Instructor Training: Suggested Rubric for Teaching Demonstrations

This rubric is provided as a guide for Trainers evaluating potential new instructors during the teaching demonstration (Good lessons to use for demo). Deciding whether a particular trainee passes or fails the demonstration is the sole discretion of the Trainer. As such, deviation from this rubric is encouraged as needed to accurately assess the trainee’s preparation and instructional skills.

In general, the majority of people pass their demonstrations. When a trainee is asked to redo a demo, it is usually a matter of correction – an error to embrace and to learn from – not rejection. Trainees who have three or more marks in the “Negative” columns below should probably be asked to try again. Even one mark in a “Negative” column can be considered justification for asking a trainee to redo their demonstration if the problem is significant. As always, Trainers should use their own judgement when applying this rubric in individual cases.

Positive Content Negative Content
Uses Carpentries curriculum with only minor deviations Deviates significantly or does not use Carpentries curriculum
Places content in context and explains relevance/utility to learners Jumps into the content without context
Teaches content correctly Makes factual errors in content and does not correct
Positive Delivery Negative Delivery
Manually types out all their code Copies and pastes code from the lesson materials into their programming environment
Mirrors the learner’s environment (e.g. default terminal setup, simplified prompt) Uses shortcuts or tools that are unfamiliar/unavailable to learners
Uses appropriately sized fonts and windows Font or windows are too small
Explains all typing Types commands or troubleshoots errors without explaining
Uses mistakes/typos as opportunities for learning Ignores or dismisses mistakes/typos that they make
Uses notes on paper/tablet Displays lesson materials/notes on their screen
- Notifications show up on their screen
- Uses significant amounts of dismissive language (e.g. “just”, “easy”)
Speaks and types at an appropriate (slow enough) pace Speaks or types very quickly
Speaks clearly -
Appears focused and attentive to learners Appears significantly distracted by content or process of consulting notes

Trainers can also use the form below to take notes during the teaching demonstration.



Aspect Comments_____________________

Sticks to curriculum


Content Knowledge

Mirror learner’s environment

Font & window size

Explanation of typing

Embraces & uses mistakes

Use of notes on paper/tablet

Distraction-free screen




Demeanor & focus