Teaching with the DataLad Handbook

The handbook is a free and open source educational instrument made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA) license[1]. We are happy if the handbook serves as a helpful tool for other trainers, and try to provide many useful additional teaching-related functions and contents. Below, you can find them listed:

Use the handbook as a textbook/syllabus

The Basics sections of the handbook is a stand-alone course that you can refer trainees to. Regardless of background, users should be able to work through this part of the book on their own. From our own teaching experiences, it is feasible and useful to work through any individual basics chapter in one go, and assign them as weekly or bi-weekly readings.

Use slides from the DataLad course

In parallel to the handbook, we are conducting data management workshops with attendees of every career stage (MSc students up to PIs). The sessions are either part of a lecture series (with bi-weekly 90 minute sessions) or workshops of different lengths. Sessions in the lecture series are based on each chapter. Longer workshops combine several chapters. You can find the slides for the workshops in the companion course repository. Slides are made using reveal.js. They are available as PDFs in talks/PDFs/, or as the source html files in talks/.

Enhance talks and workshops with code demos

Any number of code snippets in the handbook that are created with the runrecord directive can be aggregated into a series of commands that can be sequentially executed as a code demo using the cast_live tool provided in the companion course repository. These code demos allow you to remote-control a second terminal that executes the code snippets upon pressing Enter and can provide you with simultaneous speaker notes.

A number of demos exist that accompany the slides for the data management sessions in casts, but you can also create your own. To find out how to do this, please consult the section directives and demos in the contributing guide. To use the tool, download the cast_live script and the cast_bash.rc file that accompanies it (e.g., by simply cloning/installing the course repository), and provide a path to the demo you want to run:

$ cast_live casts/01_dataset_basics

For existing code demos, the chapter Code from chapters contains numbered lists of code snippets to allow your audience to copy-paste what you execute to follow along.

Use artwork used in the handbook

The handbook’s artwork repository contains the sources for figures used in the handbook.

Use the handbook as a template for your own teaching material

If you want to document a different software tool in a similar way the handbook does it, please feel free to use the handbook as a template.