As of May 2017, the Trainers group adopted a
Trainer Agreement outlining Trainer duties. Only active
Trainers are voting members of the Trainer community. An inactive Trainer may
re-activate their Trainer status at any time by resuming Trainer activities.
The Trainers group meets regularly. We have two types of meetings - business meetings, focused on
discussing curricular and policy changes, and discussion meetings, where we share experiences and
get advice about running instructor training events. Upcoming meetings are listed on our Etherpad
and on the Community Calendar. If you are not a Trainer, but are interested in joining a meeting,
please contact Erin Becker (firstname.lastname@example.org). Minutes for these meetings are available.
IV. Signing up to Teach an Instructor Training Event
The Program Manager will send an email to the Trainers list asking all Trainers to fill in their calendar for the upcoming time period. Please sign up for as many days as you are available and hold those dates in your calendar until the schedule is confirmed.
The Program Manager will confirm events with individual Trainers, at which point you are free to release all other dates on your calendar.
Member sites will sign up for available dates. The Program Manager will let you know which sites you will be teaching as they sign up.
If no member site signs up one month before the event, the event will become an open instructor training or be cancelled, depending on need.
For the months of…
Trainers will be asked for their availability on…
Trainers will be asked to fill out their availability by….
A confirmed calendar will be released by….
V. Running an Instructor Training Event (General)
Four weeks before the event
Contact your co-Trainer(s) and decide who will teach what.
Have participants screen share with their breakout room during the live coding exercises.
For exercise to set up a workshop website, put participants in breakout rooms and have one person screen share while the others help guide them verbally.
VII. Zoom Manual (Online Trainings)
Online Carpentry Instructor Training events are held on Zoom. You can set up a personal Zoom
account for yourself for free. This personal account will be able to attend the training event
(or any other online Carpentry event), but will not be able to act as host.
About a week before your event, you will be given login credentials for a Carpentry account.
This account will be the host for the event and will have extra privileges including the
ability to mute participants and assign participants into breakout rooms. Decide ahead of time with your co-Trainer(s) who will log-in with these credentials. The host
can transfer host privileges to other participants, so you will be able to trade host status
back and forth with your co-Trainers during the event.
All Carpentry online events are set-up such that participants can enter the room without the
host being present. If you ever get an error message saying you can’t join the room because
you’re not the host, please contact Carpentry staff immediately.
“Mute” is in the lower left. To mute other participants, the host can go to “Manage Participants”, hover over a participant’s name, and click “mute”.
When the room host clicks “End Meeting”, a dialogue box appears with three options: “Cancel”, “Leave Meeting” and “End Meeting for All”. Be careful not to end the meeting if you are simply leaving the room temporarily while your co-Trainer teaches.
Only the host has the ability to create “Breakout rooms”. The button for this is on the lower left. Breakout rooms can be assigned automatically. By default, participants will be assigned to the same groups each time breakout rooms are used. You can change participants’ assignments manually if desired.
The host can move between breakout rooms and can send messages to all rooms simultaneously.
Make sure that whomever is actively teaching always has host privileges. When you take turns instructing, remember to hand-off host privileges during the change-over.
“Gallery view” in the upper right toggles the display to show more participants’ videos.
“Share screen” is at the bottom middle of the screen. To end “share screen”, click the red button that will appear at the top middle of the screen when you are in screen sharing mode.
When you screen share, you have the option to share individual apps or your entire desktop. The default is the full desktop.
The Zoom chat is not stable (it is not saved across sessions or after going into breakout rooms). We highly recommend using the Etherpad or Google Doc chat instead. For those who want to save the chat, they do that using the “More” option in the chat window, which offers “Save chat”. Choosing this will save the chat to a local text file on the person’s computer.
During breaks, learners will often turn off their video and wait for your audio cue to re-activate. This makes it look like no one is back from break, but just saying ‘hello’ will generally get a bunch of people to come back on video quickly.
When several attendees are in the same room (member trainings): it is helpful to have every participant log in separately so that you can see names and faces and they can interact by waving or using the chat. However, it is important that only one microphone and speaker should be active in the room at one time or feedback and noise will be a problem. When creating breakouts, you can either leave these people in the main room or shuffle people around to create a room just for them. Either way, ask them to leave a mic on so you can listen in.
Attendees might like to have a separate room (without Trainers) to network in over lunch or other breaks. Be prepared to assign that room and then close it to restart the main session.
A day or two before the demo, send a reminder email, see the template (below).
