CodeRefinery has been able to scale online workshops while maintaining an interactive feeling. This page describes the roles that we use in our workshops.
Despite the many different roles documented here, in practice many of them are occupied by the same people. Best practices below tells more about what tends to happen. One of the advantages of our large workshops is that we have many more staff on hand (often 10-15), thus allowing much more specialization than small workshop can have (thus, the large number of roles below). Many of our instructors give feedback such as “this is so much easier: we only show up and teach!”
A common pathway goes (Learner/team leader) → (Expert helper/Instructor) → (More specialized roles). Note that thanks to our team teaching or “co-teaching”, it is really easy to join as an instructor!
You can also find the common tasks in checklist-format under each roles section in the Workshop playbook.
Comes and learns.
Does necessary preparation and attends the workshop
More info: Learners section
Team leaders are only a small step above learners. They aren’t expected to know everything, but mainly keep their breakout rooms on track - they could even be a slightly more confident learner.
Leads a breakout room
keeps on track
makes welcoming community
answers some questions
ask for more help when needed
Attends a one-hour team leader preparation / onboarding session.
More info: Team leaders
Obviously, instructors teach. Uniquely in our system, they have a lot of support and generally can focus on the teaching part.
Prepares lesson and “just teaches” without worrying about other workshop matters
Team teaching, you are not alone
Attend instructor preparation calls
Usually receives one-on-one mentoring in advance
Other times during the workshop, usually serves as an expert helper
More info: Instructors
Expert helpers are generalists who don’t have other assigned roles. Thanks to HackMD and breakout rooms, they have plenty to do.
All-around generalist who assists wherever is needed
Answers questions in HackMD
Supports team leaders in breakout rooms: rotates between breakout rooms and checks how things are going
Identifies important issues and raises them to the instructors, “voice of the audience”
More info: Expert helpers
Behind the scenes
The HackMD manager closely watches HackMD to keep it organized and by reading it in detail, can serve as the “voice of the audience” to the instructors.
Ensures everything gets some answer quickly
Even if it is “will be answered later”
Can raise issues to instructors immediately if needed.
In general serves as the instructors’ “ear on the ground”
Maintenance during the workshop
Copies old information to archive HackMD if too much traffic
Organizes sections and questions
Notes break and exercise times
Processes and archives HackMD after the course.
More info: HackMD manager
The Host serves as the manager of learners during the course.
Learner Zoom meeting host (often). Often the registration coordinator.
Helps learners with organizational issues during the course
Ensures that everyone is welcomed and knows what is going on
Assign learners to breakout rooms
Answers technical questions about the course itself
Often the same person as the registration coordinator.
More info: Host
The director manages the flow of the course: preparing and cueing instructors, switching the livestream scenes, announcing schedule, adjusting schedule as needed.
Instructor Zoom meeting host (often). Often the instructor coordinator.
Cues the sessions, makes sure they flow together well.
Adjusts the flow when things do not go according to schedule.
Has sufficient knowledge of the tech setup to do the scene switching.
More info: Director
The broadcaster is responsible for the livestreaming tech.
Only needed in livestream courses
Installs and manages OBS control for livestreams
Ideally is not teaching in the first session
Is around in case of problems, otherwise the director does most of the scene switching.
Makes sure videos get processed and to Youtube in a timely manner, or at least saves them where someone else can do it.
More info: Broadcaster
Oversees registration and generally everything on the participant side.
Communicate with participants
Organize installation help session
Contact person for learners
Provide participation certificates
More info: Registration coordinator)
Coordinate the schedule and instructors for each event
Organize instructor onboarding
More info : Instructors.
Outreach and marketing coordinator
Makes sure workshop gets advertised in different places
You can find a list of commonly advertised places in the bottom of the Workshop checklist template.
Team leader / Exercise coordinator
Communicate with all team leaders, contact person for them
Makes sure all exercises are ready and commicated before and during the workshop
Organize the team leader onboarding session
Usually attends as an expert helper to generally be available and support all leaders.
Collect feedback from team leaders
More info: Exercise coordinator
Watches videos and prepares for YouTube upload
Uses ffmpeg-editlist to process videos after the Broadcaster has made them available.
Work should be done the day/evening of of the course
Roles that are often combined:
Registration coordinator and Host
Instructor coordinator and Director
Expert helper and anything
Instructor and any other role (but not Host)
Roles that should not be combined:
Registration coordinator and Instructor coordinator (these two together tend to form the “core team”)
Broadcaster/Director and Instructor on the first sessions of each day.
HackMD manager and other roles (so delegate HackMD while you do something else! this is OK.)
Host and any active teaching (in big workshops at least - learner management keeps you busy)
HackMD manager can rotate between different people.
Expert helpers can replace team leaders if they cannot join the full workshop