UnWorkshop

From Community Narrations

Aims of the practice and description of participants

The UnWorkshop is aimed to create co-ownership and engagement by the learners. It is based on the each-one-tach-one methodology, permitting learners to share their own skills and experiences to the topic of a workshop. At the same time it secures that the most relevant issues of a group of learner are addressed and provides the facilitators an insight into the needs of the group in relation to the topic.
Mariginalised learners are especially encouraged to reflect on their expectations toward the workshop, are engaged in co-creation and in this way are empowered to share their ideas and understand their opinions matter.
At the same time the activity is strength ing the learning results, as all participants can transparently ensure their interest and expecations are considered, thus giving the UnWorkshop more relevance.

Resources, Materials needed

- Whiteboard or digital collaborative platform.
- Marker.
- Post-its.

Duration

The excercise is a method to run workshops from a couple of hours – weeks. The initial debate needs 45-60 minutes and the reality check 15 -30 minutes.

Step-by-step - what has to be done?

Preparation

The facilitator should set-up the theme/topic of the workshop, define the aims and set-up an empty agenda, with blocks for the available slots. The theme and the slots should be shared with the participants either through a collaborative platform (f.e. Murral , Padlet or Miro) at least a week before the workshop. Each participant can suggest activities or goals they would like to achieve or even perform during the workshop. All particpants including the facilitator, who should moderate the discussion can comment on the content.

First moment of the workshop

The empty slots should be either projected or be drawn on a white board. The sessions so far proposed should be written on pos-ist.
At the beginning the person who suggested an activity will give a short explanation why they want to have them. Here the pitch should focus on three main points: relevance and how the topic is connected to the theme, aims and if the the activity is supporting the overall learning goals and the implementability, meaning that all resources are available and a person can actually perform the excercises.
The plenum will vote on the topic and shortly agree, if enough votes are reached, at which slot the exercise should be put. There should be as well empty post-ist to fill it with new or sponatouse ideas and suggestions. If all slots are filled and more ideas come up, the ideas with the least votes will be voted out and replaced by more popular ideas. The faciliator should suggest at the beginning their own activities and explain why they should be included, in this way accordance to curricula can be secured. If needed the facilitator can block slots for obligatory lessons.

Reality Check

After every workshop day there should be a short „reality check“. Here the workshop reflects on the learning of the fray and will review the remaining agenda. If needed changes can be suggested and voted on. If a change should happen, it is important that another session is named, which should be replaced. In this case there will be a two way vote between the two sessions.

Documentation

The changing agenda has to be documented by the facilitator, as it is a representation of the learning process of the group. Similar results of the plenum, the votes and the reality checks should be documented.
Complete the practice exercise on page 2. If students complete this as small groups in class, it is estimated to take 15–30 minutes.

Challenges

The excercise is challenging for bothe the faciltator and the learner. The facilitator has to step back and rather moderate the debate, without monopolizing the process or claiming a veto, even if the learners are cancelling favorite or perceived necessary excercises. Instead the facilitator should convince the learners why they should do those excercises in the open debate. For learners it is unusual to be so heavily involved in the decision making of a training. This could lead to the feeling that there is no structure, preparation or even qualification of the faciliator. Thus it is important to clearly communicate the process and provide choices. Still being involved in the design of the workshop will create co-ownership and the learners are more involved as they co-created the content and ensured that activities which are important for them are integrated.

Learning Outcomes - which skills are addressed?

Critical Thinking, communication, Collaboration, argumentation, reflection.

How do you check the outcomes are reached?

Through the “reality Checks”.