Feedback on Instructor Training

Apr 27, 2015 • Belinda Weaver

Feedback on Instructor Training

I really enjoyed this course, and I think the extended delivery actually kept me in – I would have been tempted to drop out of the 2-day course because of a lack of knowledge of the Software Carpentry lesson material - too much to take on in such a short time.

All I really brought to the course was a strong desire to teach skills to researchers – I actually knew very little about Unix, Git, Python, and so on, but I figured I could learn those (which I have begun to do). While not necessarily being a prerequisite, it might be good if new trainees had attended a bootcamp as a learner so they would have at least some basic knowledge of the lesson material.

The technical learning curve was pretty steep for me, but over each two-week period, I did have time to reflect on what we had covered and teach myself, so it was manageable.

The short course would suit people with coding skills but little teaching experience who need to understand better how to communicate with learners.

I think the long form course is good for people who lack knowledge of Software Carpentry’s lessons, but who are prepared to learn them as they go. It’s probably important to ask people specifically to agree to that before signing them up, or their training would be wasted.

I had done lot of teaching before signing up but I still learned a lot about how to teach from the course. The online sessions where Greg broke the book’s ideas down really helped me integrate them.

I appreciated Greg’s quick responses and the online help I got from Trevor King around Git. I also enjoyed the feedback on homework, and wish there could have been more. I think I read and commented on just about every single demotivation story. There is a huge amount of useful info in there about how NOT to teach. Might be a useful source for future instructor training?

I would have been happy to pay $40 (even with the A$ going south and making it cost more).

Thanks to all my fellow attendees - it was great to work with you.

###Two issues: 1. I agree with Karl Broman - it would have been good to have a timetable/course calendar to enable proper planning, and estimate the time and effort involved. The last session came as a surprise – I didn’t know it was the last session until it happened. A sad day …

  1. Working in different time zones is a challenge for everyone, but I almost missed a class because no one told me daylight saving was ending in Canada, which made the class time earlier. This could have been avoided by having the timetable online, where these kinds of changes could have been noted.