Instructor Training

Over the last hundred years, researchers have discovered an enormous amount about how people learn and how best to teach them. Unfortunately, much of that knowledge has not yet been translated into common classroom practice, while many myths about education have proven remarkably persistent.

This two-day class has two goals:

Please fill in this form if you wish to take part in this course. Priority is given to members of our partner organizations, but we run several open-enrolment classes each year as well.

The class will be hands-on throughout: short lessons will alternate with individual and group practical exercises, including practice teaching sessions. Those who complete the two full days and some short follow-up exercises online will be certified to teach Software Carpentry and/or Data Carpentry.

Software Carpentry has run variations on this course since 2012 for over 500 people, and the current material reflects the latest iteration of an ongoing process to refine what new instructors need to know. Feedback is welcome as an issue on the Github repository that hosts this site.

These materials are freely available under a Creative Commons license.


Setup Dowload files used on the lesson.
Day 1 09:00 Welcome Who is participating in this workshop and what do they know?
What will we cover (or not) in this workshop?
What prior knowledge do workshop participants have?
09:15 Novices and Formative Assessment How can we describe the difference in learning between a novice and competent practitioner?
10:15 Terms How can we describe teaching and learning how to teach?
What common vocabulary do we need to talk about teaching and learning?
10:30 Morning Coffee Break
10:45 Teaching as a Performance Art How do teachers improve?
11:45 Morning Wrap-Up What have we learned?
12:00 Lunch Break
13:00 Expertise and Memory How can we describe the difference in learning between a novice and expert?
How is memory a limiting factor in learning?
14:15 Afternoon Coffee Break
14:30 Performance Revised How does having a concept map change the way you teach?
15:15 Cognitive Load How does inquiry-based learning perform compared to guided learning?
What is cognitive load theory?
What is the split-attention effect, and how should it affect the design of teaching materials?
15:55 Afternoon Wrap-Up What have we learned?
16:15 Finish
Day 2 09:00 Live Coding How do we teach programming using live coding?
10:15 Morning Coffee Break
10:30 Carpentry Teaching Practices What teaching practices are common to Software and Data Carpentry?
11:00 Motivation and Demotivation What motivates and demotivates learners and instructors?
11:55 Morning Wrap-Up What have we learned?
12:00 Lunch Break
13:00 Lessons and Objectives How can I design more effective lessons?
What lessons do Software and Data Carpentry currently contain?
14:00 Afternoon Coffee Break
14:15 The Carpentries How are Software and Data Carpentry organized and run?
15:15 Afternoon Wrap-Up What have we learned?
What do we do next?
16:00 Finish

The actual schedule may vary slightly depending on the topics and exercises chosen by the instructor.