Our second and final day of instructor training was Friday. One of the most valuable components for me was thinking about and practicing live coding. Talking through your actions as you write code allows you to troubleshoot errors as they occur, which happens all the time even to the most competent practitioners but can totally overwhelm novices. Demonstrating the actual practice of writing code helps learners develop the necessary mental models to become competent practitioners themselves.
We spent a good portion of the day talking about equity in instruction, with some interesting relevant ideas for software and data carpentry (e.g. live coding isn't very helpful for visually-impaired learners). I learned that 3M brand sticky notes of different colors look different even to colorblind learners, which is useful! In these workshops, sticky notes are often used to facilitate interactions between learners and instructors, with specific colors assigned to specific flags (i.e. green: I'm following the material, red: I need assistance, yellow: I have a question, and blue: I need a break).
We also talked a bit about designing lessons, starting with writing good learning objectives (using thoughtful verb choices from Bloom's taxonomy, see below), then writing summative assessments (e.g. exam questions) and rubrics, then the lessons themselves.
All in all, it was a valuable experience! I look forward to teaching programming and data management more effectively in the future.
This blog is mostly for news and occasional musings. Views belong to Brook Moyers. Some older posts mirror Brook's contributions to the Rieseberg Lab Blog.