A Roadmap for Lesson Development

Authors: Tracy Teal BLOG

Our Lessons Roadmap

Development of domain-specific lessons in data literacy is part of the Data Carpentry mission. Data types, language (both computer and vocabulary), the types of questions that people ask, and underlying assumptions differ between fields and communities. Therefore when learning about data analysis, it’s easiest to translate what you’ve learned to your own research when you’re being taught from the perspective of your own domain. This means that we are committed to developing lessons in new fields, with a variety of data types and on new topics.

We are excited about the tremendous interest in lesson development across a huge breadth of domains, but we need to ensure that the pace of new lesson development doesn’t exceed what we can effectively steward. As a part of our Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation grant, we have committed to development of lessons in the life and physical sciences. Over the last year we’ve expanded beyond our original domain of ecology to now have lessons on genomics and lessons on spatial data, collaboratively developed with NEON, for working with raster data and vector data. In the development of both of those curricula we’ve worked with the community to determine the core concepts, run hackathons, write lessons and pilot the first teaching workshops. As a result we’ve learned a lot about the process and used this to develop a roadmap of how we want to take on creating new lessons moving forward. This includes how to determine the lessons to develop, the resources needed and the stages involved. Although Software Carpentry isn’t focused on new domains, they, too, are developing lessons on new topics. We have therefore developed this roadmap jointly, and it is being adopted by both organizations.

We’ve posted the lessons roadmap here to provide an overview of the process and show how to be involved! Please also see this post on the Software Carpentry website.

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