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Could community developed courses help promote quantitative ecology?

I wonder if one of the obstacles is the time and expertise required of teachers to develop course materials that are ecology focussed? If so, I think it is worth noting that the Data Carpentry community has freely available ecology focussed teaching materials to support teaching computer programming to ecologists. Perhaps similar community efforts could be made to support other quantitative teaching that is especially relevant to ecology.

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I definitely agree open educational materials like those from Software and Data Carpentry are a great resource for educators adding computational content into existing curriculums. In my experience, though, the major limiting factor is having more than just a few faculty in any given department who are both comfortable with using (slash troubleshooting) and enthusiastic about adding such materials into their already full curricula. The tech landscape changes pretty quickly and it can be hard to keep up with if it's not part of your normal research or teaching program already. Perhaps one path might be SWC or DC style workshops explicitly focused on training teachers/faculty to add quantitative/computational modules into their classes?

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Good point about the tech landscape changing so quickly, and I have experienced a short-shelf life with some of my own teaching materials. I think that one of the objectives of the SWC and DC workshops is to reduce this burden by updating and maintaining teaching materials as a community. But you are right, freely available and community maintained SWC or DC style workshops may remove some obstacles to teaching quantitative methods, but ultimately you will always need someone capable and enthusiastic within an institution to successfully deliver the teaching.

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