Workshop Checklists

Host Checklist

A workshop host contacts The Carpentries Core Team about running a workshop. They will work with The Carpentries Workshop Administration Team to plan and implement the workshop.

Before the workshop, the host will

  1. Decide on the Software Carpentry, Data Carpentry, or Library Carpentry curriculum that would best serve your learners

  2. Fill out the workshop request form

  3. Work with The Carpentries Workshop Administration Team to set dates and location for your workshop, unless your workshop is virtual

    • Be sure to account for other events and programs at your site that may affect room availability and participant availability

    • Ensure your location is accessible

  4. Recruit helpers to join your workshop. They do not need to be directly connected with The Carpentries. They do need basic knowledge of the tools we teach and enthusiasm to help others learn. We recommend 1 helper for every 8-10 students, not counting the two instructors.

  5. Advertise your workshop. For Centrally-organised workshops the Workshop Administration Team can help by creating an Eventbrite registration page.

  6. Decide if you want to charge a workshop fee. Even a small fee can greatly reduce the no-show rate. If the Workshop Administration Team creates an Eventbrite registration page, The Carpentries can collect this fee via Eventbrite and use it to offset your workshop fee.

  7. Work with The Carpentries Operations Manager to make arrangements to pay the workshop fee (only for Centrally-Organised workshops). This includes being sure vendor forms or other documentation are in place. The actual invoice will be issued after the workshop is complete.

  8. Make travel arrangements for visiting instructors (or communicate process to reimburse them for expenses) if the workshop is in person

  9. Get emergency contact information for instructors in case of last minute changes

  10. Arrange for required materials and equipment

  11. Arrange for coffee, snacks, and/or lunch. We all learn better with fuel!

  12. Email learners to remind them of workshop location, timing, pre-workshop survey and software installation requirements

  13. Organise a meetup with the instructors the day before the workshop if the workshop is in person, or sooner if the workshop is virtual. While this is not always possible, it is useful for the host and instructors to get to know each other. This can be over coffee, dinner, or anything else that works for your team.

During the workshop, the host will

  1. Meet the instructors and learners

  2. Ensure that the room is set up with all necessary materials and equipment

  3. Periodically check in on the class to be sure things are running smoothly

After the workshop, the host will

  1. Collect workshop attendance

  2. Send attendance and any other feedback to The Carpentries Workshop Administration Team

  3. Pay the workshop fee (only for Centrally-Organised workshops)

  4. Reimburse the instructors

Billing Guidelines

Payment for workshops is generally due 30 days after the invoice is issued.

Invoices overdue 4 or more months may lead to the cessation of work on current activities involving the organisation to whom the overdue invoice was issued until the payment process is addressed.

Instructor Checklist

The Workshop Administration Team will introduce workshop hosts and instructors.

Before the workshop, instructors will

  1. Decide on the order of the lessons and who will teach what modules

  2. Set up the workshop website using the workshop template and send it to The Carpentries Workshop Administration Team. Detailed instructions are in this repo’s README.

  3. Create a collaborative document for the workshop (e.g. an Etherpad)

  4. Assist the host in recruiting helpers if possible

  5. Assist the host in ensuring the workshop location is accessible

  6. Share emergency contact information with host in case of last minute changes

  7. Practice teaching the material

  8. Remind the host of the necessary equipment

  9. Join a community discussion

  10. Confirm criteria for reimbursement (per diem or save receipts)

During the workshop, instructors will

  1. Review Code of Conduct with learners

  2. Remind learners to use sticky notes to give feedback

  3. Get feedback at lunch and end of each day using minute cards

  4. Support host in collecting attendee names and emails

  5. Send out the post-workshop survey at the very end of the workshop

After the workshop, instructors will

  1. Remind the host to send workshop attendance data to The Carpentries Workshop Administration Team

  2. Submit receipts for reimbursement

  3. Send their own feedback to the Workshop Administration Team including any configuration problems

  4. Take part in a community discussion

  5. Report any lesson errors or suggest improvements on GitHub or by email to The Carpentries Workshop Administration Team

Helper Checklist

Helpers are often recruited from the local community at the host site to support Carpentries workshops. Helpers support learners one-on-one if they are stuck installing software, understanding a certain line of code, or any other parts of the learning process.

Before a workshop, helpers will

  1. Introduce themselves to the instructors, letting them know any particular areas of expertise

  2. Review the curriculum the instructors will be teaching

  3. Review the software installation instructions to be prepared to troubleshoot with learners

  4. Make sure the instructors have listed you on the workshop website

During the workshop, helpers will

  1. Help learners with setup problems or anywhere else they get stuck

  2. Monitor room for anyone who may need help. Learners may put up a red sticky note or indicate in other ways that they are stuck.

  3. Monitor any questions that come up on the collaborative document and answer them or remind the instructor about them during a break.

After the workshop, helpers will

  1. Send their own feedback to the instructors and the Workshop Administration Team including any configuration problems

  2. Consider applying to become a certified Carpentries instructor

Teaching Rules:

Rule #1: Be kind

This means to be inclusive, respectful, mindful and welcoming.

Rule #2: Remember that we are all learners

Admitting that you do not know everything helps create a growth mindset, where we are all constantly learning. When you make a mistake, calmly talk about the error, how it is part of the process and necessary to make progress.

Rule #3: Be aware of demotivating attitudes

There are several things that can be demotivating or impair the learners’ experience. Examples of what not to do:

  • Take over the learner’s keyboard. Instead, encourage and guide them through the solution, but let them type themselves.

  • Dive into deep discussions with more advanced learners (who might actually not need to be there). You can have those conversations during the break.

Rule #4: Be aware of demotivating words

Avoid saying things like:

  • Just: “oh, that is easy, you just…”

  • “It is too easy…”

  • “It is too hard…”

  • “I cannot believe you do not know X …”

  • Negative things about any applications or OS (Word, Excel, Windows, Mac, GUI): No tool is perfect, and this kind of disdain is not productive or conducive to the learning process.

Code of Conduct (Summary View)

We are dedicated to providing a welcoming and supportive environment for all people, regardless of background or identity. By participating in this community, participants accept to abide by The Carpentries’ Code of Conduct and accept the procedures by which any Code of Conduct incidents are resolved. Any form or behaviour to exclude, intimidate, or cause discomfort is a violation of the Code of Conduct. In order to foster a positive and professional learning environment we encourage the following kinds of behaviours in all platforms and events:

  • Use welcoming and inclusive language

  • Be respectful of different viewpoints and experiences

  • Gracefully accept constructive criticism

  • Focus on what is best for the community

  • Show courtesy and respect towards other community members

If you believe someone is violating the Code of Conduct, we ask that you report it to The Carpentries Code of Conduct Committee completing this form, who will take the appropriate action to address the situation.

More info can be found here:

Email Templates

Use these templated emails for communicating with the learners