The DataUp Workshop- Johnson C. Smith University: Harnessing Faculty Curiosity


Johnson C. Smith faculty and staff flanked by the Software Carpentries instructors.  Faculty and staff members explored shell, git, Matlab, and JupyterHub during the Oct 18-19, 2018 workshop.

Oftentimes, learning and education are discussed from the perspective of students. Unintentionally, excluding the fact that faculty have a natural interest in and curiosity for lifelong learning. Johnson C. Smith University’s DataUp institutional workshop attracted faculty and staff from diverse departments, including Psychology, Mathematics, and Library Services and IT. Over a two-day workshop, attendees discussed shell, git, and the interactive notebook JupyterHub. One learner noted that ‘it is [always] great to attend new workshops…it reminds you how students feel when learning new topics’. Many learners were new to the concepts but were eager to ask questions and find points of connectivity for their respective departments. By the middle of the first day, laughter and collaboration erupted throughout the session as individuals became more open to the concepts and asking questions. 

 As the Carpentries instructors led the courses, the learners began to work together to troubleshoot and find solutions to their challenges as partners. After learning the basic coding commands, learners were exposed to the interactive notebook, JupyterHub. The learners from both the humanities and natural sciences began to think about how an interactive notebook could benefit their disciplines and create collaborative projects on their campus. A mid-level faculty member noted, ‘the workshop was helpful for thinking about the ways to introduce computer coding into [my] organic chemistry course through creating research projects’. This workshop fueled a curiosity for data science and cross-campus collaborative discussions. JCSU’s workshop was a prime example of faculty and staff’s curiosity and desire to expand their capacities for current and future instruction.  The next DataUp institutional workshop will take place at Old Dominion University on Oct 25-26, 2018.

View Photos from the Workshop.

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