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Carpentries instructor training august 2023
14 September, 2023

Empowering librarians with Carpentries Instructor skills

On 22-25 August 2023, AARNet's Training and Engagement Lead, Dr Sara King, alongside Pawsey Education & Training Manager Ann Backhaus hosted a Carpentries Instructor Training online workshop.

In late August, certified Carpentries Instructor Trainers from AARNet and Pawsey led an enthusiastic cohort of participants through The Carpentries Instructor Training. The Carpentries is an international organisation that teaches foundational coding and data science skills to researchers worldwide. The training workshop prepared participants to be Carpentries Instructors across data, software and library skills curricula.

The workshop was held online over several days, with participants from universities in Queensland, Western Australia and the USA. Through hands-on instruction, participants were empowered to learn the basics of educational psychology, evidence-based classroom practices, how to apply both to teaching workshops for The Carpentries and build their confidence so that they can teach researchers to work with data and code.

Training co-host and AARNet Training and Engagement Lead Dr Sara King said one of the Carpentries’ core values is to ‘empower one another’ and this is achieved through creating a training environment that is safe and inclusive.

“Workshop participants not only see this in action but take an active part in adopting these practices. They can see first hand how an environment that is conducive to learning has a real impact on their own experience, and are then empowered to use these methods in their teaching in the future,” she said

Training co-host and Pawsey Education & Training Manager Ann Backhaus is passionate about teaching and learning and said having the opportunity to teach and learn from participants is what makes the Carpentries workshops so rewarding.

"In this session, like others, I walked away having learned at least one new thing each day - a new teaching technique or strategy - and I feel refreshed and inspired from the many engaging discussions we had," she said.

What attendees had to say

Canaan Perry, Librarian (Student Learning), Library Engagement and Experience from University of Western Australia (UWA), said, “I was initially daunted by the prospect of teaching computational skills, but found the pedagogical insights from The Carpentries Instructor Training to be truly invaluable as a Student Learning Librarian. The enthusiasm exhibited by the Instructors while discussing the Carpentries community was incredibly inspiring. Going forward, my aim is to enhance my presentation and instructional abilities, enabling me to provide researchers, colleagues, and students with a better comprehension of computational tools that can significantly benefit their research endeavours and workflows.”

Gina Mills, Information Specialist (Research Publications & Data Services) from UWA, said, “Initially, I was rather apprehensive about the idea of delving into live coding instruction, given that I don't have a background in teaching or coding. However, participating in the Carpentries Instructor Training really boosted my confidence and proficiency in live coding. The Instructors provided a welcoming and safe environment to practise new skills. As an Information Specialist, I frequently showcase data manipulation methods, and this training has provided me with essential pedagogical strategies to deliver impactful sessions and engage learners.”

About The Carpentries workshops

The workshop was organised by The Carpentries and was run primarily for the Carpentries Partnership for Australia, which currently includes 13 universities and eResearch organisations across the country. The partnership is one of the largest in the world and gives research institutions of all sizes in Australia access to Instructor Training for The Carpentries at a reduced rate.

More information about workshops

Read more about The Carpentries community and workshops:

I Can’t Believe I Survived Without It: Learning Data and Software Skills with The Carpentries