Online Instructor Training

August 18-19, 2018

9:00 am - 4:30 pm EST

Instructors: Rayna Harris, Sue McClatchy, Greg Wilson, Alejandra Gonzalez-Beltran

Helpers: Malvika Sharan, Paula Andrea Martinez

General Information

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 Carpentry 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.

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.

This online 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.

Where: . 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 note that after this course is over, you will be asked to do three short follow-up exercises online in order to finish qualifying as an instructor: the details are available at If you have any questions about the workshop, the reading material, or anything else, please get in touch.

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

Accessibility: We are committed to making this workshop accessible to everybody.

Materials will be provided in advance of the workshop and large-print handouts are available if needed by notifying the organizers in advance. If we can help making learning easier for you (e.g. sign-language interpreters, lactation facilities) please please get in touch (using contact details below) and we will attempt to provide them.

Contact: Please email for more information.


Please read the following before the workshop begins:

  1. The Science of Learning

Please also read through one of the episodes below carefully, so that you can do some exercises based on it on the first day of the class.

Training Materials and Schedule

Please see this site for course material. Below is a tentative schedule.

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

Workshop agenda

Day 1 - Times in EST

09:00 Welcome - Sue McClatchy
09:15 The Importance of Practice - Sue McClatchy
10:20 Expertise and Instruction - Sue McClatchy
11:10 Morning Coffee
11:25 Lesson Study - Greg Wilson
12:15 Getting Feedback - Greg Wilson
12:35 Lunch
13:35 Motivation and Demotivation - Rayna Harris
14:40 Mindset - Rayna Harris
15:20 Afternoon Coffee
15:35 The Importance of Practice - Rayna Harris
16:15 Wrap-Up and Homework for Tomorrow - Rayna Harris
16:30 Finish

Day 2 - Times in EST

09:00 Welcome Back - Sue McClatchy
09:10 Working Memory and Cognitive Load - Sue McClatchy
10:05 Live Coding - Sue McClatchy
11:05 Morning Coffee
11:20 Performance Revised
12:00 Lunch
13:00 Workshop Introductions - Alejandra Gonzalez-Beltran
14:10 How The Carpentries Operate - Rayna Harris
15:15 Afternoon Coffee
15:30 Software and Data Carpentry Teaching Practices - Rayna Harris
16:00 Afternoon Wrap-Up - Rayna Harris
16:30 Finish