Curriculum Advisory Committee Consultation Rubric

This rubric defines the division of responsibilities between The Carpentries Maintainers and The Carpentries Curriculum Advisory Committees (CACs). Roles and responsibilities of Curriculum Advisory Committee members are documented elsewhere in this Handbook. Current committee membership for Data Carpentry, Library Carpentry, and Software Carpentry can be found on the respective Lesson Program websites.

Issues over which Maintainers have full authority and which do not need CAC involvement

  • Addition or removal of exercises

  • Reorganization of material within episodes

  • Addition or removal of callout boxes

  • Addition or removal of or changes to figures

  • Changes to episode timings

  • Changes to lesson text

Issues about which Maintainers should consult the CAC

  • Any new versions of a dataset (either a new release or a modification of existing data)

  • Any major adjustments to the lesson (e.g., episode order, passwordless access)

  • Any updates to a lesson that Maintainers wish to share for informational purposes

Issues that may benefit from Maintainers consulting with the CAC, but over which Maintainers retain authority

  • Addition of a new library or package

  • Introduction of a new topic / learning objective (e.g., adding file permissions to LC shell lesson)

  • Updates to software/packages that are minor versions (e.g., Python 3.7 -> 3.8) when the new version is backwards compatible with current version

  • Additions of experimental features (e.g., git checkoutgit restore / git switch)

  • Any change to a lesson that impacts the content/scope of another lesson in the curriculum

  • For Incubator lessons - Review of a lesson outline where lesson developers would like lesson to be considered for eventual adoption into a Lesson Program’s official curriculum

  • Issues which are not covered anywhere else in this rubric

Issues for which Maintainers must seek CAC approval

  • Replacing the dataset used in the lesson with a different dataset. This does not include cases in which the data being used in the lesson is being updated to a new version (e.g., a new data release) or is modified to make it more suitable for the teaching environment (e.g., introduction of messiness to the dataset).

  • Changing the software being used in the lesson. This does not include updating to a new stable, backwards-compatible version of the existing software (e.g., Python 3.6 → 3.7.x), but does include:

    • Updating to a non-backwards compatible version of existing software (e.g., Python 2.x → 3.x, R 3.x → 4.x)

    • Change in plotting library (e.g., Matplotlib, Plotly, Seaborn, ggplot, Altair)

    • Change in libraries / packages taught (i.e., removal or replacement)

    • Change in SQL dialect (e.g., SQLite, MySQL, PostgreSQL, MSSQL Server)

    • Change in IDE being used to teach the lessons (RStudio, Jupyter Notebook)

    • Change from GitHub as remote hosting platform to a different remote hosting platform, e.g., GitLab

  • Removal of an entire episode’s worth of content

  • Change in lesson infrastructure (e.g., moving Genomics lessons from AWS to CyVerse)

  • Retirement of a lesson (e.g., MATLAB, Mercurial)

  • Addition of a new lesson to the core curriculum (e.g., adding Julia as an alternative to R / Python)

  • Adding or removing prerequisites from a lesson (for curricula with multiple lessons)

  • Promotion or graduation of a lesson from alpha to beta to stable. Decisions on approval can be based on recommendations from the Curriculum Team, CAC member involvement in lesson pilot workshops, and/or open peer review of lessons in The Carpentries Lab.