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Work Cycle Phobos Wraps Up

Here's what we accomplished

This post originally appeared on the Data Carpentry website

We’re wrapping up Cycle Phobos. Here’s what we accomplished over the past six weeks and what we’re still working on. To help with any of these projects, please get in touch!

Communication around Assessment

What did we do? Data Carpentry launched new pre- and post-workshop surveys. These surveys include skills-based questions and the ability for respondents to provide a unique identifier so that we can run paired analyses. We are in the process of phasing out the old surveys, and the new surveys have been added to Data Carpentry’s workshop template. An R-Markdown report of our old pre- and post-survey data was drafted during this work cycle. During the next work cycle, the report will be completed and the data archived for our website.

Additionally, during this work cycle, Kari Jordan completed her analysis of Software Carpentry’s post-workshop surveys. Check out the blog post for more details about this report and the corresponding repo. Jonah Duckles plans to present the results of this report to the 13th IEEE International Conference on eScience in Auckland, NZ, this October.

Lastly, the Carpentries’ long-term assessment report has been posted on GitHub. During the next work cycle, Kari will lead a small team who will write a formal paper about the results of these analyses.

How can you help? If you are interested in getting involved with our assessment efforts, you’re invited to join the virtual assessment network Google group.

Data Carpentry Genomics Lesson Release

What did we do? To ready the Data Carpentry Genomics lesson for release, we put out a call and were overwhelmed with volunteers. To plan the work, we created guidelines for both lesson maintainers and the lesson advisory committee. Then, to start the work, we ran a mini bug BBQ on the lessons at the recent UC Davis instructor training event. The Genomics lessons are now all in the new workshop template, which involved combining some lessons (and retiring others) to create a coherent curriculum. We now have a Genomics workshop page that links to the appropriate lessons.

How can you help? We welcome feedback on the changes made. We encourage instructors to teach the lesson and report back on how it went. We welcome further changes and suggestions for improvement.

Recruit New Trainers

What did we do? To help meet the ever-growing demand for instructor training, we put out a call for new trainers. From the 39 applications we received, 15 new trainees were accepted. They began their eight-week ‘Train the Trainer’ program in early July and should finish soon. Thanks to the Trainers who helped design the application form and assisted with candidate selection.

How can you help? We want to keep building our Trainer group. We hope to open a new round of applications sometime between September and December this year. When the call goes out, please help us spread the word. If you are already an instructor, consider becoming a Trainer.

Open Instructor Training

What did we do? To try to manage our large backlog of instructor training applicants, we planned four open training events to run through July and August. This will help 82 new trainees get their instructor badges. The four events cover the United States (both western and eastern time zones), Europe and Africa. Despite these big numbers, a backlog still remains. If you are still waiting to train, we have not forgotten you! We hope to run more open training, although these events need to be balanced by the needs of partners and potential partner sites for training. We also have a finite number of Trainers, though numbers are increasing.

How can you help? We always have more applicants than we can find places for. Accordingly, we have developed a scoring rubric to help us select candidates. If you are interested in helping us select candidates for the next rounds, please get in touch.

Instructor Training Curriculum lesson release

What did we do? A working group of trainers and instructors met to plan the August 10 release of the Software and Data Carpentry Instructor Training curriculum. To ready the materials for the release, an Issue Bonanza was held on 13/14 July to identify bugs, issues and broken links. The bonanza yielded a range of issues to be fixed. These have now been assembled into a plan of work, which will be addressed by a Bug BBQ on 3/4 August.

How can you help? Join us for the Bug BBQ. Help is welcome from interested instructors, trainers and supporters. You don’t have to commit a huge block of time (though you can if you want to). All help is appreciated.

Our next cycle - Cycle Ganymede - July 31st through September 22nd

Stay tuned for an announcement of what’s coming up! As always, if there’s something you’re excited about and would like to see, post your idea to our Conversations repo or get in touch.

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