Use the Web Site and Web Tools
Website Use to Prepare for the Workshop
The website provides participants with expectations - both what is expected of them and what they can expect at the workshop. It also provides critical logistical and travel information and contact info for the workshop leaders. Beyond this critical information, the workshop website can help participants prepare for the workshop through providing background readings, starting discussions, and providing a mechanism to contribute workshop materials prior to the workshop taking place. For more, see Using the Website to Prepare for the Workshop.
The website and tools can be used in a variety of ways during the workshop, including:
Capturing the Workshop Activities
Usually these materials are captured with an upload form that is created specifically for the workshop. Workspaces have also been used effectively in capturing real-time note taking during small group discussions and to summarize large group report outs.
- presentations by invited speakers,
- written summaries of discussion groups (large and small),
- posters, and representations of other events. The CMS is very flexible and allows us to keep up with posting these materials in near real-time.
Facilitating Real-time Web-authoringSome workshops are specifically writing workshops. If this is the case, an introduction to the Content Management System should be built into the program (usually through Participant Workspace pages), and authors should be given a tutorial in the basic functions. The CMS is both flexible and easily accessible so it is possible that under some circumstances participant authors can create new web-based resources while at the workshop.
Utilizing Existing Online ResourcesMany of the On the Cutting Edge workshops build upon existing materials - either directly related or complimentary materials; both within Cutting Edge and within other projects - so there will already be a substantial set of online resources available for use at the workshop. Consider ways that these resources can be integrated into the workshop Program, as related links, downloadable files, and more. Make sure that all participants are aware of these resources and where to find them. A brief walk-through of the website with participants might be helpful.
- Make sure everyone leaves the workshop with a thorough knowledge of the web pages, and the resources that are available.
- The web site is an organic entity, and it is up to the community to nurture it and to help it grow. Make sure that participants leave the workshop with a commitment to use the website, provide formative feedback in how it was used, what worked, and what could be improved.
- Participants should be encouraged to continue to contribute resources to the workshop: activities, URL and print resources, course syllabus, etc.
- Encourage participants to be ambassadors for the workshop. Ask them to share the workshop web site with interested colleagues, and look for opportunities to establish hard links to and from other organizations with related interests. (for example, Teaching Mineralogy is linked directly to the Mineralogical Society of America)
For You: Website Cleanup After the Workshop
- Make sure all workshop materials are posted.
- Double check that general-interest materials are in the topics module, not the workshop module. Move pages if necessary.
- Follow up with participants who may need a bit of prompting to finish up their submissions, upload their files, or revise their materials.
- Use the email list to make a general announcement when the post-workshop changes are done. This can serve as one more reminder to finish up their contributions.
- On the workshop top page and the program page, change verbiage that refers to the workshop in the future tense so that it now refers to the past tense. Text on the program page can read something like Note: this workshop has already taken place, but many of the workshop presentations and outcomes are linked from this page.
- For longer pages like the overview and the logistics page, put a note at the top of the page stating that this workshop has already taken place, including where to find participants' contributions, presentations, and a summary of the workshop, if available (see example from Teaching about Time).