Timeline for Convening a Cutting Edge-style Workshop and Developing Its Website

This page describes the process and timeline for planning a Cutting Edge-style workshop, and for making sure that the associated web pages are created in a timely manner.


Jump down to: Right now | -3 Months | -2 Months | -1 Month | Post-Workshop

General Overview

Workshops require planning by a team that spans the expertise needed to fully engage the various pieces of the topic and includes experts in workshop planning. The following process has been used by the On the Cutting Edge project to develop our emerging theme workshops.

  1. Topics are selected by the PIs approximately one year in advance based on input from the geoscience education community and Advisory Board.
  2. A leader in the emerging theme is identified to serve as a co-convener. That person works with the PI responsible for the workshop to refine the specific workshop goals and to identify the workshop planning committee. The workshop goals and committee are submitted to the PI team for comment.
  3. Using electronic and phone communications, the workshop planning committee reviews and refines the workshop goals. They then create a workshop program meeting these goals and the general goals outlined above. The planning committee also identifies workshop leaders able to execute the various aspects of the program, as well as participants who should be encouraged to apply for the workshop (see more about characteristics of strong leaders).
  4. The PI and co-convener takes responsibility for encouraging applications within the specific target community, selecting the participants and developing the program materials. They work to engage the planning team fully in these aspects of workshop development.
  5. A website with resources is developed to support the workshop.

As Soon as the Workshop is Scheduled: Calculate Your Timeline

  • Mark your pre- and post-workshop deadlines in your calendar

More than 3 Months in Advance: Initial Workshop and Website Development

To create the workshop website:

  • Workshop conveners hold brainstorming meetings/conference calls, to
    • set the goals and objectives of the workshop
    • set the scope of the workshop program
    • decide what participants will create/submit for the resource collection(s)
    • set the selection criteria for workshop participation
    • write the application questions
    • set the application deadline (usually at least 2 months prior to workshop)
    • set the registration fee; this should be sufficient to cover all of the workshop leader's (or leaders') expenses
    • Confirm workshop location
    • Identify potential keynote(s)/invited speakers
  • Workshop conveners develop the workshop module, with the assistance of the webteam mentor:
    • home page
    • overview page
    • application form (Note: all forms will be created by your web team mentor, and you should expect that to take a few days)
Read more about creating the workshop website

3 Months Prior to Workshop: Initial Announcement of the Workshop

  • At this time, the workshop website should be publicly accessible with a home page, an overview page and an application (at minimum) and the initial workshop advertising should take place.
  • Note: for workshops taking place at professional society meetings, the announcement of the workshop should go out whenever abstracts for the meeting are accepted, so that meeting attendees can make appropriate travel plans.
Read more about workshop advertising

2-3 Months Prior to the Workshop: Additional Workshop Website Development

  • Create logistics page with information about travel, lodging, meals, and the workshop venue
    • Coordinate with hotel/lodging, if applicable
    • Line up catering
  • Create and post a draft program
  • Create registration form (if applicable) and pre-workshop assignment submission forms
  • Set registration deadline (usually at least 1 month prior to workshop, but may be dependent on when housing, workshop venue, and/or catering need final numbers) and create a participant checklist

2 Months Prior to Workshop (1 week after application deadline): Participant Selection

  • Select participants based on selection criteria
  • Screen accepted participants with an eye toward potential speakers
  • Create an email list of selected participants
  • Notify participants (via email list) and those not accepted (individually)
  • Create participant list (web page on workshop website)

1 Month Prior to Workshop: Registration Deadline

  • Contact accepted applicants who haven't registered to find out what's going on
  • Shepherd participant submissions into web pages; provide technical support, proofreading and formatting as needed.
  • Post participant submissions (link to participant list) and consult with SERC about incorporation into larger collections.
  • Create other pre-workshop information (such as a reading list) or complete other pre-workshop activities (such as an online discussion)
  • Regular communication between planning team and participants about upcoming deadlines, expectations, pre-work, etc.
  • Finalize hotel/lodging
  • Finalize catering, including special dietary needs
  • Determine exact locations such as room numbers
  • Update logistics and program pages with emerging details.

2 Weeks Prior to Workshop: Finalize Program

  • Flesh out the workshop program including assignments of speaking roles to participants
  • Finalize program web page with titles, specific times and room numbers for all sessions
  • Develop other pages supporting specific sessions with web team mentor (e.g. upload forms for use prior to or at the workshop)
  • Finalize evaluation form(s)
  • Chase down last submissions from delinquent participants
  • Work with speakers to get presentations uploaded
  • As the final program gets hammered out, make handouts, upload forms, workspaces as needed. Assign privs as needed to form queues and workspaces
  • Manage withdrawals, last-minute applicants and other changes
  • Last minute details: organizing/printing/uploading necessary workshop materials, pre-arranging working groups and setting up workspaces
  • For Virtual/Hybrid Workshops:
    • Set up conference call numbers
    • Make sure presenters (and participants) are comfortable with/have an opportunity to experience web-conferencing software and the conference call technologies
    • Set up workgroup workspace pages and conference call numbers (if applicable)


Following the Workshop

  • Update the workshop web pages:
    • Collect and post files (presentations, posters, readings and relevant links) to the workshop program page
    • Change workshop web pages to the past tense
    • Collect missing, incomplete, or promised contributions
    • Transition collections out of workshop module into topical module
    • Populate the website with all the connections brought up during the workshop.
  • Proofread the website
  • Interact with participants
    • Send a thank you note via the email list
    • Send email list a note when topics module is complete, thank everyone for their contributions, prompt for more submissions.
    • Keep track of new submissions and changes authors want to make to their contributions. Follow-up with authors (e.g. activity sheets/courses/workspaces, etc) to see if they need further assistance or if they're ready for their page to go live.
  • Write a workshop report and complete workshop reflection for evaluation
    • How many participants attended
    • What they learned
    • What you learned: what went particularly well, what you would do differently if you did it again
    • Any feedback you have about the mentoring process, both in terms of the workshop design and the website development process
  • Disseminate workshop outcomes
    • Do something - a GSA/AGU poster/presentation, EOS article, etc. - to publicize outcomes of the workshop and website.
    • Make sure the topics website is linked to related pages and a news item is published about it.
  • Further develop the Topical Module
    • Take materials created at the workshop and make into final products.
    • Follow up with working groups who are developing new things
    • Make new additions, as needed
  • Initiate follow-up activities
  • Virtual/Hybrid Workshops: Take down access codes and link to screen-sharing software or entire technology information page
Read more about how to manage the workshop website before, during and after the workshop

3 Months After the Workshop

  • Follow-up communication including check in on progress on individual action plans