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  • Subalalitha Navaneethakrishnan

On my NLP teaching experience for MBA students

It has been a very hectic & tiring week and with one day holiday, it is definitely not possible to go for a vacation albeit mind can go for a vacation and I am here at my favorite spot. Thought of registering here my journey on teaching Natural Language Processing (NLP) for MBA students at SRM .

I was first surprised on this assignment when I was asked to teach NLP for MBA students. SRM has introduced an MBA degree specialized with AI and Data Science. In this course they had NLP as one of the subjects. AI is spreading its wings across multiple disciplines. In our upcoming B.Tech curriculum regulations, AI is kept as a mandatory course to be taught to all disciplines of engineering, like we are teaching C programming currently. But the difference is that, C programming is taught by CSE faculty to all disciplines but AI is going to be taught by faculty from all disciplines and we have a faculty development program next week conducted by our school of computing teach AI to other department faculty. I feel this is an alert to all Computer Science engineers/students/faculty. The good news is that if we are capable of adapting to multidisciplinary culture, we can survive the new revolution. Recently, I had the opportunity of getting fund of rupees, 7 lakhs from SRM to build a humanoid by collaborating with mechatronics department faculty. I am learning a lot from them and thanks to SRM for giving opportunities like this. I will write on this with more details, once we see a considerable amount of outcome from this project.

Back to the objective of this post, I was really excited to teach NLP to MBA students but my first few days had to be missed as I had to take leave due to personal reasons. That was a bit disappointing as first few classes are very important to catch the attention and understand the vibes of the students. Anyways , in the rest of the days, I was somehow able to do that !. The only confusion I had is that where to start NLP and where to end for MBA students as they had different UG backgrounds. They had commerce, BCA, BE from CSE &other engineering disciplines. There syllabus was a convincing thing. This subject is a pure laboratory course and the students don't have any written exams. That was a great relief but again teaching them NLP through python was challenging, again where to start python and where to end python was a problem.

I decided to follow their syllabus sometimes and not follow their syllabus sometimes :) This has to be done at times, if the objectives of the course are to be achieved. NLP gets updated everyday and we got to incorporate the updates in the course, otherwise the students will not find a match between their curriculum and job opportunities. Through this course, I learnt to teach NLP in different dimensions and at different levels. Thanks to all those people who gave me opportunities to give tech talks. That helped me greatly to deliver according to the audience needs and not according to what I know . EMPATHY has different meanings and of course has totally a different dimension when it comes to teaching and this course taught me to acquire it!

There is always room for improvement . I still feel I could have done better which I understood when I asked them viva questions, during Model and University exams. Should dig in more ways to make teaching more effective but overall it is a good experience and I happened to recruit 2 students from this course as interns for our FirstLanguage company.

I thought of getting the feedback from my MBA students and I am uploading the feed back responses here.

There is always a fun component added by the students. Do you notice the comment "........" :) . This was because I had kept the comment section as compulsory thing in the feed back form, so he/she added this as the comment . May be compulsion is bad and I should I have kept the comment section optional. lesson learnt :)

Thanks for reading . Have a great Sunday !


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