Instructor Training - Victoria University of Wellington

April 23-24, 2018

10.00 am - 4.30 pm

Instructors: Murray Cadzow, Jonah Duckles, Aleksandra Pawlik

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.

The 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: Room TTR104, Te Toki a Rata Building, Gate 7, Kelburn Parade.. Get directions with OpenStreetMap or Google Maps.

Come up Kelburn Parade until you get to the roundabout and then come in the entrance on the left.

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. 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 please get in touch (using contact details below) and we will attempt to provide them.

Contact: Please email for more information.


If you are interested in being trained as a Software and/or Data Carpentry Instructor, please fill in the application form. In the field Group, please enter: NZ1.
Note: if you already registred your interest in attending Instructor Training in the past, (and you were based in New Zealand at the time), you don't need to fill in the registration form again.


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 and tentative schedule.

Monday, 23 April

10:00 Arrival and registration
10:30 How Learning Works: The Importance of Practice
10:50 How Learning Works: Expertise and Instruction
11:20 How Learning Works: Working Memory and Cognitive Load
12:00 Building Teaching Skill: Getting Feedback
12:30 Lunch
13:30 Creating a Positive Learning Environment: Motivation and Demotivation
14:40 Creating a Positive Learning Environment: Mindset
15:00 Afternoon Coffee
15:20 Building Teaching Skill: The Importance of Practice
17:00 Wrap-Up and Homework for Tomorrow
17:30 Finish

Tuesday, 24 April

09:00 Welcome Back
09:10 Building Teaching Skill: Lesson Study
10:05 Building Teaching Skill: Live Coding
10:30 Morning Coffee
11:00 Building Teaching Skill: Performance Revised
12:30 Lunch
13:30 The Carpentries: Workshop Introductions
14:10 The Carpentries: How We Operate
15:00 Afternoon Coffee
15:20 The Carpentries: Teaching Practices
16:00 Afternoon Wrap-Up
16:30 Finish

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