IDC meetings 8/19/2019: Findings from community discussion surveys

Let's talk about community discussions

IDC Project: Findings from the Community discussion surveys

The Instructor Development Committee has been working hard on their first project for the year: looking at the data from the community discussion host and participants surveys. We will be discussing our findings at the IDC meetings on 08-19-2019. In advance of the meeting, we’d like to give you the highlights of our findings:

Main Findings:

Hosts and co-hosts/notetakers

  • In 2019, 21 Carpentries community members have hosted discussion sessions.
  • A little over half of these (12) are volunteer. The others are Carpentries staff.
  • On average, we have 12 discussions per month, and 7 unique hosts per month. That means each host has to take 1-2 sessions per month.
  • Only about half of the discussion sessions have notetakers
  • Over three quarters of attendees are attending the sessions for pre-post debriefs or instructor checkout


  • The vast majority of sessions have more than 10 attendees
  • The number of community members attending for instructor checkout is greater than all other purposes by a factor 50.
  • Most attend Pre- and Post-Workshop Discussions, but the satisfaction is greatest for the Themed Discussions.
  • The discussion host ratings are consistently high
  • Most attendees would recommend these sessions to others


Overall, the data indicates that our discussion sessions are well attended, which is a good thing! However, only half of the sessions have notetakers, which can make hosting a session with 10+ people difficult. The satisfaction and host ratings are also positive. But, many sessions only have attendees who are doing checkout. While it leaves more time for questions about the checkout process, the attendees do not benefit from hearing from an experienced instructor about a real workshop. Thus, we have questions for the community:

Questions for the community:

  • How do we recruit more hosts?
  • How do we encourage pre-post workshop debriefs?
  • How can we improve the discussion session form?

We’ll also talk about proposed changes to these surveys to make the data easier to analyze and help users interpret the forms better at the meeting.

Please sign up here if you plan on attending!

  • The IDC

Dialogue & Discussion

Comments must follow our Code of Conduct.

Edit this page on Github