Initial Publication Date: February 5, 2021

Information for Afternoon Mini-Workshop Conveners

It is our goal to support all workshop conveners in designing, planning, and executing workshops that follow best-practices. To that end, this page provides information about those best practices and the Serckit tools that can be used before, during, and after your workshop. If you have any questions about how to implement these features, contact your web team support person.

Jump Down To: Building online communities | Using Zoom to support engaged pedagogies | Tools to Support Best-Practices | Other Resources | On-Site Logistics

Afternoon Workshop Leader Webinar

Click to view or download the webinar screencast (MP4 Video 179.2MB Apr2 21)

Webinar Slides (Acrobat (PDF) 1.2MB Apr2 21)

Workshop Best-Practices

Planning an effective workshop is much like planning an effective learning experience for students in the classroom and lab. What goals do you have for the participants? How will the workshop effectively engage participants and ensure that the goals for participants are met? How will you assess whether participants have benefited from the workshop? Here are some best practices that have been gleaned over more than a decade of running workshops in On the Cutting Edge and InTeGrate.

Building Online Communities

We've gotten questions from many of you about how to build a sense of community among workshop participants at online events. See what Carol Ormand wrote on this topic, based on the 4-year history of online professional development for the SAGE 2YC project: SAGE Musings: Building Online Academic Communities.

Using Zoom to support engaged pedagogies

See the notes and links from Carol Ormand's June 9th interactive demonstration on using Zoom to support engaged pedagogies. In addition, don't hesitate to contact your SERC support person as you are developing your plans. We want your workshop to be engaging and successful, and we will do what we can to support your efforts.

Tools to Support Best-Practices

Serckit (formerly the SERC CMS) was designed with support for these best-practices in mind. Through Serckit, you have access to a variety of tools to facilitate the run up to, execution of, and follow-up to your workshop at the Rendezvous.

Action Plans

If you wish, you can have participants complete an Action Plan for what they will do with what they learned in your workshop. We have a generic Action Plan Template (Microsoft Word 26kB Jun15 15) that you can use directly or customize for your workshop. If you want to make use of the Action Plan in your workshop, let your web team support person know so they can build the necessary upload form in your workshop site.

End of Workshop Evaluations

All workshops are required to have an End of Workshop Evaluation and you will be provided with a form to use. This exit survey will be tied to your workshop goals and is designed to get formative feedback on the workshop format and how it serves participants' overall meeting goals, as well as feedback for you. Your web team support person will build a form in your workshop site with standard questions.


Since Rendezvous participants don't have to register for the afternoon workshops ahead of time, we need to have a way of knowing who participated. Copies of this Attendance Sheet (Acrobat (PDF) 76kB May31 16) will be provided for your workshop. Attendees should complete this as they come in so that the support person can pick them up after the workshop has gotten going. The information on these sheets will be used to create an email list for the attendees associated with your workshop so that communication can continue after the event.

Other Resources

You can read more about the lessons learned over the years of Cutting Edge and InTeGrate workshops on those project websites:

Virtual Logistics

Each workshop will be provided with a Zoom meeting. Workshop leaders will host the meeting for their workshop. An EER staffperson will be assigned to your workshop to provide technical assistance. More information regarding technical logistics is forthcoming.

Preparatory Webteam Support & Deadlines