Instructor Training

Over the last hundred years, researchers have discovered an enormous amount about how people learn and how best to teach them. Unfortunately, much of that knowledge has not yet been translated into common classroom practice, especially at the university level.

This two-day class has the following overall goals:

Because we have only two days, some things are beyond the scope of this class. We will not be learning:

Please fill in this form if you wish to take part in this course. Priority is given to members of our partner organizations, but we run several open-enrollment classes each year as well.

The class will be hands-on throughout: short lessons will alternate with individual and group practical exercises, including practice teaching sessions. Those who complete the two full days and some short follow-up exercises online will be certified to teach Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry workshops.

Feedback on these materials is welcome as an issue on the Github repository that hosts this site.

These materials are freely available under a Creative Commons license.

Sample Schedule

Setup Preparatory readings for the lesson.
Day 1 09:00 Welcome Who are Data and Software Carpentry and how do we approach teaching?
What should you expect from this workshop?
09:15 How Learning Works: The Importance of Practice How do people learn?
Who is a typical Carpentry learner?
How can we help novices become competent practitioners?
10:20 How Learning Works: Expertise and Instruction What type of instructor is best for novices?
How are we (as instructors) different from our learners and how does this impact our teaching?
11:10 Morning Coffee Break
11:25 How Learning Works: Working Memory and Cognitive Load What is cognitive load and how does it affect learning?
How can we design instruction to work with, rather than against, memory constraints?
12:15 Building Teaching Skill: Getting Feedback How can I get feedback from learners?
How can I use this feedback to improve my teaching?
12:35 Lunch Break
13:35 Creating a Positive Learning Environment: Motivation and Demotivation Why is motivation important?
How can we create a motivating environment for learners?
14:40 Creating a Positive Learning Environment: Mindset How does mindset influence learning?
How should we praise our learners?
How should we talk about errors?
What are successful habits of lifelong learners?
15:20 Afternoon Coffee Break
15:35 Building Teaching Skill: The Importance of Practice How can I improve my teaching?
16:45 Wrap-Up and Homework for Tomorrow What have we learned today?
What needs to be done to prepare for tomorrow?
17:05 Finish
Day 2 09:00 Welcome Back What have we learned so far?
What will we focus on today?
09:10 Building Teaching Skill: Lesson Study How should I use learning objectives when preparing to teach?
How can I adapt challenges while teaching?
How can I adapt my teaching in response to formative assessment
10:05 Building Teaching Skill: Live Coding Why do we teach programming using live coding?
11:05 Morning Coffee Break
11:20 Building Teaching Skill: Performance Revised How did you change your teaching in response to feedback?
12:00 Lunch Break
13:00 The Carpentries: Workshop Introductions How do you actually start a workshop?
14:10 The Carpentries: How We Operate How are Software and Data Carpentry organized and run?
15:15 Afternoon Coffee Break
15:30 The Carpentries: Teaching Practices How are the teaching practices we’ve learned used in our workshops?
What do I do if there is a Code of Conduct violation?
16:00 Afternoon Wrap-Up What do I need to do to finish certifying as a Carpentry instructor?
16:45 Finish

The actual schedule may vary slightly depending on the topics and exercises chosen by the instructor.