Curriculum Advisors Approve Redesigned DC R Ecology Lesson

The redesigned lesson will replace the existing version in the curriculum in July.

We are delighted to announce that a redesigned version of the Data Analysis and Visualization in R for Ecologists lesson has been approved for adoption into the Data Carpentry Ecology curriculum. The redesigned version will replace the existing lesson later this year. The Curriculum Advisory Committee previously published a call for Instructors to test the lesson and provide feedback, which includes a summary of the differences between the two lessons.

The new lesson lets learners dive into data visualisation much more quickly, letting you quickly appreciate the benefits of the lesson and enticing you to learn more about data storage, manipulation and analysis as the lesson progresses. The new structure of the lesson helps make it more approachable for beginners and more motivating for all learners, and has received great feedback from Instructors who have taught the lesson so far.

Overview of the redesigned lesson content

Next Steps

Adoption scheduled for 8 July

The lesson repository has been transferred from The Carpentries Incubator, where it was developed, into the Data Carpentry organisation on GitHub. To avoid disruption for Instructors planning to teach a workshop in the next few months, the current version of the lesson will remain at the existing URL ( until 8 July 2024. On that date, the redesigned version will take its place and development/maintenance of the current version of the lesson will cease. Following the transition, centrally-organised Data Carpentry Ecology workshops and teaching demonstrations for Instructor Training checkout will be taught with the redesigned lesson.

In anticipation of the change, the Curriculum Team will act to ensure that the Instructor community is ready to begin teaching the redesigned lesson. This will include:

  • Hosting community discussions themed around the lesson and how to teach it effectively
  • Raising awareness among Instructors volunteering to teach the lesson in centrally-organised workshops
  • Adjusting the instructions and suggested starting points provided to trainee Instructors for teaching demonstrations
  • Reviewing the other lessons in the DC Ecology curriculum ensure that any references to the R lesson will remain valid

Lesson Maintenance

We are calling for volunteers to begin maintaining the redesigned lesson as part of our current round of Maintainer Onboarding. This is a great opportunity to take responsibility for an exciting new lesson and help to foster the ongoing development of an important resource for the community.

Further Curriculum Development

The adoption of the redesigned R lesson raises the possibility of a similar update to the Data Analysis and Visualization in Python for Ecologists lesson in the same curriculum. While large-scale updates to existing lessons are a significant undertaking, such efforts can be rewarding and make a big impact on the community. Similar updates could also be prompted in the Social Sciences curriculum, which was originally developed by modifying and expanding on the Ecology lessons. If you are interested in collaborating on redesigning and updating the Ecology Python lesson, please contact the Data Carpentry Ecology Curriculum Advisors and/or Director of Curriculum

Dialogue & Discussion

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