What is Carpentries instructor training?

The Carpentries instructor training programme was developed by the Carpentries - a nonprofit organization that teaches coding and data management skills to researchers through instructional workshops. Carpentries workshops are renowned for their quality instructors, all of whom attend instructor training.  Giving people in New Zealand's research sector the opportunity to attend instructor training is a key part of NeSI's overall training strategy.

Learning objectives

The two-day class has the following overall goals:

✔Introduce you to evidence-based best practices of teaching.
✔Teach you how to create a positive environment for learners at your workshops.
✔Provide opportunities for you to practice and build your teaching skills.
✔Help you become integrated into the Carpentries community.
✔Prepare you to use these teaching skills in teaching Carpentries workshops.

This class does NOT cover:

❌How to program in R or Python, use Git or SQL, or any of the other topics taught in Software Carpentry, Data Carpentry, or Library Carpentry workshops.
❌How to create your own lessons from scratch (although you will have a good start on the principles behind that sort of work if you are inspired to learn more).

The purpose of Carpentries instructor training is to teach instructional pedagogy as well as the practicalities of teaching a Carpentries workshop. If you want to know more about the content of Carpentries workshops please visit the Carpentries website.

Format and material

The full Carpentries instructor training curriculum can be found online at https://carpentries.github.io/instructor-training/

In total there is about 16 contact hours (2 days of content) which may be broken up into multiple sessions.

The two common formats within NZ are:

Online - The instructor training material is delivered remotely over multiple sessions (each 2-4 hours long) using Zoom.

In-person - Instructors and attendees co-locate at a venue (usually a member organisation hosts) and the material is taught in person over two days.

Both workshop formats cover the same material.

When do instructor training events happen in NZ?

The Carpentries is a global organisation and instructor training is run across many different locations and timezones.

There are typically two events per year that are coordinated specifically for people based in NZ - one in Autumn and one in Spring. These events are coordinated and run by a group of instructor trainers based in New Zealand in collaboration with The Carpentries. These events are either in-person or online.

Because NZ is a small country and has very specific timezone requirements, we try to prioritise NZ-based attendees at these two events (instead of, for instance, sending NZ-based instructor trainees to online workshops that are in US or European time zones). NZ events are scheduled and formatted in consulatation with the member organisations to best meet their needs.

Who can apply to become an instructor

There are no pre-requisites to apply for instructor training. We encourage anyone who is interested to apply! That being said people who plan on delivering Carpentries workshops will likely be given priority access to this training.

How you can apply to become an instructor if you are in NZ

Anyone can apply for instructor training through The Carpentries “open application” process which provides a limited number of scholarships to attend an online instructor training. You may also be able to request a seat at instructor training from your institution if your institution has a Carpentries membership. See more information below.

1. Apply via open application

You can apply directly to the Carpentries to attend instructor training at any time. If the Carpentries accepts your application you will be given a code that will allow you to register for an upcoming instructor training event that suits your schedule. If you want to apply through the open application process, please read the details and fill in the form found at https://carpentries.org/become-instructor/

Open applications for instructor training are reviewed on a rolling basis. There are no specific prerequisites for this training, but participants will benefit from having attended a Data Carpentry, Software Carpentry, or Library Carpentry workshop either as a learner or helper so that they are familiar with our teaching techniques and the style of our workshops.

In particular, participants are not required to have any specific programming skills (though they should know enough about the subjects of one or more of our lessons to be able to teach them).

2. Request a seat from your institution (if your institution is a Carpentries member organisation)

As of 2021, 3 institutions in New Zealand have Carpentries memberships that allow them to send a certain number of people per year to Carpentries instructor training (click here for more information about memberships https://carpentries.org/membership/). These institutions include:

  • Genomics Aotearoa - contact Tyler McInnes or Mik Black,
  • The Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR)- contact Janet Stacey or Richard Dean
  • New Zealand eScience Infrastructure (NeSI)* - contact Nisha Ghatak

*It is important to note that most of NeSI’s seats are gifted to people within the NZ eResearch sector as part of their strategy to raise digital skills capability within NZ. Generally, people affiliated with Universities or Crown Research Institutions within New Zealand may be eligible to receive one of NeSI’s instructor training seats.

How do NZ member organisations select who receives an instructor training seat?

The selection process for those people receiving a seat at instructor training from a Carpentries member organisation is entirely up to the member organisation itself. That being said, member organisations tend to prioritise applicants who are keen to actively contribute to the community and who can enhance the community with their diverse perspectives.

All Carpentries members must adhere to the Carpentries code of conduct. Discrimination based on background or identity is never tolerated. See more information on the code of conduct below.

Code of Conduct

The Carpentries is dedicated to providing a welcoming and supportive environment for all people, regardless of background or identity. By participating in this community, participants accept to abide by The Carpentries’ Code of Conduct and accept the procedures by which any Code of Conduct incidents are resolved. Any form of behaviour to exclude, intimidate, or cause discomfort is a violation of the Code of Conduct. In order to foster a positive and professional learning environment we encourage the following kinds of behaviours in all platforms and events:

  • Use welcoming and inclusive language
  • Be respectful of different viewpoints and experiences
  • Gracefully accept constructive criticism
  • Focus on what is best for the community
  • Show courtesy and respect towards other community members

Click here to learn more about the Carpentries code of conduct


Why would I want to attend instructor training?

If you find yourself teaching colleagues or students about coding best practices, data management, version control, or other foundational skills you know this can be tricky and time-consuming. That is because teaching is a skill! By attending instructor training you get the chance to learn new teaching techniques and practice teaching via live coding.

You will leave the training feeling more confident about teaching in a workshop environment. You will also have the opportunity to become add ‘Certified Carpentries Instructor’ to your CV and will be part of a global community of instructors that you can draw on for support.

How much does instructor training cost attendees?

Generally, it is free to attend instructor training.

What is a Carpentries member organisation and how can my organisation become one?

A Member Organisation is an organisation that has made a commitment to the growth and spread of The Carpentries. Members receive priority access to Instructor Training and guidance with capacity building at their organisation.

The Carpentries offers several levels of Memberships based on training activities expected annually. For more information about the costs and benefits of membership, visit https://carpentries.org/membership/

How many instructor training seats do member organisations get each year?

This depends on what level of membership your organisation purchases. Please visit https://carpentries.org/membership/ for more information.

Have other questions? please email admin-nz@carpentries.org