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Workshop Design Checklist

Here's some heuristics to assess whether your workshop adheres to our best practices.

1. The workshop begins with an Ice Breaker activity.

An important goal of the Data Fellows program is to build a "community of practice" among participants. These participants span different disciplines and the workshops provide an important opportunity to enable Fellows to get to know one another. Design the Ice Breaker to be fun, but also to enable Fellows to know each other's research interests and professional goals.

2. The Outcomes specify the learning goals for the workshop.

What are the concrete skills that you hope participants will take away?

3. Each "passive" learning activity lasts no more than 20 minutes.

Most workshops include at least some "lecture" material. Try to break up the lecture material so that it lasts no longer than 20 minutes before participants can exercise a skill in a more "active" learning activity.

4. Have a bio break after about an hour.

Most people start to fidget after about an hour. Design the workshop so that there is a five minute break about halfway through.

5. The workshop includes a "What's Next" section near the end.

It is useful to provide explicit guidance to participants about how they can build on their initial introduction to the material after they leave the workshop.

6. Leave 10 minutes for participants to fill out an assessment at the end.

Design your workshop to leave 10 minutes at the end for assessment. Our experience has shown that if you ask participants to assess the workshop later, the response rate falls dramatically.

7. If available, review assessment results from the last time the workshop was held.

Some workshops have been held before. In this case, you can often discover useful ways to improve the workshop by reviewing the assessment results.

8. Submit your first pull request at least 7 days prior to the workshop date.

This provides time to review and resolve any issues that might exist in your initial design.