SCoPE: Next Steps: September 17-26, 2008

The format of SCoPE seminars

The format of SCoPE seminars

by Sylvia Currie -
Number of replies: 1
Christine starts us off with some great suggestions for SCoPE. I pulled out this gem because it definitely deserves a thread of its own:


We have left the format of seminars fairly open. They are scheduled with a start and end date, topic based, and facilitated by one or more volunteers. Any advance preparation will depend on the facilitator's time and needs. Ahead of time we might talk about resources to anchor the discussion, a plan for each week, good questions to ask, possible icebreakers, and tasks/roles to accomplish what we want to do (i.e. moderator for Elluminate, summarizer, etc) Most get ideas from reviewing previous seminars.

Sometimes we run a wiki alongside a seminar to gather the highlights and resources generated through the discussion. Often this produces a very useful glimpse of the discussion up to that point in time -- perhaps not the "Readers' Digest version" on Christine's wish list, but getting close!

Sometimes we go through a round of introductions at the beginning of each seminar. This is a great practice for newcomers, but can seem a little repetitive for those participating in several seminars a year. The round of intros or a quick hello at least tells us who is "here", even if you don't plan to be active in the discussion.

So this is our very loose format. While we don't want to impose too much structure, I think future facilitators would appreciate a flexible outline -- a bit of a formula to follow. Feedback I've had from past facilitators is that the job can take more time than expected. Hmmm, perhaps a way to add structure and also distribute the workload a bit is to start each seminar with a sign up sheet. We could have a list of roles (weekly summarizer, social convenor, wiki custodian, ???) Do you think this would work?

What have you noticed about SCoPE seminars and patterns of participation? What are your suggestions for making the experience better for everybody?


In reply to Sylvia Currie

Re: The format of SCoPE seminars

by Christine Horgan -

Sylvia:

Good suggestins. As with any extra-curricular activity we take on....obligation and/or enthusiasm can lead us to becoming overachievers: "Feedback I've had from past facilitators is that the job can take more time than expected. Hmmm, perhaps a way to add structure and also distribute the workload a bit is to start each seminar with a sign up sheet. We could have a list of roles (weekly summarizer, social convenor, wiki custodian, ???)"

There may be enough variety in the roles, Sylvia, that participants can take on bit, learn from doing those roles, and free up the moderator somewhat.

"What have you noticed about SCoPE seminars and patterns of participation? What are your suggestions for making the experience better for everybody?" I've noticed that there are lurkers who identify themselves as lurkers (I'm often one myself); there are occassional participants (who often introduce themselves but don't participate further); there are occassional posters; and then there are those who clearly know each other, know a lot about the topic, are regulars.

There's a lot the newbies (like me) can learn from the regulars.

Look forward to following up on the threads of this seminar when I return to SAIT in early October.

Cheers, Chris Horgan