2020 Training Review

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2020 Training Review

This blog post was written by our intern Osheen Macoscar.

2020 is a year most of us would like to leave behind. But not all change
is bad, and many interesting developments, especially in education,
happened due to the constraints imposed by COVID. Like many other
training providers, we had to pivot to online learning, which brought
with it challenges but also new opportunities. This review will
hopefully offer some insight into what the year looked like for our
trainers and training course attendees with some key facts and figures
along the way.

2020 Course Stats

Here is a basic overview of all training courses in 2020:

  • Total number of attendees : 1288

  • Total number of courses delivered : 93

  • Number of R courses delivered : 77

  • Number of Python courses delivered : 15

I have created a few plots which I think help provide some further
insight into our training courses in 2020. They have all been created
using the R package {ggplot2} (which incidentally, you can learn to
master in our Advanced Graphics with
R

course!). This first plot shows the number of attendees across course
start dates, coloured by whether the course was on-site or online.

I thought this was an interesting plot as it displays the impact of
COVID on the type of courses JR ran in 2020, and the slight increase in
course capacity that came with everything being moved online. It also
shows the temporary break in courses around March 2020 when the national
lockdown was first introduced. You can see that our transition to fully
remote training only took one month and five days!

As a result of COVID, we ran the online courses on Zoom which meant we
had a higher attendee-to-trainer ratio. Due to this, we developed a
bespoke training stack to maintain a high quality of training. This
involved using RStudio Workbench as a way to provide a remote instance
of RStudio on the Cloud. This way, attendees are granted access to the
tutor scripts, exercises, solutions and a pdf copy of the notes. A
measure we implemented in some courses was to add an additional trainer
to assist with the course admin and help answer questions in the Zoom
chat.

Now, after the first plot you may be wondering what proportion of JR’s
courses were on-site vs online, given that the first online course took
place mid-April. I have created a pie chart showing the proportion of
course locations.

As you can see, it is almost exactly a 25/75 split of on-site to online.
This is because there were 23 on-site courses and 70 online courses,
which is pretty impressive considering how new the Jumping Rivers
training team were to running remote training.

Another interesting topic to investigate was the proportion of courses
run for each language. This was something John covered in the 2019
training
review
,
so proportions could be compared between the two years.

In 2020, Jumping Rivers ended up running 93 courses, only a tiny bit
short of the 95 courses ran in 2019. Predictably, R is still the most
popular language across courses.

Course Popularity

R Course Numbers

As you can see from the R course numbers above, unsurprisingly,
“Introduction to R” is the most popular course by a large margin, with
a total of 26 courses in 2020, 20 more than the courses tied for second.

Python Course Numbers

In familiar fashion, we can see that the most popular Python course was
the introductory course, followed closely by “Programming with Python”.
An interesting pattern that can be spotted between the two most
prevalent coding languages, is that the introductory, programming and
visualistaion courses were the three most popular in both!

Trainer Awards

Next up we have the 2020 JR trainer awards, where we get to reveal who
taught the most courses and who taught the most attendees respectively.

Most Courses

Congratulations to Theo on teaching the most courses in 2020, with a
whopping 29 courses, which on average is more than one course every
other week! We also have Rhian on 26 and Jamie on 20 courses
respectively!

Most Attendees

Unsurprisingly, Theo also wins the award for the most attendees taught
in 2020 having taught 437 people in total!

Final Thoughts

What a unique year 2020 was. I have to say, the team of trainers at
Jumping Rivers handled the transition from on-site to online courses
very smoothly! In fact, even with the one-month transitionary period,
the course numbers were similar to 2019! In August 2021, at the point
of writing, we are running online courses only. However, our plan is
currently to run both online and on-site courses from the turn of the
new year, so stay tuned! You can check our currently available public
courses here.

For updates and revisions to this article, see the original post

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