For each trainee, pick a suitable starting point in the lesson that they have chosen. For most lessons, any episode will be suitable. There are a few exceptions - listed below. Do not have them start in the middle of an episode. Note that some lessons (e.g., the Software Carpentry R lesson using inflammation data) have supplementary episodes. Do not pick from those.
Once everyone is in the call (audio and video working), remind them of the Code of Conduct, explain the procedure for the demo session, and remind them that trainees have to be able to teach from any episode from their chosen lesson. Ask whether anyone has only prepared for 5 minutes from one episode instead of the entire lesson, and if so, suggest strongly they reschedule.
Ask those not presenting to mute their microphone, and tell them they are to give feedback in the Etherpad using the same positive-vs-negative and content-vs-presentation rubric used in training.
Hand out the assignment to the first trainee, give them a bit of time to set up the demo (they may have to import some packages, load some data, move to a certain folder etc).
Ask them to share their screen using the “Share Screen” lower menu in Zoom.
Once they are ready, give them a 3-2-1 countdown to start.
Use a countdown timer which makes a noise once their 5 minutes are up (e.g., your phone), or just say “bong” really loudly at the end of their time.
After the five minute timer, allow them to finish their sentence and tell them time’s up.
According to http://pad.software-carpentry.org/teaching-demos you have signed up to give an online teaching demo on [date] at [time] (See this link for your local time: [timeanddate.com link]). I will be the Instructor Trainer running the session.
I wanted to make it very clear that I may give you any segment of the lesson you prepared to teach, so you must be ready to teach any part of your chosen lesson. Some people prepare to teach 5 minutes from a particular section and nothing else, and these often have to reschedule as they seldom are assigned the section they have prepared for. A lesson corresponds to a single line in the lesson tables (https://software-carpentry.org/lessons/ and http://www.datacarpentry.org/lessons/) and a single repository on GitHub. Some lessons have supplementary modules, but you do not need to be prepared to teach the supplementary modules for your teaching demonstration.
For example, if you have chosen The Unix Shell, I may assign you any episode listed at http://swcarpentry.github.io/shell-novice/.
Please visit the Etherpad a little while before the demo starts, I will post a link there to another Etherpad we will be using for this demo.
See you at the demo session,
[ name ]
Trainee didn’t pass teaching demo
Hi [ name ],
Thank you for doing a teaching demonstration. While you demonstrated good command of the
subject material, I’ve determined not to pass you based on [ reason ] .
[ Explanation of this reason. ] We are excited about having you as a Carpentry instructor and
I would be happy to see you do another teaching demonstration [ making these changes ] to
certify as an instructor.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
[ name ]
Trainee did pass teaching demo
Hi [ name ],
I’m happy to tell you that you have passed your teaching demonstration! You demonstrated good
command of the subject material and a solid understanding of Carpentry teaching methods. We
are excited about having you as a Carpentry instructor. I’ve forward this information to our
staff. If this was the last stage in your instructor training checkout, you should get your
official Carpentry Instructor certificate in about a week, along with instructions for signing
up to teach workshops. If you still have steps remaining in your checkout, please be sure to
complete them before your deadline. If you have any questions, please email
Welcome to the Carpentry Instructor community!
[ name ]
Email after training event
Thank you for participating in our Carpentry Instructor training workshop. We really enjoyed
having you involved and getting to know you a bit. You are now well on your way towards
becoming a certified Carpentry instructor!
If you did not get a chance to complete the post-workshop survey, please take a moment to do so here. We actively use these data to improve our workshops for future learners.
In order to finish your certification, please finish the tasks listed on the checkout checklist by the
90-day deadline. If you have any questions about the checkout process, please contact email@example.com.
Looking forward to having you as a Carpentry Instructor!
[ name ]
Bilingual Demo Session Reminder Email
Thanks for signing up to complete your “Teaching Demo” as part of the instructor certification process. We will meet tomorrow at Insert Time in a Zoom meeting room. Please read this short bi-lingual description of How Teaching Demo session works. Disclaimer: I understand Spanish better than I speak it. So, I will talk in Spanish as much as I can, but I will most likely give feedback about your teaching in English.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
Gracias por inscribirte para completar tu “Demostración de enseñanza” como parte del proceso de certificación para instructores. Nos reuniremos mañana Insert Timeaquí. Por favor, lee ésta breve descripción bilingüe de cómo funciona la sesión de demostración de enseñanza aquí. Aviso: Entiendo el español mejor de lo que hablo. Por lo tanto, voy a hablar en español un poco, pero es muy probable que les dé comentarios sobre su enseñanza en Inglés.
Por favor, hágamelo saber si tiene alguna pregunta o inquietud.