RStudio’s instructor training and certification program has been running for a year now, so it’s time to take stock of what we’ve accomplished and what we’ve learned. The first part is easiest: of the 280 people who have taken part in the training course, 95 have certified as tidyverse instructors and 17 as Shiny instructors. A combined 35% completion rate may seem low, and at first glance the completion rates seem to have dropped over time:
However, this is pretty clearly because most people take a while to complete their exams:
Setting aside the first class at rstudio::conf 2019 the overall completion rate seems to be hovering around 45%, and the average time a little over 100 days. We’d like to increase the first figure and lower the second one, but overall we’re pretty happy.
The more important question is what impact the training is having. Feedback from participants has been positive, but that’s obviously biased in several ways. so we plan to launch a survey later this month to get more information. We will also watch what happens now that the IDE supports integrated tutorials: I will personally mail a box full of stickers to the first person who puts a concept map in the new tutorial pane.
The biggest question right now, though, is whether we helped prepare people for the seismic shift in teaching and training caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our webinars have summed up key points about general teaching practices, using rstudio.cloud for teaching, and sharing materials online with R Markdown; we hope that our lessons and other material gave people more to draw on, but the only way to find out will be to ask them in a year when the dust has settled and we can see what has changed for good.