Great insights into how to conduct a great workshop. Very useful tips if you are an organizer. http://t.co/LMRUBvHeIE
Original Article: Workshops are hopeful things. They’re sold on so much promise, but that promise is often dashed as students discover their instructor has little idea how to teach anything.
For years I was a workshop guy. I taught them, I studied them, I even hired people to do them for other companies. I watched many instructors run them and I know the common mistakes. Here’s my best advice on how run a workshop people will love.
RULE #1: A 3 HOUR LECTURE IS NOT A WORKSHOP
The word workshop implies that work will be done in a shop like atmosphere. This means the center of attention should be on the students doing work, not on the expert gloating in their own ego.
Most experts suck at workshops because they are used to lecturing. A lecture has the spotlight on the speaker, but a workshop has the spotlight on each of the students.
The skills involved in designing workshops are very different for this reason. Instead of crafting a message for people to listen to, a good workshop is crafted to give students the opportunity for guided instruction in doing things. Many workshops are born from lectures, which explains why those workshops are so boring.
RULE #2: THE MORE STUDENTS YOU HAVE, THE LESS OF A WORKSHOP IT IS
Better workshop instructors make larger groups feel more interactive, but beyond 20 or 25 people the instructor is spread thin. The common approach for large groups is to have people work in teams, as they at least get to be interactive with each other while the instructor is helping other students. In bad cases group work is a copout: the exercises aren’t interesting enough, or students struggle to work with annoying strangers who are too pushy or too passive. Working in groups of 2 to 4 people in a challenging exercise ensures everyone works, but larger than that invites more time spent co-ordinating than working. Continue Reading…