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 the online application 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, Data Carpentry, and Library 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 Download files required for the lesson
Pre-training survey Please fill out our pre-training survey before the start of the course.
Day 1 09:00 1. Welcome Who are we and how do we approach teaching?
What should you expect from this workshop?
09:25 2. Building Skill With Practice How do people learn?
Who is a typical Carpentries learner?
How can we help novices become competent practitioners?
10:25 3. 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 4. Morning Break Break
11:25 5. 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?
12:10 6. Building Skill With Feedback How can I get feedback from learners?
How can I use this feedback to improve my teaching?
12:30 7. Lunch Break
13:30 8. Motivation and Demotivation Why is motivation important?
How can we create a motivating environment for learners?
14:45 9. 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?
15:15 10. Afternoon Break Break
15:30 11. Teaching is a Skill How can I improve my teaching?
16:40 12. Wrap-Up and Homework for Tomorrow What have we learned today?
What needs to be done to prepare for tomorrow?
17:00 Finish
Day 2 09:00 13. Welcome Back What have we learned so far?
What will we focus on today?
09:10 14. Live Coding is a Skill Why do we teach programming using participatory live coding?
10:20 15. Preparing to Teach How should I prepare to teach?
11:10 16. Morning Break Break
11:25 17. More Practice Live Coding How did you change your teaching in response to feedback?
12:10 18. Managing a Diverse Classroom How can I prepare for effective co-teaching?
What are the challenges of managing a heterogeneous classroom?
What do I do if there is a Code of Conduct violation?
12:40 19. Lunch Break
13:40 20. Checkout Process What do I need to do to finish certifying as a Carpentries instructor?
13:55 21. The Carpentries: How We Operate How is The Carpentries organized and run?
What is the difference between SWC, DC, and LC workshops?
How do you run a Carpentries workshop?
15:10 22. Afternoon Break Break
15:25 23. Workshop Introductions How do you actually start a workshop?
16:05 24. Putting It Together How are the teaching practices we’ve learned used in our workshops?
16:25 25. Wrapping Up What can we improve in this training?
16:40 Post-training survey Please fill out our pre-training survey before the start of the course.
16:55 Finish

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