Portland Library Carpentry Instructor Training

4-5 May, 2017

9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Instructors: Belinda Weaver, Tim Dennis

Helpers: John Chodacki, Juliane Schneider

General Information

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, to be held at the Eliot Center, is a mix of lectures and hands-on lessons where you practise 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 Library 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: Room A108, Eliot Center, 1011 SW 12th Avenue, Portland OR 97205. 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 https://swcarpentry.github.io/instructor-training/checkout/. 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. The workshop organisers have checked that:

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 get in touch and we will attempt to provide them.

Contact: Please mail b.weaver@uq.edu.au for more information.


Please read the following before the workshop begins:

  1. Success in Introductory Programming: What Works?
  2. 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.


Please see this site for course material.

Day 1

Day 1 09:00 Welcome
09:10 Introduction
09:40 Novices and Formative Assessment
10:40 Morning Break
10:55 Teaching as a Performance Art
11:55 Morning Wrap-Up
12:10 Lunch
13:10 Expertise and Memory
14:25 Afternoon Break
14:40 Performance Revised
15:25 Cognitive Load
16:05 Afternoon Wrap-Up
16:20 Finish

Day 2

Day 2 09:00 Live Coding
10:15 Morning Break
10:30 Carpentry Teaching Practices
11:30 Motivation and Demotivation
12:15 Morning Wrap-Up
12:30 Lunch
13:30 The Carpentries
14:00 Lessons and Objectives
15:00 Afternoon Break
15:15 Afternoon Wrap-Up
16:00 Finish