Summary and Setup

Welcome to The Carpentries Instructor Training curriculum! Originally released in 2016, this resource is collaboratively maintained and taught by The Carpentries Instructor Trainer community. Minor changes occur routinely; major updates are chronicled in our release history.

Carpentries Instructor Training has the following goals:

  • Introduce you to evidence-based teaching practices.
  • Teach you how to create a positive environment for learners at your workshops.
  • Provide opportunities for you to practice and build your teaching skills.
  • Help you become integrated into the Carpentries community.
  • Prepare you to use these teaching skills in teaching Carpentries workshops.

Because we have only limited time, some things are beyond the scope of this training. We will not be learning:

  • How to program in R or Python, use the Unix shell, Git or SQL, or any of the other topics taught in Data Carpentry, Library Carpentry, or Software Carpentry workshops.
  • How to create your own lessons from scratch (although you will have a good start on the principles behind that sort of work if you are inspired to learn more, for example in our lesson development training).

If you would like to attend Instructor Training, please visit the Become an Instructor page on The Carpentries website for details on admission.

Instructor Training events are hands-on throughout: short lessons alternate with individual and group practical exercises, including practice teaching sessions. Those who attend the full training and all three checkout steps will be certified as a Carpentries Instructor and will be eligible to teach Data Carpentry, Library Carpentry, and Software Carpentry workshops throughout our global community.

  • All participants are required to abide by our Code of Conduct.
  • There are no specific prerequisites for this training, but participants will benefit from having attended a Data Carpentry, Software Carpentry, or Library Carpentry workshop either as learner or helper so that they are familiar with our teaching techniques and the style of our workshops.
  • Participants are not required to have any specific programming skills (though they should know enough about the subjects of one or more of our lessons to be able to teach them). An Instructor Training event is the first step towards certification as a Carpentries Instructor. For more details on the other 3 steps, see the Checkout Instructions page on this site.

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.

Preparing for Your Training

  1. Please fill out our pre-workshop survey. Please refer to your pre-workshop email for a custom link for your event. Your responses will help your Trainers understand your background and customize the training appropriately. They also assist The Carpentries in understanding and reporting on our impact.
  2. Please go to the Software Carpentry lessons page, the Data Carpentry lessons page, or the Library Carpentry lessons page choose one episode (for recommendations, see the list below) and read through it carefully. You will be asked to teach a 90 second introduction to this content during the first half of the workshop, and will teach a 3 minute participatory segment of its content twice during the second half of the workshop (i.e. using live coding or live demonstration). Note that these presentations are expected to be rough, not polished – you should be familiar with the content but please do not over-prepare. This preparation should take no more than 20-30 minutes.
  3. Please read the following before the workshop begins:

For Online Events:
4. Please ensure that your computer and internet are sufficient to connect via Zoom for the full event. You will need to have the bandwidth to transmit video during your practice exercises.

For In-Person Events:
4. We will be recording one another teaching in pairs or threes during the class, so please bring a cell phone or hand-held camera that can record audio and video. It does not have to be high-quality, but it should be good enough that you can understand what someone is saying. 5. Please also bring a laptop powerful enough to teach on so that you can take part in all of the practical exercises (a tablet will not be sufficient).

Checkout: The Instructor Certification Process

After this course is over, you will be asked to do three short follow-up exercises online in order to finish certification as an Instructor: the details are available on the Checkout Instructions page.

If you have any questions about the workshop, the reading material, or anything else, please email us!

If you are having trouble choosing an episode, we recommend choosing one of the following: