Welcome to Mozilla Science Lab's Study Group Orientation!


2.1 Leading a Session

The most successful, sustainable Study Groups leverage the experience, skills, and interest of the entire group.

Remember, as Study Group Lead you are not expected to teach all or even most of the sessions. A member doesn’t have to an expert in a topic to lead a session-- they just need to be motivated, have a bit of background and a willingness to explore the topic with others. The relaxed, non-competitive tone you create for your study group should help members feel comfortable stepping up to lead sessions. If you think a member might have a certain skill or technology to share, invite them to lead a session on it. Leading a session is a great way for those new to teaching to get some practice in a low-stakes environment-- experience that can be very valuable in an academic career!

To help you plan sessions and organize your materials, and to ensure that all is usable and useful for others, we’ve created this Lesson Template (Indonesian translation.) It's part of the Study Group Repository) for you to use to structure any notes, guides, challenges, or examples you share in session. Once you’ve created your lesson notes using the template, and tested out your lesson with your Study Group, we hope you’ll add it to the Study Group Lesson repository. This repo enables skills-sharing among Study Groups worldwide. Anyone can access these open resources; it’s a way of maximizing the learning potential and power of all our Groups, worldwide. Explore the Lesson Repository here.

In additon to the template, we've detailed formats and provided tips for new session leaders in the next section. Share these with any prospective leads. Remind members that it’s most useful and authentic to see how they use a tool or skill in their research practice; they don’t need to present an in-depth, advanced 90 minute lecture on a topic.

Each session will be a bit different, but here are three excellent guiding principles for leading a session, developed by the University of Toronto Study Group:

  • Keep the code you’re working with as simple as possible while still covering the concept.
  • When making the code, make no or few assumptions about the knowledge of the audience.
  • Keep the code generalizable. Members may come from diverse fields of research. What we share is the need to code.

Do you have tips or suggestions for running sessions we haven't mentioned here? Tell us about it here!