What is it like to teach a module at NUS?

(Note : NUS refers to courses as modules.)

Teaching a module in University is something everyone, if given a chance, should try. There are several reasons why I would encourage this.

Cognitive Enhancement. Sharing knowledge is the best way to learn. Most know this fact, but when you enter higher education institutions like universities, time quickly gets out of hand. It’s mainly because of the number of options that are available to you as a student. So now, if you are out of time for yourself because you have so many things you want to do, how will you allocate any to teach others. TAships are the best in that case. They allow you to stick to a schedule, and help you get into flow. And trust me, you tend to learn a lot. You start to realize how a student’s mind navigates in exploring topics, and how you, analogically as the instructor, are supposed to help them sail in the correct direction.

Get better at QnA. Now, this is a good way to carry conversations. When you are dealing with student queries at any level, your problem solving skills are at test. Agility in answering them is your benchmark. And for the perfectionists out there, this is a great moment to spark. You can make friends this way, and discuss your intuition and mental frameworks that you would employ. Again, asking interesting questions to twist students’ minds is one of the perks you would always have.

Community and Team. I think this reason pulled me more than anything else. Community driven thinking is absolutely essential in today’s time. You should be a natural in engaging in and with teams. It helps you establish credibility, which inspires you to do more. Getting to know professors, seniors, and experienced instructors adds to the mentorship you can get from them. The big advantage, with communities, is that you are exposed to asymmetrical returns due to the network effects that they inherently possess. A simple idea exchange can go a long way, remember that.

As an undergraduate, I have been appointed as a Teaching Assistant for CS3243 : Introduction to Artificial Intelligence for the third semester now. I can confidently say that I have had a blast being a part of such a great team. I have learnt a lot, and keep learning something new every day.