Instructor Training at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia

Posted by a.pawlik on 23 February 2016 - 5:38pm

This Software and Data Carpentry Instructor Training workshop was the first one from a series of three workshops run in Australia and New Zealand. In both countries the growing demand for Software and Data Carpentry training meant that there was a need to grow instructor pool on the Southern Hemisphere. Aleksandra Pawlik who is one of the instructor trainers was invited to run these workshops in January 2016.

The main organiser of the Instructor Training in Brisbane was Belinda Weaver who is in charge of delivering cloud solutions and supporting research at the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation. Belinda is also one of the most experienced Australian instructors and has been collaborating with Software Carpentry for a long time.

The workshop, held on 18th and 19th January 2016, was hosted at the sunny campus of the University of Queensland. With support of a lot of sunshine and excellent coffee Aleksandra was able to overcome the jetlag and run the workshop attended by 20 participants from various Australian research organisations. Belinda put a lot of effort into composing a group of individuals with strong interest in training and with experience in Software and Data Carpentry workshops.

The participants were very keen to collaborate together during the exercises and discuss best practices for teaching. Many were able to put what they learnt into practice shortly after the Instructor Training during Research Bazaar in Brisbane. In order to help the newly trained instructors Belinda run a few short sessions during which they had an opportunity to prepare for teaching Software and Data Carpentry modules. This kind of mentoring and building local communities of practice within the Software and Data Carpentry instructor community are some of the main factors contributing to the success of both projects.

The demand for Instructor Training is still high in Australia and the good news is that Belinda will become the second instructor trainer in the country (joining Fiona Tweedie). It looks like the development of training in computational lab skills for researchers in Australia is going to grow significantly in the near future.