RStudio's Instructor Training Program

How Rstudio's instructor training builds on the Carpentries.

The Carpentries wants to thank RStudio for their donation to The Carpentries towards our shared goal of bringing more people into the R and programming communities.

In January 2019, RStudio’s Education team launched an instructor certification program based in part on the Carpentries’ instructor training. The program’s goal is to ensure that people who are offering commercial training for the tidyverse and Shiny have both the pedagogical and technical know-how needed to do it well. At the time of writing, over 40 people (including several Carpentries instructors) have completed certification and that number again are in the pipeline.

Training starts with a one-day introduction to modern evidence-based teaching techniques, including learner personas, mental models, cognitive load, formative assessment, factors that affect learners’ motivation, and the importance of inclusivity. The slides are all available online under a Creative Commons license, and much of the content is derived from the Carpentries’ instructor training.

Once people are through the course they must complete one 90-minute exam on teaching and one exam on each technical topic they want to be certified for (i.e., the tidyverse or Shiny). These exams are done individually, and we encourage people to complete them within a couple of months of the course—our experience is that anyone who doesn’t is unlikely to ever get around to them. For the teaching exam, candidates must prepare a 15-minute demonstration lesson and then answer a few written questions related to pedagogical best practices. The tidyverse exam is based on the book R for Data Science, and on the excellent study guide that Jeffrey Arnold and others have put together. We don’t yet have a similarly definitive reference for the Shiny exam, though we hope that this book will eventually fill that gap.

If you would like to find out more about this program, we have assembled an FAQ. Perhaps the most important thing in it is that if you are already a certified Carpentries instructor, you don’t need to do RStudio’s training course, but can skip directly to the exams. For more information, please email Greg Wilson.

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