eScience in Action

Reflections from Transitioning Carpentries Workshops Online

  • Ben B Chiewphasa (University of Notre Dame)
  • Anna K Moeller (University of Montana)


Objectives: As certified Carpentries instructors, the authors organized and co-taught the University of Montana’s first in-person Carpentries workshop focused on the R programming language during early 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a repeated workshop was postponed to the fall of 2020 and was adapted for a fully online setting. The authors share their Carpentries journey from in-person to online instruction, hoping to inspire those interested in organizing Carpentries at their institution for the first time and those interested in improving their existing Carpentries presence.

Methods: The authors reflected on their experience facilitating the same Carpentries workshop in-person and online. They used this unique opportunity to compare the effectiveness of a face-to-face environment versus a virtual modality for delivering an interactive workshop.

Results: When teaching in the online setting, the authors learned to emphasize the basics, create many opportunities for feedback using formative assessments, reduce the amount of material presented, and include helpers who are familiar with technology and troubleshooting.

Conclusions: Although the online environment came with challenges (i.e., Zoom logistics and challenges, the need to further condense curricula, etc.), the instructors were surprised at the many advantages of hosting an online workshop. With some adaptations, Carpentries workshops work well in online delivery.

Keywords: The Carpentries, Online Learning, COVID-19, Online Workshops, R Programming Language, Novice Learners, RDAP

How to Cite:

Chiewphasa, B. B. & Moeller, A. K., (2021) “Reflections from Transitioning Carpentries Workshops Online”, Journal of eScience Librarianship 10(4): 2. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2021 Chiewphasa & Moeller. This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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Published on
09 Nov 2021