Design Basics Workshop

Workshop Facilitation Cover Picture

The Task

Within the seminar "Interactive Education Media", the whole fourth semester from Information Design has been asked to develop and facilitate a workshop to help teachers create better worksheets by applying basic design principles. The project is a cooperation with Germany's most innovative school, the Alemannenschule Wutöschingen.

Even though the project had to be conducted all by ourselves, our Professor was there for us to answer any questions.

My Role

For a group of 25 students to work, there has to be a person or two to coordinate the group and keep track of the progress – a Project Manager.

It was clear to me at the very beginning that we had to choose a person for that role as soon as possible. Since I love organization and finally wanted to work with and coordinate a larger group, I volunteered.

My classmates chose me as their Project Manager, so that they would work on the contents of the workshop and I would take care of everything else around it, including communication between work groups and correspondence with the principal of the Alemannenschule Wutöschingen.

Process

Open and clear communication are essential to a successful project. To make communication transparent, we created a Slack workspace with different open channels for the work groups. It was clear to me at the very beginning that we had to choose a person for that role as soon as possible. Since I love organization and finally wanted to work with and coordinate a larger group, I volunteered.

Additionally we used Trello boards to overview and keep track of our progress. It was clear to me at the very beginning that we had to choose a person for that role as soon as possible. Since I love organization and finally wanted to work with and coordinate a larger group, I volunteered.

The groups were working on fields of Research (Status Quo of worksheets), Contents (What to teach them), Workshop (Methodologies, Procedure) and Knowledge Conservation (PDF). It was clear to me at the very beginning that we had to choose a person for that role as soon as possible. Since I love organization and finally wanted to work with and coordinate a larger group, I volunteered.

Later on the groups intermingled and used their shared knowledge.

The Workshop

The workshop has been held end of June at the Alemannenschule Wutöschingen. The course travelled to Wutöschingen the day before the workshop to get the chance to get to know this extraordinary school. After some pizza and beers in the evening, we slept a night in the school building.

After preparations of materials in the morning, we started our workshop around midday.

The workshop was split into two main blocks of input with practical phases afterwards.

After a short warm-up game I started with the first input about Layout and Typography. Directly afterwards the audience was asked to create a worksheet with their knowledge from the presentation. With a construction kit they could arrange different elements on a sheet of paper. My classmates were there to answer questions and help the teachers with the task.

Workshop Facilitation Worksheet Creation
Workshop Facilitation Worksheet Creation

The block was followed by a break after which I continued with input on Color and Graphics. The exercises here were kept more shortly by using negative examples and a quiz.

In the end the audience had the possibility to ask questions and rework their worksheets from the first block.

To conclude the workshop the participants were asked to anonymously give feedback. The results can be seen below.

Workshop Facilitation Evaluation

Learnings

Project Management

It is important to delegate work and ask for help if needed. In the end I managed the project successfully, but to keep track of everything, a second project manager would have been helpful.

My classmates had a look in Slack one per week at best. This made communication laggy and I had to post every message into WhatsApp additionally.



Workshop Facilitation

Facilitating a 3,5 hour-long workshop is exhausting. Now that we actually had the possibility to have two speakers and we got corresponding feedback on that, this is definitely something to consider for next time.

During the workshop it is essential to keep calm and explain things in an understandable way.

To make it more personal and get the audience more engaged, eye contact and calling people by their names is advisable.



All in all it was a great experience for me as a Project Manager as well as a Workshop Facilitator. For the future I would like to learn more in this field and expand my knowledge.