Training Logistics

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



  • What is the format and schedule of Collaborative Lesson Development Training?
  • What pathways and support is available for lessons in The Carpentries?
  • What do lesson developers need to do to comple the training and get certified?


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

  • describe the lesson life cycle and the pathways a lesson can follow in The Carpentries community.
  • prepare to teach Collaborative Lesson Development Training.

Reading List

Structure of Collaborative Lesson Development Training

Collaborative Lesson Development Training is taught in two parts, with an extended break in between. Trainees are asked to teach a “trial run” during this break: a mini-workshop where they teach a part of the lesson they are developing and gather feedback (directly and indirectly) about how effective their content is for teaching the objective skills.

A graphical representation of the schedule and structure of collaborative lesson development training.
Collaborative Lesson Development Training is designed to be taught over six half days, with an extended break between part 1 (half days 1-4) and part 2 (half days 5-6) If taught in-person, the schedule could be adjusted to teaching part 1 in 2 full days and following up with part 2 in 1 full day. The training in part 1 focusses on good practices in lesson design and development, and the concepts and skills needed to build a lesson website with The Carpentries lesson infrastructure. Between part 1 and part 2 the participants schedule a session to trail parts of their lesson with a real (or mock) audience and collect feedback. Part 2 of the training begins with a reflective discussion of the trial runs to encourage participants to think about lesson design and iterative development, before shifting focus to the skills required for effective collaboration on open source projects.

To make scheduling easier, the parts of the training will be “decoupled” i.e. all groups of trainees attending the first part of the training will not be required to also join the second part together. Groups of trainees collaborating on a lesson will still be required to attend each part together.

diagram showing five groups of collaborators distributed across two different events teaching part 1 of Collaborative Lesson Development Training, with the same groups distributed differently across two part 2 training events.
Groups of trainees collaborating on the same lesson will be able to choose which second part to attend, without needing to join the same session as the other groups they attended the first part with.

Scheduling trainings

At time of writing, details of the system and processes we will use to schedule CLDT events have not been finalised. Whatever the system looks like in the end, The Carpentries will try to schedule pairs of Trainers to teach parts 1 and 2 together, e.g. Trainer A teaches parts 1 & 2 alongside Trainer B, but this will depend on availability and sometimes we may need to mix up Trainers into different combinations e.g. Trainer A teaches part 1 with Trainer B, and part 2 with Trainer C.

We will also aim to match the number of part 1 and part 2 events for any given timezone, aligning the gaps between parts to give the cohorts sufficient time to schedule and complete their Trial Runs. Trainees will only be able to sign up to join a part 2 event after registering their Trial Run. (Although they can register the Trial Run in advance i.e. it will not need to have happened yet).

Like the system for scheduling trainings, the system/process for Trial Run registration is still under development. In the training pilots, we used a relatively simple web form but we may want to incorporate this data collection into AMY, to integrate it into the workflows for tracking trainee progress centrally.

What do Trainees require for certification?

For a trainee to receive their Lesson Developer certificate, they will be required to:

  1. participate in both parts of Collaborative Lesson Development Training.
  2. teach a trial run of part of their lesson, and register that trial run with The Carpentries.

Discussion Questions

  • This training is about lesson design and development skills, not teaching skills. How important do you think it is that every member of a collaborative group should have to teach during their trial run - as opposed to, say, one member teaching all of the groups’ prepared episodes?
  • What questions do you have about how lesson development is done in The Carpentries community? E.g. The Carpentries Incubator, The Carpentries Lab, the lesson life cycle, the individual lesson programs of The Carpentries, Curriculum Advisors, Maintainers, and how all of these things fit together?
  • What questions do you have about how Collaborative Lesson Development Training will be administered?
  • How confident are you feeling about teaching the training for the first time? What support do you need to feel confident in teaching the training?

Homework: Trainer Checkout

Do the following to complete your Trainer certification:

  1. Submit a pull request to fix an issue on the Collaborative Lesson Development Training curriculum. (Ideally, one of the issues that need to be addressed for the beta release of the curriculum.)
    • Schedule a call with one of the facilitators if you would like help with this or if you have any follow-up questions.
  2. Teach Collaborative Lesson Development Training alongside an experienced Trainer.

Optional reflection exercise

Take some time to reflect on everything you have read and discussed during this training, and make some notes for yourself that will help you prepare to teach the CLDT curriculum. You can do this however you please, but some suggested activities are:

  • Draw concept maps of the key topics covered in the curriculum. For example, you could try to draw a concept map for one (or all!) of the three main themes of the training: lesson design & development, lesson infrastructure, and collaboration skills.
  • The Instructor Training curriculum contains a list of Top Ten Tips for Participatory Live Coding. Try to prepare a similar list of tips for collaborative lesson development, summarising what you judge to be the most important practices/advice provided in the curriculum. (Your list does not have to contain exactly ten items!)
  • Connecting the concepts and practices taught in the CLDT curriculum with your own experience of collaboration and lesson/curriculum design and development, make notes about anecdotes and examples you could share when delivering the training.

Although these activities are primarily intended to be for yourself, the notes you take could also be helpful resources for others. If you are comfortable doing so, why not share what with the others in your cohort, or even open a pull request to add it to the curriculum repository?

Key Points

  • Collaborative Lesson Development Training is designed to be taught in two parts, with an extended break in between.
  • The Carpentries Incubator is a space for community development of lessons. Lessons developed in the Incubator can be submitted for open peer review and acceptance to The Carpentries Lab, and/or adoption as a new official lesson one of The Carpentries lesson programs.
  • To complete certification, trainees must participate in both parts of the training and perform a trial run of at least some of their lesson during the break.