Tell Us What You Think of the Instructor Training Checkout Process

Share your thoughts on the purpose, barriers, and how we can make it better.

Note: Our checkout requirements have changed since this blog post was published. Read about how we made these changes and about the new checkout requirements, effective August 14, 2023.

We are improving the Instructor Training Checkout process to remove accessibility barriers and make the process more worthwhile for trainees and the Carpentries community. But, we need your help to make sure we get this right!

The Core Team, in partnership with Trainers Leadership, is working on the first systematic review and improvements to the Checkout process since 2018.

The Carpentries has changed in many ways since 2018. In fact, our Core Values have been released since then and this project gives us an opportunity to further align Checkout with those values. One of our Core Values is ‘Access for All’ and we know that our current Checkout process creates barriers to everyone being able to fully participate. This is an opportunity to change that.

You may not realize it, but the Checkout process impacts many different areas of The Carpentries community!

  1. Instructors learn how to get involved in The Carpentries and get practice teaching by completing Checkout
  2. Trainers support trainees through Checkout by teaching and answering questions about the process during Instructor Training as well as facilitating teaching demonstrations
  3. Community discussions connect trainees with other Instructors and help them prepare to teach
  4. Maintainers interact with Checkout through the many issues and pull requests trainees submit to our lessons and other resources

Because the Checkout process impacts almost all corners of our community, we know we cannot make any decisions without your input. So, we are going to different subcommunities to learn what they think including Instructors, Trainers, Maintainers, and trainees who have not completed Checkout.

What Is the Instructor Training Checkout Process?

When someone wants to be a certified Carpentries Instructor, they first attend Instructor Training. After that, they must complete a three-step process to be certified that we call ‘Checkout’.

Checkout Steps:

Once a trainee completes these three steps, they are awarded an Instructor badge and are certified to teach any Carpentries workshop.

What Do We Want to Know?

We are interested in:

  • What you think the goals of Checkout should be,
  • How well our current process prepares Instructors to teach,
  • What parts of Checkout are the most worthwhile or most challenging,
  • What barriers to accessibility exist in the process,
  • Ideas about how it could be improved (including how we can better support those trainees going through the process).

How Can You Get Involved?

1. Join Us for a Themed Community Discussion

We are hosting three community discussions specifically on the topic of Instructor Training Checkout. Sign up for one of these Checkout themed discussions here.

  • Tuesday 4 / Wednesday 5 October Find time in your own timezone
    • Los Angeles - Tuesday 4 October - 5 pm
    • New York - Tuesday 4 October - 8 pm
    • Sydney - Wednesday 5 October - 11 am
    • Auckland - Wednesday 5 October - 1 pm
  • Monday 10 / Tuesday 11 October Find time in your own timezone
    • Perth - Tuesday 11 October - 11 am
    • Sydney - Tuesday 11 October - 2 pm
    • Dhaka - Tuesday 11 October - 9 am
    • Auckland - Tuesday 11 October - 4 pm
  • Wednesday 12 October Find time in your own timezone
    • New York - Wednesday 12 October - 9 am
    • London - Wednesday 12 October - 2 pm

2. Share Your Thoughts on Checkout Using One of our 3 Asynchronous Options

We are providing three options for sharing your thoughts asynchronously. This will help us maximize inclusivity by offering non-Github and private options in addition to our traditional discussions in Github. You may:

  1. Complete a Google Form which will allow you to provide private (and optionally anonymous) feedback;

A screenshot of the Google Form titled "Share Your Thoughts About Instructor Training Checkout"

  1. Participate in the discussion on Github; or

A screenshot of the Github Discussion Page

  1. Add a quick comment or vote up someone else’s comment anonymously on EasyRetro Board

A screenshot of the EasyRetro board

4. Stay tuned for updates!

After we complete our initial consultations, we will be synthesising all of your feedback and writing a “What We Learned” report. We will also propose some recommended changes to the Checkout process! We will want to hear what you think of the recommendations before we ask Trainers Leadership to make any final decisions.

What’s Next?

  • September - October:
    • Community Consultations
  • November:
    • We will share a “What We Learned” report and provide an opportunity for feedback
  • December:
    • Trainers Leadership will make a final decision on what changes to make
    • Core Team will develop an implementation plan to put those changes into effect

Note: Changes to checkout are unlikely to be implemented before early 2023.

Dialogue & Discussion

Comments must follow our Code of Conduct.

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