea so we’ll do it!

Regarding questions like “it would help if students are directed to the technical components of the lesson, along with the codes” – please ask these at the time so we can ensure you have the information you need! When I only read these questions in a mid-course survey, I’m worried that I’m giving you very delayed help. For future reference: all the components of the lesson and all code is linked from the top post of each lesson topic: Lesson 2 official topic . If you can’t find something, please let us know.

A couple of people posted comments like:

I don’t understand what I am supposed to be reading in the book

In short: lesson 1 goes with chapter 1, and lesson 2 goes with chapter 2. However, as mentioned in lesson 1, there is (intentionally) not a 1-1 correspondence. Rather than just tell you what the book says (which you can much better get by reading the book) I’m providing similar information but in a different (generally more hands-on and interactive) form. The previous iteration of this course was, however, largely a 1-1 correspondence with the book, so if you’d rather have lessons where I’m telling you what the book says, then watch the videos on https://course.fast.ai/.

Random sample of answers about what could you do differently:

Random samples of other comments:

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Hope that’s OK to reply here. Just a few things that come to my mind.

  • I think it’s great to have Jeremy commenting about survey results. It gives us the chance of 1. Hearing how other students feel about the course (and their learning plight in general), and 2. What the teacher thinks about that and about students’ suggestions, worries, etc…
  • I tend to fall down to the bottom-up approach. Not only for ML/DL but for about everything. E.g. when I was studying algebraic topology, I always ended up spiraling down into the first chapters of a set theory book. It’s quite hard to fight that urge, since we are somewhat conditioned to do that by previous learining experiences and maybe by natural inclination. Needless to say, once you start bottoming-up, you inevitably fall into a rabbit hole.
    Bottom line: try and stay in line with the course’s teaching philosophy.
  • The more you progress into any field of knowledge, the more you become conscious of you own ignorance. That’s normal.
  • Be tenacious. You can be smart and talented, but if you get quickly discouraged, you won’t succeed.
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Loved it :blush:

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