Looking for the right length workshopFebruary 6, 2009 — kathyross
The first time I conducted my First Day of Class workshop online, I scheduled it for four weeks so that faculty would have time to view digital case stories, participate in pairs discussing the first day goals, create their own template of first day activities, and view and comment on the plans of a fellow participant.
Having some attrition over that duration of time, I opted next to experiment with shortening it to three weeks with a structure of activities so faculty would participate each half week. By half way through, it became evident to the three-week group that the pace of meeting twice a week was not working so well. We extended back to four weeks, and I concluded that it was better for me to structure an online workshop that allows faculty participation on a once, rather than twice, a week basis. It may reduce the extent of interaction, but could make completion more achievable. I would not omit discussion, as faculty seem to value that component.
I have also found that the first week has needed a bit of time and effort devoted to helping some participants get their tcomputers ready to view the videos (updating Quicktime or browser plug-ins, for instance.) So I just need to expect that and encourage those delayed by that so they don’t feel like they are falling too far behind just as they are starting.
I still like the online format for our workshops, especially because we are a small campus and this delivery mode allows us to invite faculty from other campuses to join ours.