As well as asking the attendees how they thought the workshop had gone, I sent them a questionnaire before the workshop. The idea was to see what their expectations were and if the workshop then met them. For example we asked “How would you describe your expertise in the following tools?” and the results are on the right. Overall most people didn’t feel they knew much about the tools we had identified as being potentially most useful. We also asked “What you would like the workshop to cover?” and the answers indicated these tools were relevant (results not shown).
So, how did the workshop do? Well, 92% of the attendees agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “I enjoyed the Software Carpentry Workshop” and 96% “[felt they] learnt something useful from the workshop that will help my research.”. Everyone who had come from an experimental lab thought that “other members of my lab would benefit from a workshop like this”. A good start, but did it improve their understanding? So we also asked “I understand enough to try using the the following tools” and most people agreed (see left)! Promising, but maybe it was the sugar from the donuts kicking in.
To try and resolve things we then asked “I intend using the tools to help my research” and lo, some of those agrees not unsurprisingly sneak to the left and join the disagrees (see the graph on the right). I’m happy and seeing as 92% agreed with “A workshop like this should be run annually in Biochemistry” maybe I’ll be running another one.
“The course was very informative and useful for my research! Thanks”
“I now see the value of a more ‘scientific’ approach to programming in science, in terms of version tracking, reproduciblity and validity. I try to be thorough in my approach to my research and that should extend to my programming. This workshop has been an excellent first step in that direction.”
“Excellent course, thanks for letting me take part.”