1) Lower expectations: A number of us (instructors) over estimated how quickly we could cover material. The sections of my own lesson that went best were the ones where I had two final challenges and could drop one of them if time ran short.
2) Course focus: With SWC you are locked into a pretty limited set of topics. However, most of my teaching is outside of SWC and for the second time feedback indicates that most of my students (grad students with a few postdocs or undergrads mixed in) value learning and improving plotting skills more than anything else.
3) Use the post-its better: The instructors and helpers did a good job of responding to red flags. However, the green flags could be used much better. For instance, at the beginning of a live coding session make sure no post-its (red or green) are up. Then at some point into the process you can ask everyone who is at the same point to put the green flag up. This will catch those students that hesitate to use the red. Then you can get them help and they stay involved.
4) Make a schedule of which instructor will be responsible for the etherpad during each session. We did a fair job but we did have a couple of times when no instructor noticed that a question popped up in the chat.
5) Have at least 2 instructors plan on staying for an extra hour to help students that struggled on either day.
6) It is apparently impossible to get all students to install software ahead of time. This is a consensus from every bioinformatics and workshop I’ve attended combined.
7) Finally, mistakes aren’t the end of the world. We all hit error here and there in our live coding. Some of these none of the instructors could solve right away. Even if there was a delay we eventually showed the students how to fix the errors, and the students seemed to like this.
8) Enjoy the fun/funny parts like this crazy feedback I got: