Chapter 2 Our curriculum structure

image of lessons and episodes

image of lessons and episodes

2.1 Episodes

An episode is a single block of content and renders as a single page of a lesson website. Each episode teaches a set of related concepts (for example, navigating files and directories or indexing and subsetting data). It lists measurable learning objectives related to those concepts and contains a number of challenges to assess learners’ ability to perform those learning objectives. Episodes within a lesson can be dependent on earlier episodes and are generally taught in sequence.

2.2 Lessons

A lesson is a collection of episodes that together help the learner to develop a particular set of competencies (for example, version control or data organization). Each lesson has a landing page that lists all its episodes as well as the overall learning objectives. The overall learning objectives for the lesson should be met by its episodes. Assessment of lesson-level learning outcomes is summative and can be addressed with a post-workshop survey. Lessons can be used independently and should not rely on concepts from other lessons. Lessons may have optional episodes, but lesson designers should provide a recommended structure or structures for what episodes should be taught together and in what order.

2.3 Curricula

A curriculum is a set of lessons that together teach skills needed in a particular domain (for example, genomics or geospatial research). A curriculum has a landing page listing its component lessons and overall learning objectives, and describing the data used in the curriculum. Carpentries curricula often have a narrative structure, where lessons are explicitly linked in a sequence, for example, as steps in a data handling workflow.

2.4 Lesson Collections

A lesson collection is the full set of lessons housed within a specific Lesson Program (for example, all Software Carpentry lessons), or within The Carpentries organization (including our Instructor Training and Trainer Training lessons). Lessons within a collection should match the target audience of the Lesson Program or the broader Carpentries community.