Best Practices for Presenters of Professional Learning Workshops
The NYSAIS Professional Development Committee suggests these tips for maximizing the effectiveness of workshops.
- have clearly articulated goals and objectives related to classroom / school implementation.
- engage participants before, during, and after the workshop as suggested below:
a. Before - “prime the pump”
- use online NYSAIS community space to share resources (e.g., readings, videos, guiding questions, materials to bring to workshop, etc.)
- seek feedback from participants.
- use feedback to adjust workshop to meet participants’ expectations and needs.
b. During - “participant-centered”
- be interactive.
- provide time for reflection during the workshop.
- provide time for each participant to develop an action plan. The form on the next page may be useful to the participants in developing their action plan.
- provide time for collaborative work among participants
- collectively document the contributions of all participants in the workshop (e.g., Google docs, NYSAIS community space, etc.)
- provide sufficient time for questions and answers.
- get written feedback from the participants.
c. After – “the rubber meets the road”
- reach out to participants to seek their feedback individually and via online NYSAIS community space.
- use online NYSAIS community space for participants to share their implementation experience (successes, challenges, clarifying questions, etc.)
- use feedback from evaluations and online NYSAIS community space to modify future workshops to make implementation more successful.
Action Plan Example
Action steps: If you had nothing else to work on besides this project, what are the next three things that you would have to do to move this project forward. Think small, discrete steps (e.g., ask my department chair to order resources for me; make a phone call; schedule a meeting, etc.):
Challenge forecasting: What are the potential obstacles that could get in the way of you implementing this project? List large and small obstacles (e.g., getting my co-teacher to agree; learning how to use the technology with confidence; getting parent investment, etc.)
Getting Unstuck: If a challenge above arose, who are the people that you could ask to help you get unstuck?