We are pleased to announce the launch of RStudio’s instructor training and certification program. Its goal is to help people apply modern evidence-based teaching practices to teach data science using R and RStudio’s products, and to help people who need such training find the trainers they need.
Like the training programs for flight instructors, the ski patrol, and the Carpentries, ours distinguishes between instructors (who teach end users) and coaches (who teach instructors). This program focuses on instructors; anyone in the R community who wishes to become one is encouraged to apply by filling in this form. Candidates must be proficient in the technical skills and tools they wish to teach; they can demonstrate this when applying by pointing us at materials they have previously developed and/or sharing a short video with us (such as a screencast or a recording of a conference talk).
There are three steps to becoming certified:
Candidates must take part in a one-day training course on modern teaching methods similar to that offered at rstudio::conf 2019. (We will offer this course several times in the coming year.)
After completing that course, candidates must complete a one-hour exam on the material, then prepare and deliver a demonstration lesson on a topic assigned to them.
Finally, in order to ensure that instructors are proficient with the technical content they will be teaching, they must complete a practical examination and deliver a demonstration for each subject they wish to be certified to teach.
Instructors must certify on a per-topic basis, just as pilots obtain ratings for different kinds of aircraft. We will initially offer certification on data analysis using the tidyverse and on Shiny. Other subjects, such as administering our professional products and using Connect, will be rolled out before the end of 2019.
As at present, we will advertise instructors on our web site, and instructors will be eligible for free teaching licenses to RStudio professional on-premises and cloud products for use in their training. They can teach in whatever format they want, from half-day workshops to multi-week courses, and charge whatever the market will bear, but will be required to make their materials available to RStudio for inspection (but not for use) if asked to do so. (And yes, there will be stickers…)
The training course will cost $500, and each examination will cost an additional $500; anyone who does not pass an exam can re-try once at a later date for an additional $500. Once certified, instructors will be required to pay $50/year in membership dues, and to re-qualify every three years. Exemptions will be provided on a case-by-case basis for those who might otherwise not be able to take part.
Finally, we will make the training materials we have developed available for instructors to use under Creative Commons licenses, and we will encourage them to collaborate on modifying and extending these materials and the curricula they develop themselves. Different instructors may wish to teach topics in a variety of ways to meet the needs of different audiences, and may choose to keep their materials private, but as with open source software, we believe that pooling effort will make everyone more effective.
If you would like to know more about this program, or would like to arrange training for staff at your company or institution, please contact [email protected] or fill in this form. If you are already listed on our trainers’ page, please keep an eye on your inbox for news as well.