What tips do you have for explaining complex ideas to people with no knowledge of the domain? | Coursera Community
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What tips do you have for explaining complex ideas to people with no knowledge of the domain?

  • 2 November 2018
  • 3 replies

Userlevel 5
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  • Participant
  • 59 replies
For example, how would you explain how a gradient boosting regressor works to someone who has not got a background in Data Science or Mathematics?

This is a very difficult skill to develop, but something that all Data Scientists in industry need to be able to do.

3 replies

Userlevel 7
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This is a great question @Liz - I think communicating with non-experts is a skill that is often overlooked in many technical professions.
@Liz I would be that person with no experience or knowledge about what you just wrote!
But since I am interested, I would hope that you could explain it as best as you can to me.
You would need to explain it very simply, reduce it to something relatable. I know what “boosting” means for example, so you could work with that. As long as you are willing to keep trying and I am willto keep asking questions I think we will both find success.
Userlevel 6
Badge +12
Thank you @Liz for starting such a relevant topic to all of us. Yes, I would love to hear more ideas on this too. I had indeed started a related thread on teaching tips in Study Tips section: https://coursera.community/study-tips-6/what-are-your-recommended-teaching-tips-65 . I agree with what @Judith said, making it relatable in small steps depending on the background of the person would be a good start. One of my friends wrote a thesis whose subject was defending basically (in layman's terms) "there were no bad students, teachers who did not know how to explain their topics to their students." He was basically referring to the topic of this thread. I know some teachers might get agitated hearing this but his ideas were celebrated highly when he presented them in the education community at that time.


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