Get Ready for the Instructor Notes Drive

A community-wide event to update, expand, and improve guidance provided to Instructors in lessons

From 8-19th May, we will be coordinating an Instructor Notes Drive: a community-wide effort to update, expand, and improve guidance provided to Instructors in lessons.

What are Instructor Notes?

Instructor Notes are pieces of advice, guidance, warnings, resources, etc for those teaching a lesson, to help them prepare and teach their workshops more effectively. Until now, Instructor Notes have been kept in a dedicated page, located under the “Extras” dropdown menu of a lesson site.

The "Instructor Notes" page is accessible from the "Extras" menu of a lesson site.

However, with the introduction of the new lesson infrastructure, The Carpentries Workbench, Instructor Notes can now be placed inline within a lesson: this means that existing Instructor Notes can be moved (and new ones added) to the location in the lesson where they can have the most impact. Those Instructor Notes will then be visible in the Instructor View of the lesson site only. By presenting guidance alongside the lesson content to which it is most relevant, the Workbench greatly increases the value and effectiveness of Instructor Notes.

What are the objectives of the Instructor Notes Drive?

The introduction of this new feature gives us an excellent opportunity to improve the Instructor Notes across Data Carpentry, Library Carpentry, and Software Carpentry lessons. During the 2023 Instructor Notes Drive, we are calling on the Instructor community to help us:

  • update existing Instructor Notes
  • relocate them to the place in the lesson where they are most relevant
  • add new Instructor Notes

By adding new notes and updating the existing guidance, you ensure that the wider community can benefit from your experience teaching these lessons. And by moving existing notes, you increase their impact and learn more about how to edit lessons using the new infrastructure.

Inline Instructor Notes appear as expandable/collapsible boxes in the Instructor View of a lesson.

How can you get involved?

The 2023 Instructor Notes Drive will include several components:

  1. Short skill-up videos demonstrating how to edit Instructor Notes in a lesson repository, accompanied by written instructions
  2. Coworking sessions on Zoom, for the community to join and work on Instructor Notes together, with support from their peers and members of the Curriculum Team
  3. Guidance for the community about which kinds of contributions would be most helpful on each lesson repository

By participating in the Drive, you will:

  • have a big impact on the effectiveness of Carpentries lessons
  • learn more about how to contribute to lessons
  • have the opportunity to practice and develop your skills with Markdown, Git, and GitHub

How can I find out more?

Further details will be posted to this blog soon. For now, mark 8-19th May 2023 in your calendar and start reflecting on your experience teaching Carpentries lessons and the advice you might give to Instructors!

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