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Course at University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.


Allegra Via, ELIXIR-IT, National Research Council (CNR), Italy
Patricia Palagi, ELIXIR-CH


ELIXIR-IIB and ELIXIR-CH/SIB, in cooperation with the ELIXIR Train-The-Trainer programme, are pleased to announce a Train the Trainer (TtT) event.

The course is made up of four sessions, covering:

During the course, TtT participants will act as observers and training assistants in the RNA-Seq data analysis course for the duration of a session (2h).

Learning Objectives:

  • To get acquainted with Learning principles and how they apply to training
  • To be able to select and utilise training techniques that can be used to enhance learner engagement and participation
  • To learn how to use assessment and feedback in training
  • To learn about session, course, and materials design

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learners can tell which learning principles a good trainer should have in mind
  • Learners can describe at least three training techniques drawing on learning principles
  • Learners can design a training session and a course
  • Learners can develop assessment questionnaires
  • Learners can tell what types of material are needed for each part of a training session

On knowledge, by Donald Rumsfeld:

As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things we do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know we don't know.

You can watch Donald Rumsfeld's speech in YouTube

Course Program

Time Activity
Day 1
09.00 - 09.30 Introductions, who is who and what we need to achieve
09.30 - 12.30 Session 1: Review of learning principles and how they apply to training
12.30 - 14.00 Lunch
14.00 - 18.00         Session 2: Training techniques that can be used to enhance learner engagement and participation
Day 2
09.00 - 12.30 Session 3: Session, course, and materials design
12.30 - 14.00 Lunch
14.00 - 18.00 Session 4: Assessment and feedback in training

Session 1: Review of learning principles and how they apply to training

  • Terminology used in learning
  • Teaching or training?
  • Learning aims, objectives and outcomes
  • The Bloom's six categories of cognitive skills
  • How learning works
  • Relevant models from cognitive science
  • Declarative and procedural knowledge
  • What is formal and non-formal learning?
  • Active Learning
  • Novices vs experts in learning
  • Retention
  • Priming
  • Cognitive load
  • Research-based principles of learning and their implications for teaching practice

Session 2: Training techniques that can be used to enhance learner engagement and participation

  • What makes a good training session?
  • Delivering a learning event as a mission; establishing learning mode, teamwork and mutual trust
  • What makes a good trainer?
  • The GOBLET skills matrix for trainers
  • Teaching as a preformance art: promoting learner engagement
  • Motivation and demotivation
  • Self-confidence and usage independence
  • The seven principles of learning
  • Integrating active learning strategies into your course. Learning by doing.
  • Gamification;
  • Carpentry teaching practices
  • The role of wrap-up sessions;]

Session 3: Session, course, and materials design

  • Training session design and plan;
  • From session to course design;
  • Training rooms for Bioinformatics, Reproducibility of training environments;
  • Training materials: designing, producing, delivering;
  • Training materials: Archival; Sharing; Making re-use possible;
  • Training materials repositories and resources: GOBLET, TeSS, GitHub, etc.
  • Preparatory steps for training delivery;

Session 4: Assessment and feedback in training

  • Formative and summative assessment;
  • Using questionnaires to promote peer instruction and content delivery;
  • The role of questioning in learning; Formative Assessment;
  • Diagnostic questionnaires
  • Design of MCQs with distractors
  • Assessment of training quality, participant and instructor performance;
  • Systematic Feedback;
  • (Short and long term) Post-course feedback.

Materials to explore before attending the course:

Ideas for Challenges:

  • Design a diagnostic questionnaire;
  • Plan a session;
  • Design a course schedule;
  • Draw a concept map for a session;
  • Prepare a mini-presentation (3-mins); video yourself while delivering it; watch the video; adjust the mini-session and run it again [notice that you have to find a topic that can be taught in 3 minutes; it could be from any field]
  • Collect responses dynamically using Socrative or Learning Catalytics;
  • Create a group discussion and its annotation;


  • Read the Sofware Carpentry Instructor training document on Concept maps
  • If you want you can find further material on Wikipedia
  • Choose a topic that can be explained/taught in 3 minutes
  • Write Learning Objectives and Outcomes
  • Draw a concept map
  • Make a 3 minute presentation (with or without slides)
    You will be videoed while presenting in group and receive feedback.


Materials for ELIXIR-EXCELERATE Train The Trainer workshops and courses



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