Using the Lesson Infrastructure

Last updated on 2023-08-21 | Edit this page



  • What do lesson developers need to be able to do with The Carpentries lesson infrastructure?
  • What are some common points of confusion for lesson developers working with the infrastructure?


By the end of this session, participants should be able to…

  • initialise and configure a new lesson website from a template repository.
  • edit the (R) Markdown source file of an episode.
  • help trainees to troubleshoot their issues with lesson setup and authoring.

Reading List & Homework

  • CLDT episode: The Carpentries Workbench
    • Please follow the steps in the episode, creating and configuring a new lesson repository, while you read through the content.
    • Note down any problems you encounter along the way, no matter whether they were minor (i.e. slowed you down or confused you temporarily, but did not stop you from progressing) or major (i.e. you had to give up or ask for help).

Discussion Questions

  • The reading/homework task for this week asked you to read through and follow the steps in the Carpentries Workbench episode of the CLDT curriculum.
    • Were you able to do this?
    • If you got stuck at any point while following those steps:
      • where did you get stuck?
      • were you able to find a solution to your problem and continue? if so, what did you do to find the solution?
  • Although some experience of GitHub is specified as a prerequisite for CLDT, we can expect some trainees to arrive with little familiarity or confidence with the platform and the terminology associated with Git and GitHub. Furthermore, this may be the first time trainees have encountered a GitHub Pages project.
    • What “sticking points” do you anticipate among trainees learning to use the infrastructure to build a lesson website?
  • What strategies could Trainers/The Carpentries adopt to support trainees as they learn these skills
    • before the training?
    • during training?
    • after training?

Useful Lesson Infrastructure Resources

Homework/Reading for Next Week

Key Points

  • Lesson developers will initialise a new lesson from a template repository, which they will then need to configure and start adding episodes to.
  • Developers will often need some support with the first stages of lesson setup, especially if they are not yet familiar with GitHub and/or Markdown.