Teaching basic lab skills
for research computing

Instructor Curriculum Updated

Sixty-seven pull requests were successfully merged during the recent update of the Software and Data Carpentry instructor training curriculum. Most of these PRs were merged during the recent 24-hour Bug BBQ that ran over 3-4 August. More than 20 instructors and trainers were involved with the update. A few pull requests remain to be merged before the material is ready to be re-released. This should happen by the end of August.

The spadework for what needed fixing was established during an issue bonanza in July. Erin Becker then created a plan of work for people to tackle during the Bug BBQ. Some new material has been added, for example, Ted Laderas’s contribution on the importance of ‘grit’ - sticking with something even if it is a little bit challenging. Where material was duplicated, that has been addressed as well.

After the Bug BBQ, Christina Koch commented: ‘It’s really cool to see how having lots of different people contribute makes the whole thing so much better. We had a new contributor [Ted Laderas] who added great material on error framing / grit, Rayna [Harris] and Lex [Nederbragt] both added really helpful diagrams for Bloom’s taxonomy, there were good additions to the instructor notes, and all of the “little” changes ([fixing] typos, weird sentence structure, etc.) add up to make a BIG difference in the quality and professionalism of the material.’

She went on to say how important it was to ‘organize and tag issues so that there was a lot of good “low-hanging fruit” for people to bite off without getting too overwhelmed. Lots of small issues is definitely the way to go, and it’s important to resolve issues as they’re addressed via PRs so that it’s clear what still needs work.’

Christina would be interested to hear from other people about the pros and cons of using tags to label issues for hackathons and whether or not organisers made it clear to participants how to find issues using those tags.

The Data Carpentry chatroom provided a central place for people to network and ask questions during the Bug BBQ, and a few people hopped on zoom calls as well to chat face-to-face.

Our instructor training curriculum is crucial to growing our instructor community across both Software and Data Carpentry, so it is pleasing to see the material tidied up and, in some places, re-ordered to provide a more logical flow.

Thanks to everyone who came along and took part in the Bug BBQ. Your contributions were very much appreciated.

Dialogue & Discussion

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