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Workshop Planning

Workshop Scheduling | Sample Workshop Agenda
Sample Workshop Evaluation Questionnaire

Planning Your Workshop

  • Identify the goals of your workshop before you begin to develop the agenda to ensure that your workshop is as focused as possible.

  • Develop a planning schedule and rough budget.

  • After you have designed your workshop agenda, create a brief evaluation form to be filled out at the end of the workshop so you can get participants' feedback to make your next workshop even better.

  • The most effective workshops include modeling, practice, and feedback on the practice. Whenever possible, create a hands-on component of your workshop to encourage active participation and give participants an opportunity to experience your resources and activities. At the very least, make sure there is dialogue between presenters and audience. The real learning, however, takes place after the workshop, when participants attempt to integrate their newly gained knowledge into their classrooms. One way to help ensure their success is through "peer coaching," in which teachers team with each other to provide support and feedback as they try out the new strategies.

  • Consider co-presenting your workshop with one of your partners or a member of your target audience. Try to see your role as a catalyst for bringing people together rather than as an expert on the issue.

  • Consider your audience's availability when scheduling local workshops or events. Teachers and formal educators often prefer to attend workshops after school or on Saturdays. Informal educators (youth club leaders and librarians, for example) may prefer a morning workshop before their organization's after-school activities begin.

  • An appropriate length of time for a workshop is generally 45 to 90 minutes. If you are planning a more extensive training, try to have break-out sessions so people aren't sitting in the same place the whole time. A Saturday workshop can be longer, but attendance may be lower.

Implementing Your Workshop

  • On your invitations, be sure to include the event date and time, location, RSVP date, directions, parking information, accessibility information, and a phone number to call with questions.

  • Try to have teams from the same school or organization attend the workshop. This will help promote coaching among co-workers. This relationship improves the likelihood that attendees will successfully implement new ideas.

  • Serve a snack or light refreshments at the start of your workshop or during a break.

  • Remember, some people always come early to a workshop; others are always late.

  • Supplies you'll need include nametags; sign-in sheet for your records; easel, paper, and markers; audio-visual equipment, such as VCR and monitor, overhead projector, and/or laptop and projector; materials for hands-on activities; extra paper and pencils for participants; copies of your project's resources for participants as well as extras for them to share with their colleagues not in attendance.

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