Software and Data Carpentry's "Instructor Training" Workshop

23-24 November 2015, 09:00-17:00

Atlas Rooms 1 and 2, Kilburn Building, School of Computer Science, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL

Workshop information

This 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 is a mix of lectures and hand-on lessons where you practice giving a short lesson using approaches learned.

This is training for teaching, not technical training; you do not need any particular technical background, and we will not be teaching that.

Register for the workshop via EventBrite.

Date and time: 23-24 November 2015, 09:00-17:00

Location: Atlas Rooms 1 and 2, Kilburn Building, School of Computer Science, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL. Get directions with OpenStreetMap or Google Maps.

Trainers: Greg Wilson, Karin Lagesen, Aleksandra Pawlik

Requirements: Participants should bring a laptop that is Internet connected and has a functioning browser. If you have it, a specialized device for recording audio and video (mobile phones and laptops are OK) - 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.

Also, make sure you read the Preparation section below.

We will use this Etherpad for chatting, taking and sharing notes, URLs and other useful bits.

Contact: Please email for more information.

Acknowledgement and support

This workshop is supported by ELIXIR-UK.


Day 1

09:00 Welcome and introductions
9:30 Overview: key concepts and training goals
10:00 Formative vs. summative assessment
10:30 Coffee break
11:00 Teaching as performance art
12:30 Lunch break
13:30 Discussion on the exercise on teaching as performance art
14:00 Concept maps
15:00 Coffee break
15:30 Faded examples
16:00 Reversed Instructional Design. Learning objectives.
16:15 Wrap-up
16:30 Close

Day 2

09:15 Live coding and active learning
10:00 Teaching as performance art - exercise 2
10:30 Coffee break
11:00 Homework and workshop operations
11:30 Motivation and demotivation
12:30 Lunch break
13:30 Alernative formative assessment
15:00 Coffee break
15:15 Overview of existing materials; how to contribute
16:00 Next steps
16:45 Wrap-up
17:00 Close


  1. Please read Porter et al's "Success in Introductory Programming: What Works?", which is a good recent summary of results specific to teaching programming, and Mark Guzdial's "Top 10 Myths About Teaching Computer Science", which is a nice overview of things that are not true, but are widely believed.
  2. Please also pick up a copy of "How Learning Works", which is the best summary going of research in education. It is full of useful insights, and a lot of how we teach is based on the findings it reports.
  3. Finally, please go to Software Carpentry's and Data Carpentry's lessons pages and browse the lessons to see what is currently taught in Software and Data Carpentry.
  4. If you are interested in doing more reading, Huston's "Teaching What You Don't Know" is a lot of fun - many will recognize themselves in these stories. Past participants have also enjoyed "Building a Better Teacher", which is a well-written look at why educational reforms in the past 50 years have mostly failed, and about what we should be doing instead.

Selected reference and training materials