Curriculum Advisory Committees
Curriculum Advisors are part of a team that provides the oversight, vision, and leadership for a particular set of lessons. The division of responsibilities between Curriculum Advisors and Maintainers is detailed in this consultation rubric.
Curriculum Advisors represent The Carpentries community and should strive to embody The Carpentries philosophy by:
Recognising the importance of communication and being welcoming to all contributors.
Giving feedback to contributors using The Carpentries model:
Finding what is good.
Being specific about improvements needed.
Using motivational language.
Evaluating lesson contributions in light of The Carpentries pedagogical model:
Teaching what is most relevant and useful for learners.
Avoiding getting bogged down in technical details.
Keeping language motivating.
Emphasising the importance of continued learning and improvement.
Each Curriculum Advisory Committee will meet at least quarterly, and preferably every two months. These meetings are the primary avenue through which CAC members will interact, and should follow best practices for The Carpentries meetings, including having meeting roles, taking notes, and creating and holding a space for everyone to contribute. CAC members should prepare for meetings by reading and contributing to relevant documents in advance of the meeting.
A detailed workflow for Curriculum Advisory Committee meetings, including email templates, is available as a meeting checklist.
Meetings minutes are available in the committee’s GitHub repository:
Roles and Responsibilities
Prepare agenda for regular meetings, including time estimates for each item.
Set the agenda and send it out along with any other relevant documents to committee members at least one week in advance of meeting.
Assign meeting roles.
Serve as primary point of contact for Maintainers
Watch lesson repositories for instances where the CAC is mentioned. Respond in a timely fashion, including letting Maintainers and contributors know when items are going to be considered at the next meeting.
Generally watch lesson repositories for items that may come under the CAC’s purview, according to the CAC consultation rubric, even if not mentioned.
Communicate with lesson Maintainers and contributors, through GitHub issues, about decisions made by the CAC. Put contributors and Maintainers in touch with CAC members who will assist with implementation.
Notify Curriculum Team Lead (Toby Hodges) if a CAC member needs to step down mid-term or becomes unresponsive to communications, so that Core Team can help recruit replacement if needed.
Approve meeting minutes.
Fulfill all other responsibilities of a CAC member.
Schedule regular meetings.
Arrange meeting room logistics.
Send calendar invites.
Send meeting reminders.
Prepare meeting minutes and post to the appropriate CAC repository.
Fulfill all other responsibilities of a CAC member.
Notify Chair of potential agenda items as they arise.
Read agenda and other relevant documents sent by Chair prior to meeting.
Attend and actively participate in regular meetings by listening and sharing knowledge, expertise, ideas, and information.
Participate in asynchronous voting through GitHub as needed.
Work with community members and Maintainers to implement voted upon changes as needed.
(Optional) Be involved in discussions on GitHub with Maintainers and community members when CAC is mentioned.
Term lengths, recruitment, and onboarding
Curriculum Advisors are expected to serve a two-year term.
We understand that circumstances can change and priorities must be re-evaluated. If a Curriculum Advisor needs to step away from the role before the end of their two-year term, the Curriculum Team will support them to do this:
after the first year, the Curriculum Team will approach Curriculum Advisors to confirm that they wish to continue in the role or to step back.
if an Advisor needs to step away from the role outside this schedule, they should inform their committee Chair and the Curriculum Team.
CAC recruitment takes place annually, based on term limits and turnover within committees.
Rounds of recruitment will be announced on The Carpentries blog.
Volunteers will be asked to apply for the role by filling in a short webform describing their expertise and motivation for joining a committee.
Templates and workflows for CAC recruitment and onboarding are maintained in the Core Team wiki (internal access only).
Onboarding aims to provide new Curriculum Advisors with context for the role and how CACs fit into The Carpentries model for curriculum development and maintenance, and what they can expect as they prepare to join their first committee meeting.
Onboarding for Curriculum Advisors takes place in two parts:
A general onboarding for all Curriculum Advisors
An additional onboarding for the committee officers (see Roles and responsibilities above)
Both onboardings are delivered by the Curriculum Team over Zoom, with the possibility to watch a recording of the sessions available for those who cannot attend the synchronous sessions.
Links to onboarding slides:
After these onboarding sessions, Curriculum Advisors should complete the following steps:
Log into AMY with their GitHub credentials and update their profile.
When updating their AMY profile, it is essential that Advisors give consent for The Carpentries to publish their profile so that they can be listed on The Carpentries websites.
Join the mailing list for their committee on The Carpentries TopicBox. CAC mailing lists are named with the prefix “curriculum-advisors-“.
These mailing lists are configured so that anyone can send a message to them, but list membership is moderated so that only current members of the committee will receive messages sent to the group.
Subscribe to notifications from the GitHub repositories for the lessons in their curriculum.
This step is only required for CAC chairs, but is recommended for all Curriculum Advisors as a way to stay up-to-date about discussions and developments taking place on their curriculum.
Repositories are linked from the “Repository” column of the lesson tables in the “Lessons” page of each Lesson Program website:
Current Curriculum Advisors
Refer to The Carpentries Curriculum Advisors page for a current list of Curriculum Advisors and contact information.