On 25-29 January, 2021, the Galaxy Admin community hosted a workshop which covered introductory and advanced topics you need to know to set up your own production, high-performance and multi-user Galaxy instance. This course received funding from EOSC-Life.
59 participants from across 5 continents took part in the training, including 6 from the EOSC-Life community. Participants learnt about how to install, configure, customize, and extend their own production-ready Galaxy servers.
The course was taught completely asynchronously with a mix of written tutorials, videos recorded by the instructor community and videos auto-generated from the slides. Intensive, hands-on sessions were taught by experienced instructors from the Galaxy Community. All the contents of the training will remain online permanently at https://github.com/galaxyproject/admin-training/tree/2021-online.
The bulk of the work consisted of the participants working at their own pace through the materials prepared for them. For the duration of the training (and a week after) the participants were granted access to a virtual machine exclusive to them. Throughout the week they had constant access through a Slack channel to trainers that were ready to help with tasks or understanding. The schedule included approximately 5 hours of daily work.
Participants highlighted the flexibility as the ‘best’ aspect of the course. Some trainees really appreciated being able to revisit earlier materials and do things out of the ‘official’ order, allowing them to deepen their understanding.
Best – doing this course in my own space with my own tech made this very efficient/comfortable which helped my learning.
Additionally, accessibility was an important aspect that was successfully addressed by the organizers:
Honestly, this has been far the best training so far. […] The instant support by the trainers has been perfect. This is an important point for me. In my previous in-person trainings sometimes I got lost. Of course I got help, but the class won’t wait (so long). So sometimes I found myself rushing through the following stuff to get back on track again – without learning much. This issue has been totally solved in GAT 2021. I could work in my own pace. Furthermore there has been room for more questions in my opinion in contrast to the in-person trainings.
Above 90% of the participants considered the training useful (score 4 or 5 out of 5), were very happy with the virtual experience compared with a face-to-face course, and found the videos useful. Finally, some feedback obtained from the organizers of this Galaxy Admin Training:
This was an incredible event, and we did things we could not have done if it wasn’t for EOSC funding! Next time we do this event we’ll advertise more aggressively through EOSC channels from day 1.