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Compute Canada

May 11-12, 2016

9:00 am - 4:30 pm

Instructors: Greg Wilson, Neal Davis


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: Rm 113/114, Claude Bissell Bldg., 140 St. George St., Toronto. 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

09:00 Welcome and introductions
09:30 Overview: key concepts and training goals
10:00 Formative vs. summative assessment
10:30 Coffee break
11:00 Teaching as performance art
12:00 Lunch break
13:00 Concept maps
14:00 Coffee break
14:15 Teaching as a performance art (cont.)
15:00 Motivation and demotivation.
15:45 Wrap-up
16:00 Close

Day 2

09:00 Live coding and active learning
10:15 Coffee break
11:00 Setting up a workshop
12:00 Lunch break
13:00 Software and Data Carpentry organizations
14:30 Coffee break
14:45 Lesson objectives
15:15 Open discussion and next steps
15:45 Wrap-up
16:00 Close

Please note that we have a table for 24 reserved at Bocca Restaurant, 26 Baldwin St., for 6:30 pm on Wednesday, May 11.

We will use this Etherpad for chatting, taking notes, and sharing URLs and bits of code.


See this website for our materials.


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.