Masterclass Further Discussion and Activities: How To Plan a Workshop?

Thanks to everyone who attended the masterclass on how to plan a workshop. Below is a list of the activities that were mentioned throughout the masterclass for you carry out to help you create your workshop. If you missed the recording the masterclass will be available members in the masterclass section

If we didn’t get to your questions tonight, you’d like to continue the conversation, or you found more resources to share, please share them here.

Activity 1

Identify what you want to teach by creating your grid for workshop ideas, tracking your interest, your expertise and community interest

Your first port of call is to work out workshop ideas you have and which of those ideas are worth pursuing. We talked about how you can list your ideas out in a grid to score what you’re passionate about, what your skills are and what people want to help you pick an idea to work on.

Activity 2

Spend some time reflecting and noting down who your audience is and what are their needs. Use the questions we’ve shared as well as coming up with your questions around who you are aiming to teach.

We then talked about our spending time understanding who your audience or learner is and spending time reflecting on their needs. By better understanding our learners we can tailor a course that works well for them.

Activity 3

Using Blooms taxonomy verb list as a model, work out what your learning outcomes are for your workshop

Next, we focused on learning outcomes which are the backbone of any workshop. We talked about how they are brief, specific, measurable statements that describe what learners can expect to be able to achieve by the end of a lesson. Building learning outcomes helps give structure to our workshops whilst always ensuring we’re developing a workshop that addresses a learners needs.

Activity 4

With your learning outcomes set, begin to start writing your abstract. Don’t forget to share with others to get feedback!

We then discussed how we can use the learrning outcomes and our knowledge of our learners to write our abstract. There were some traps to avoid as well around ensuring your abstract is the right length, clear in what it’s offerring and not too salesy with buzzwords.

Activity 5

Using our lesson plan template, begin to plan your lesson out and work out how your learners are going to achieve each learning outcomes

Finally, we discussed how you can begin to fill in the gaps of what your workshop is going to look like by using your learning outcomes to set out what you want to teach, how you will teach it and what activities the learner will do to demonstrate they can achieve a specific learning outcome.

We did this by using a template that I’ve shared here for you:



The questions we didn’t get to:

  1. I’ve had some people tell me that they can’t put learning outcomes on their workshops because 2 people with the same background would/might learn 2 different things. How do you design learning outcomes with that consideration in mind?
    1.1 Following up on that because this was my own question :sweat_smile: is a learning outcome a guaranteed outcome?
  2. Are any of the choices on the “what are your options” slide more important than others? Do you need to “tick” all of them?
  3. How do make ourself aware we are not sharing too much information in the abstract?

Hi all,

Thanks for the excellent questions posed at the end of the masterclass, sorry I couldn’t get through all of them in person. So here are my answers to the ones @heather_reid has shared.

I would go back to how I defined learning outcomes in the masterclass:

A learning outcome is a brief, specific, measurable statement

From this there are two considerations:

  1. Keeping it specific: The risk of two people learning different things comes when your outcomes are too broad or too vague. By being concrete in what you expect the learner to do, it allows very little wiggle room or misinterpretation. Which brings us to:
  2. Making them measurable: If you’re specific in your outcome then you can set an activity for the learner to do that demonstrates that they can achieve the outcome. This enables you to observe what the learner has done and act accordingly. If they can’t do it, then more teaching or a change of approach is required.

Going a bit deeper it really depends on what is meant from ‘2 different things’. People interpret information, organise their understanding and forge solutions to achieving outcomes in different ways that are very personal to them. As long as your outcome is specific and measurable if the two learners solve it in different ways, but both achieve the outcome, then you’ve done your job.

Setting learning outcomes is the start of the journey, to make it a ‘guarantee’ that the learner achieve the outcomes then you need to also consider:

  • What you will teach
  • How you teach it
  • The activity you will set

All of these considerations have a part to play to ensure that a learning outcome is achieved. If you are getting wildly different results in response to your activities then you need to consider all those areas to ensure you are setting a learner on the right path to achieve a learning outcome.

Passion has always been my driver in what I teach. I was very lucky to get some advice from Iain McCowatt once when I explained how I wanted to teach/speak but didn’t know what to cover. He said to find the ‘bee in your bonnet’ and focus on that. I’ve taken that to heart and a lot of what I have focused on in my training has come from things I’m interested in or things I want to help others improve on.

That said, the other categories around assessing your relevant experience and understanding what people want are still important to reflect on to see if that ‘bee’ is the same as everyone else ‘bee’.

As a self-confessed serial waffler, this is something I can identify with!

My solution is always to get someone else to review my abstract before submission. Usually, the waffle or repetition is picked up on straight away. Also, don’t be afraid to put the abstract to one side and come back to it after a rest, you’ll find a fresh pair of eyes always helps as well :slight_smile: