Teaching is a fun experience and I love it.

Me and my friend Pavithra were invited to do a workshop on Human Computer Interaction at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Moratuwa. I was more than happy to hear that. I’m in love with HCI from the very first day I heard about it at Shahani Madam’s Software Engineering class. I think I’m pretty good at understanding people and I have the ability to guess what they are up-to. So I think this is a good field for me. Day by day amazing new products come to the market surprising lots of people and I’m among the very few girly gadget lovers. Not only that, I’m also among the early adapters. So I found it very interesting to learn HCI.

I prepared my part of presentation including the interesting facts about Human, the most important person to deal with in HCI. The presentation is mostly based on Prof. Alan Dix’s book on Human Computer Interaction. We divided students into groups and five people were in a group. Each  group got a small task to design a User Interface for given criteria. Pizza ordering system, Railway ticket issuing system, IDE for XML or a new language, Mobile contact book or a website for their favourite battle game. They enjoyed the design. They browsed internet gathered details about good designs and came up with their design. One or two people came in front of the class and explained their designed to other friends. I asked few questions to get the usability aspects they thought when they are designing the UIs. They answered well.

I copied that method of teaching from our Project Director,Thushara at Exilesoft, where I work (great place to work). When you divide students into groups and give them the task they feel that they are not alone and they aware about the competition. They want to be the best group from the rest. I also didn’t have any problem to pick one person from each group to present. One or two people from a group always volunteered. That’s great because I hate to force people to do things. One of the biggest problems I faced was, when they draw some design with lots of issues I didn’t really want to tell them the design is bad because I love all of them and didn’t want to show their mistakes in front of the class. Instead I complement the design and suggested methods to improve the design. I think I did it well.

These students are the brilliant and smartest kids in their age. They went through the most difficult exam Local Advanced Level exam and all of them are in the first 500 of the country. Not only that they also went through the most difficult semester exam and only the first 200 could get into the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. The workshop was fun and I also learned from them. I hope they also enjoyed their time and learning was fun. I’m really proud about teaching such a smart young crowd. Looking forward to have more teaching.

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Author: Harshani Nawarathna

Sri Lankan woman in Computing

1 thought on “Teaching is a fun experience and I love it.”

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