Summary and Setup

The Carpentries Collaborative Lesson Development Training
Welcome to The Carpentries Collaborative Lesson Development Training!

This is a training curriculum teaching good practices in lesson design and development, and open source collaboration skills, using The Carpentries Workbench. The curriculum was designed to be taught over three full days or six half-days. The target audience is Carpentries Instructors with an idea for a new lesson they would like to create, especially if that lesson is intended for short-format training (e.g. part or all of a two-day workshop).

We believe that lesson development is easier and more successful when it is a joint effort among collaborators, so the activities and examples used in this training are best suited to groups of trainees who want to collaborate on a lesson project. Efforts have been made to also cater to lesson developers working alone.

Learning Objectives

After attending this training, participants will be able to:

  • collaboratively develop and publish lessons using The Carpentries lesson infrastructure (aka The Carpentries Workbench): lesson template, GitHub, GitHub Pages, etc.
  • identify and characterise the target audience for a lesson.
  • define SMART learning objectives.
  • explain the pedagogical value of authentic tasks.
  • create exercises for formative assessment.
  • explain how considerations of cognitive load can influence the pacing, length, and organisation of a lesson.
  • configure and maintain accessible and usable lesson repositories using best practices, readily available for collaboration.
  • identify and correct accessibility issues in a Carpentries lesson.
  • update and improve lesson material guided by feedback and reflection from teaching.
  • review and provide constructive feedback on lessons.


Before joining Collaborative Lesson Development Training, participants should be able to:

  • write formatted text - bold and italic, headings, links, bullet point and numbered lists - with Markdown.
  • log into and create and edit files using the GitHub web interface.

See A Primer on Markdown and GitHub for resources to help learn these skills.

Before joining this training, participants should have a GitHub account. Detailed instructions on how to create a GitHub account can be found in the GitHub Docs pages