The Workshop



The presentation at the beginning should be between 15 and 45 minutes. The practical exercise should immediately follow the presentation. Exercise and presentation together should take between 60 and 90 minutes. If you prefer, you can mix presentation and exercises as you see fit best for your topic.

Your whole workshop should not take longer than 90 minutes.

Topic allocation

Topic allocation will be done in week 1. In preparation for this, have a look at the available topics and select a few that you consider interesting. We will try to finalise topic allocation in week 2, normally working together in pairs on one topic. The final allocation will be done by the module coordinator, although we hope to be able to realise all student preferences.

Expected materials

For your workshop, we expect you to produce/do the following:

  1. Find a topic, discuss your plans how to present this with your topic partner and the module lecturers.
  2. Create an announcement of the workshop on CMG events, including a summary, some image and suitable caption. Tick at least the 'NGCM' tag towards the bottom of the page, and if approriate other tags. Complete this 2 weeks before your workshop, and let the lecturers know that you have done so. (You can update the text later.)
  3. Create a Linux virtual machine on which you have installed the tool(s) you introduce or provide an environment as required for your workshop. Make this virtual disk image available (see Uploading your disk image and this introduction to virtualbox).
  4. Provide installation instructions for this virtual machine, including some steps that students can take to check that the virtual machine works for them. Make this available as a first part of your teaching materials on (Our workshop in week 3 will tell you how to do that.) Complete this 8 days before your workshop starts.
  5. Develop slides, notebooks, self-paced instructions and/or whatever medium you think is most appropriate as teaching material for (i) the presentation and (ii) the training session in the second half of your workshop.
  6. Deliver the workshop.
  7. Make the taught materials available online in a form that others (from Southampton and elsewhere) can benefit from the material (within one week after your workshop) by extending your entry at You can do this before you deliver the workshop, and use the online materials during the workshop if you wish.
  8. Produce some (confidential) reflective notes on how the delivery went, what went well, what worked differently from what you expected, what could be changed/improved (within one week after your workshop). Send those [as plain text] to and CC the module coordinator (Denis Kramer).
  9. Produce a short summary of the work shop to be published on the NGCM blog, pointing to the detailed teaching materials at
  10. Gather everything you have produced and make it available to the module lecturers (within one week after your workshop) via the module leader. A tar file would be appropriate. If the file is too large, contact the module leader, otherwise email to and CC to the module coordinator.

Teaching material guidance

You cannot introduce any topic or tool to a significant depth within your workshop. Instead, you can and should focus on more modest aims, such as:

Not always is the most complex example you can come up with the most appropriate one to address the aims listed above.

Bear also in mind that your audience is two-fold: those attending your workshop and those studying/using your teaching materials online (at a later point). You cannot deliver perfect versions for both groups, but you can try to provide something that is usable for both groups.

What excactly should I produce?

Be creative regarding the particular teaching materials you will deliver to best convey the topic: you can use static slides, IPython/Jupyter Notebooks, the black/white board, self-paced exercises, instructions hosted on a webpage, github/bitbucket repository, on paper/pdf, in a notebook, produce videos to announce the topic (1 minute?) or record a video of your workshop and make it available online, create blog entries, electronic books or a dedicated Twitter account -- there is a lot of choice. Feel free to seek advice from the lecturers if you like feedback on your planning.

Assessment guidance

A list of possible assessment criteria is available.

Uploading your disk image

To upload your disk image to, you need to scp it to, and then store in the folder public_html/virtualmachines. Please ask the module leaders for the password when you need it.

Once you have put your file in place, make sure that it is world readable. What matters for the file to be downloadable is that you see an r (not -) in the 8th column from the left in the output of running ls -l. Here is an example:

[ngcmbits@gateway virtualmachines]$ ls -l
total 1907908
-rw-r--r-- 1 ngcmbits f2  930171392 Feb  5 09:26 feeg6003lubuntu.ova
-rw------- 1 ngcmbits f2 1021606912 Mar  3 12:37 feeg6003_TextEditors.ova

The first file is world readable, the second is not. To change this for the second file, use the command:

[ngcmbits@gateway virtualmachines]$ chmod o+r feeg6003_TextEditors.ova

We can check that this has changed the read status:

[ngcmbits@gateway virtualmachines]$ ls -l
total 1907908
-rw-r--r-- 1 ngcmbits f2  930171392 Feb  5 09:26 feeg6003lubuntu.ova
-rw----r-- 1 ngcmbits f2 1021606912 Mar  3 12:37 feeg6003_TextEditors.ova