Teaching basic lab skills
for research computing

Christmas Instructor Discussion

On December 20th we hosted our two last Instructor Discussion Session from 2016. We started 2016 with Post-workshop Instructor Debriefing Sessions that run twice (in different times) every two weeks and during the year we change its name to reflect the modifications made to better accomodate their inclusion on the Instructor Training pipeline as well as the increase of offers (twice every week). The Steering Committee is very grateful for all the work from the Mentoring Subcommittee as well all Instructor Discussion Session hosts without help would be impossible to provide all the hours of sharing experience among members of our community.

The morning session on December 20th was hosted by me and Marian Schmidt. Markus Ankenbrand and Felipe Ferreira Bocca shared with us the experience of teaching, respectively, at the University of Würzburg, Germany and the University of Campinas, Brazil. Three future instructors attended from Europe and participated on a conversation about our R lesson.

One of our future instructors asked us for advices of how to engage advanced learners who attended the workshop. This is, probably, one of the top five advice requests that we receive on the Instructor Discussion Session and, this time, we was gifted with the attendance of Greg Wilson who is the best person to help that future instructor. Shortly, because is impossible to put on paper any conversation that you have with Greg since he is always inspiring you to climb higher, Greg recommended to invite advanced instructors to help their peers on the current workshop and be a co-instructor on the next one. The “watch one, do one, teach one” phylosoph, from Paulo Freire, is what bring us, Software Carpentry, here and we are counting with your help to push it forward.

The night session on December 20th was hosted by Kate Hertweck and me. Unlike the morning session, we didn’t have any instructor for debriefing but we have seven motivated future instructors from Europe and the United States. Kate marvellous leaded that session to answer questions about workshop organisation, instructor training checkout procedure, and our lessons.

On both sessions we had questions about the challenges on our lessons. We have more challenges than any instructor can conver during the average duration of the workshop. Instructors should select the challenges they will use on the worksop based on the information they have about their learners. If you think that we should drop or replace any challenge, please create a pull request on GitHub or email us.

We will return with the Instructor Discussion Sessions in 2017 after a short Christmas and New Year break. If you are looking for the next Instructor Discussion Session to complete your Instructor Training, keep a eye on this blog at the begin of 2017. We will be looking to see you next year in one of the Instructor Discussion Session and for now enjoy the holly season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Dialogue & Discussion

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