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Instructor Training: Online

Apr 13-14, 2016

9:00 am - 4:30 pm

Trainers: to be announced.


Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry's mission is to help scientists and engineers get more research done in less time and with less pain by teaching them basic lab skills for scientific computing. This hands-on two-day workshop covers the basics of educational psychology and instructional design, and looks at how to use these ideas in both intensive workshops and regular classes. The workshop is a mix of lectures and hands-on lessons where you practice giving a short lesson using approaches learned and implement some of the teaching techniques which we will discuss. This is training for teaching, not technical training; you do not need any particular technical background, and we will not be teaching that. This workshop is based on the constantly revised and updated curriculum.

Who: The course is aimed at everyone who is interested in becoming a better teacher. In particular, this training is aimed at those who want to become Software and Data Carpentry instructors, run workshops and contribute to the Carpentry training materials. You don't currently have to be an instructor or a teacher to attend this workshop, but you do need to be willing and committed to becoming one and to improving your teaching techniques.

Where: Online. Get directions with OpenStreetMap or Google Maps.

Requirements: Participants should bring a laptop that is Internet connected and has a functioning browser. If you have it, a device for recording audio and video (mobile phones and laptops are OK) is useful as throughout the two days, we are going to record one another teaching in pairs or threes. It does not have to be high-quality, but it should be good enough that you can understand what someone is saying.

Please also read the Preparation section below. You will also receive some further information before the workshop so please check your email.

All participants are also required to abide by Software Carpentry's Code of Conduct.

Contact: Please email for more information.

Day 1

09:00Welcome: key concepts and training goals
09:30Novice mind-set; formative vs. summative assessment
Exercise: multiple choice questions
10:45Lesson study; giving feedback
Exercise: video recorded teaching
11:45Morning wrap-up (minute cards)
13:00Concept maps
Exercise: draw and critique concept maps
14:30Learning objectives
Exercise: write and critique learning objectives
15:15Cognitive load
15:30Exercise: faded example
15:45Wrap-up (one up, one down)
Homework: read operations guide

Day 2

09:00Live coding demonstration
Exercise: live coding practice
10:30Review questions about operations guide
11:15Exercise: create workshop website
11:45Wrap-up (minute cards)
13:00Data Carpentry
13:30Motivators and demotivators
14:00Exercise: demotivational stories
14:30Coffee break
Exercise: formulate assessment plans
15:30Checkout procedure
15:45Wrap-up (one up, one down)


Please see the course materials website for course material.


Please read the following before the workshop begins:

  1. Success in Introductory Programming: What Works?
  2. Top 10 Myths About Teaching Computer Science
  3. The Science of Learning
  4. Software Carpentry: Lessons Learned

Please also go to the Software Carpentry lessons page and the Data Carpentry lessons page to have a look at what we currently teach. You are not expected to go through these in detail, but it would be helpful if you knew what the major topics are.