Lesson Development Roles

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. Be specific about improvements needed. Use motivational language.

  • Evaluating lesson contributions in light of The Carpentries pedagogical model:

    • Teach what is most relevant and useful for learners.

    • Avoid getting bogged down in technical details.

    • Keep language motivating.

    • Emphasise 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.

Meeting Roles

The Chair will assign the following rotating roles for each meeting:

  • Facilitator - Introduces each agenda item. Monitors both the chat and the visual meeting window for “hands”, keeps track of order, and says whose turn it is to speak. Makes sure everyone has a chance to share their views.

  • Notetaker - Records meeting attendance and major points of discussion. Especially takes note of decisions and action items.

  • Timekeeper - Pays attention to the clock and notifies the group when time for specific agenda items is running short.

Meeting Minutes

The Secretary will use the written meeting notes to prepare official minutes, and post these minutes to the appropriate GitHub repository listed below:

Minutes should include:

  • Date and time of meeting

  • Names of those in attendance

  • Agenda items discussed and a summary of each discussion

  • The outcomes of any votes taken

Minutes must be approved by Chair before posting.

Committee Roles

A Curriculum Advisory Committee consists of 5-8 members, including a Chair and a Secretary. The roles and responsibilities for Chair, Secretary, and other members are detailed below.


  • 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.

Other members

  • 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 commit to serving a two year term, but are welcome to continue for additional years.

Additional details about recruitment and onboarding cycles will be posted in September 2021.

Current Curriculum Advisors

Lesson Infrastructure Subcommittee

Members of the Lesson Infrastructure Subcommittee serve as Maintainers for The Carpentries lesson template and its documentation, as well as for the Carpentry workshop template. As Maintainers, they also follow the Maintainer Guidelines.