When I started teaching FYE, I instantly concluded that there was so much that I could bring to the curriculum. Including workshops became an undoubtedly strong focus for me. I wouldn’t always be the workshop presenter. I could, however, incorporate the services of our Center for Advising and Student Achievement (CASA) colleagues in presenting useful topics, strategies and skills for success during college and beyond. Learning goes beyond the confines of the classroom. Therefore, the workshop topics could include Study Skills, Note taking, Test Anxiety, Organizational Skills and Time Management.
What’s the purpose of workshops?
While there are multiple answers that one could offer to this question, we can agree that workshops are designed to help one succeed both in and out of the classroom. These 45 minutes educational sessions teach, or introduce, practical skills, or other ideas that are useful in participants’ daily lives.
Students need listening, communicating, organizing and time managing skills to succeed in their professions. For all these reasons, I believe that if our workshops are skillfully presented, there is the strong possibility to change minds in the process.
There are a number of different ways to teach people, and because we learn things in different ways a workshop has some advantages over other methods that make it a good choice in certain circumstances. (There are some disadvantages, too, most notably the lack of time it provides.)
Constructivist theory defines learning as a process in which learners construct organized knowledge (Mayer, 2004). This theory embraces the student-centered approach. It assists students to develop a “can-do” behavior which motivates them to use and enjoy their time.
It is important to design workshops in order to motivate participants. They should offer one essential strategy that any one attending can recall and use in his/her study preparations. Effective instruction includes different strategies to encourage students to interact purposefully with the content and build on their former knowledge (Weiss & Pasley, 2004). Therefore, including workshops in curriculum can influence achievements and performance.
Evidence of the effectiveness of the workshops
Instant feedback is one important, but certainly not the only, e.
Other evidence includes:
- interaction and exchange of ideas
- positive changes measured by mid-term results
- or by the new skills developed by students
- consultation for help and support.
What are some topics that you have designed for workshops, and how effective they been?