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Guest Lecturer

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Guest Lecturer

  To schedule a guest lecture, please email with the following information: 
  * a title/description (or at least idea) on what you'd like to present to our students
  * the main 'nuggets' that you'd like students to walk away from your presentation with

As a Guest Lecturer, you will provide training to students on coding skills/tools and/or soft skills.

Your role will be to:

  • know your audience is a group of women and non-binary folk who are new to coding--students began their cohort with very little to no experience coding; Ada provides them with 7 months of intensive classroom experience in Ruby, Rails, HTML/CSS, and JS followed by a 5 month industry internship; please define terms, do not assume that they know something already, and do not refer to concepts as something that "programmers should already know", as something that "you can't get a job if you don't understand", or as “easy”. Things that are easy to you may be difficult to someone else, and trivializing them trivializes a person who struggles with them.
  • prepare an interactive presentation for our students that broadens their skill set or increases their awareness of topics related to the tech industry
  • if your lecture is teaching a tool or skill, scaffold the lecture so that students are first presented with an intro to the topic and smaller problems; build to more challenging problems after guided instruction and walk through of how to solve the problem; providing plenty of simpler examples and problems is a perk
  • field questions at the end of the lecture and provide resources for students who are interested in learning more

You bring expertise to our classroom that gives students the ability to learn more and do more. A diverse collection of guest lecturers allows each student to find specific topics that they are passionate about and also provide assistance to our instructors by covering topics they may not be familiar with/have the time to prepare for.

What to expect

  • Guest Lectures happen usually on Monday afternoons and Thursday mornings. We would like to aim for 1-2 guest lectures a week. If no time slots are open on the calendar, that means that week has been filled.
  • Approximately 26 people --> students, instructors, staff
  • With your permission, absent students usually request that we record speakers so they can watch them later. Generally we use QuickTime’s Screen Capture to do this and then we can share them internally.

What Ada will provide When you come for your presentation, we will provide:

  • White boards
  • Projector
  • HDMI/Mini DisplayPort connectors

Format of your presentation We understand presentations are highly individual, but here are some general guidelines to consider:

  • Presentations should be between 30-60 minutes, including prep, the presentation itself, and Q&A at the end.
  • We will block 1 hour in our curriculum for your presentation. You do not need to use all this time. You should definitely NOT talk for this entire time without interaction from/activities with the students.

Tips for being an effective Guest Lecturer

General Tips

  • Start and finish strong - Begin with a bang. Listeners tend to remember what they hear first and last. Begin with a surprising statistic, a startling statement, a vivid anecdote, a rhetorical question, or a provocative quotation.
  • Address the “So What” Question - Explain why listeners need to know about your topic—why they should care?
  • Offer a roadmap at the beginning of the presentation
    • Share the structure of your talk with your listeners
    • Direct your audience’s attention to the most important points you are making
  • Sustain audience engagement
    • Break up your talk every 10-15 minutes to revitalize the audience’s attention. At this break, ask the audience a question, give them a simple problem to solve, have them discuss concepts with a neighbor and then share back their thoughts, or have them try something on their own.
    • Use concrete examples and simple syntax. Speaking in theory/abstractly for a long time is hard to follow
    • Integrate active learning into your lecture.
  • Remember that DELIVERY is more important than CONTENT - If your delivery isn’t interesting, your content will be hard to process.

For Research-Based Presentations

  • Consider turning your research into a story - The most common way to present one’s research is to give it in the form of a research report. You identify a research question, a hypothesis, your methods, your findings, and your conclusions. Try something different: present your research as a story.
    • Explain why did you decided to study this topic.
    • Describe the struggles and difficulties you encountered.
    • Tell your audience about the discoveries that surprised you.
    • Describe the “ah hah!” moment when you suddenly understood your work’s significance
    • Conclude by telling your audience what you discovered and why it is significant.

For Technical Tool Presentations

  • Provide opportunities for students to try the tool - build in opportunities for the students to try the tool on their own. Our students learn best by doing, so your presentation should include time for the students to try out the tool.
  • Provide simple problems - giving the students some sample scenarios/problems to solve using the tool you are teaching will scaffold the learning so that students can build toward more difficult problems.