Running the Course

This page is for the course instructor.

Here is a bit of background information about how we’ve been running the course internally at Google.

We typically run classes from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, with a 1 hour lunch break in the middle. This leaves 3 hours for the morning class and 3 hours for the afternoon class. Both sessions contain multiple breaks and time for students to work on exercises.

Before you run the course, you will want to:

  1. Make yourself familiar with the course material. We’ve included speaker notes to help highlight the key points (please help us by contributing more speaker notes!). When presenting, you should make sure to open the speaker notes in a popup (click the link with a little arrow next to “Speaker Notes”). This way you have a clean screen to present to the class.

  2. Decide on the dates. Since the course takes four days, we recommend that you schedule the days over two weeks. Course participants have said that they find it helpful to have a gap in the course since it helps them process all the information we give them.

  3. Find a room large enough for your in-person participants. We recommend a class size of 15-25 people. That’s small enough that people are comfortable asking questions — it’s also small enough that one instructor will have time to answer the questions. Make sure the room has desks for yourself and for the students: you will all need to be able to sit and work with your laptops. In particular, you will be doing a lot of live-coding as an instructor, so a lectern won’t be very helpful for you.

  4. On the day of your course, show up to the room a little early to set things up. We recommend presenting directly using mdbook serve running on your laptop (see the installation instructions). This ensures optimal performance with no lag as you change pages. Using your laptop will also allow you to fix typos as you or the course participants spot them.

  5. Let people solve the exercises by themselves or in small groups. We typically spend 30-45 minutes on exercises in the morning and in the afternoon (including time to review the solutions). Make sure to ask people if they’re stuck or if there is anything you can help with. When you see that several people have the same problem, call it out to the class and offer a solution, e.g., by showing people where to find the relevant information in the standard library.

That is all, good luck running the course! We hope it will be as much fun for you as it has been for us!

Please provide feedback afterwards so that we can keep improving the course. We would love to hear what worked well for you and what can be made better. Your students are also very welcome to send us feedback!