Online workshops are an effective tool used by educational institutions, professional workplaces, creative professionals, and content creators to impart specific lessons or skills. They also bring people together to share new ideas, knowledge, or art. In this article, we will talk about types of educational workshops for students and learners in general.
Conducting a successful workshop requires meticulous planning and preparation along with efficient execution. Several steps are involved in bringing together an engaging workshop. If this is the first time you are conducting an educational workshop for your students, or if you need some help organising the tasks into steps, keep reading.
Here are 5 steps that will help you break down and organise your tasks for conducting a successful workshop:
1. Planning is key to conducting an effective workshop. Like with most other tasks, planning helps you carry out the event smoothly, helping with a plan of action for any unforeseen situations that might cause any setbacks to your workshop.
These are some pointers that can help you with planning:
- Ascertain the aims and objectives of your workshop before you start planning for the actual event. Once your agenda is clear, it will be easy to determine the means to achieve it. As they say, “well begun is half done”.
- Plan the sequence of events and come up with an approximate timeline of the whole event. You can specify how long each exercise or group discussion will last. It is best to keep a buffer for the timeline if it extends beyond your estimates.
- Create groups according to subjects, topics or subtopics. To ensure that your workshop is successful, you need to be selective about your audience. It will be in your favour to segregate students into groups according to their preferences of topics. An uninterested audience can really kill the vibe of a workshop.
- List down the rules of engagement for your students to follow during the workshop. Brief instructions will help maintain order and ensure fairness during the workshop. Rules might seem restrictive but actually allow everyone equal freedom while preserving their rights.
There are two stages of preparation that you will need to go through to ensure nothing goes sideways during your workshop:
- Advance preparations: You need to start these a few days or a week before the date of the workshop. Advance preparation will include planning and finalising your communication platform, the venue, refreshments and general logistics.
- Just-in-time preparations: These include last-minute set-ups like the camera, sound checks, and connectivity checks that need to be ensured a few minutes before commencement.
3. Games, exercises, and activities
There are several group activities, games and discussions that make a workshop fun and enjoyable for the audience. It breaks the ice and enables comfortable communication between you, the participants, and the group as a whole. For instance, you can start a new idea with a short poll on something related to the topic. Taking everyone’s vote into consideration will make each student feel included and valued.
4. Encourage genuine interaction
The success of your workshop will largely depend upon the quality of interaction that takes place during the session. Each of the students should be given individual attention and foster a feeling of belonging. Some students may be naturally outspoken, and others may be more reserved. It is your responsibility as the conductor to ensure each of the students gets a chance to genuinely interact within the group.
5. Deliberation and conclusion
Closing the workshop at the end can be a bit tricky. You should keep in mind a few things while concluding the session:
- Provide a chance for each participant to share their views and feedback at the end of the session.
- You can summarise the learnings of the workshop briefly and give your audience a chance to reflect upon what they understood from the workshop.
- Conclude with a keynote address to provide closure to all the topics that were started during the workshop.
Accessibility to the venue is one of the crucial aspects of planning a workshop. Many educators are increasingly choosing to conduct their workshops online as virtual events in these post-pandemic times. Along with all the above points, remember that a workshop should deliver the promised takeaways while being a fun and engaging activity. Follow these steps to make your workshop a hit!