Organising a workshop in 10 min about a subject you haven’t prepared and people how doesn’t know the area is not an easy task. But it was a good exercice to realise what was important to think about, and how to organise it; it illustrates how preparation is important.
From the experience, to organise a ‘good’ workshop I assume that you need:
- to know your subject very well
- think about the task in relation with the data you want to collect
- should be fun
- what is the best way to record the interactions and the thoughts for a particular task (one methods could be good for one thing but maybe not for another…)
- what should be the role of each persons in the group if the workshop is conducted by a group
- have backup plans if the one you wanted to do is not working as it was suppose to work (weather issues, no interest from the participants, the results are not the one you were waiting for (not about the prediction but the kind of data recorded)…)
- target the participants, if you want data from a particular sample of the population
- be sure you would have participant (advertisement, recruitment…)
I am still not sure about how is the best way to interact with the participants as organiser: is it a good thing to guide or encourage the participants ? Or would it influence the answer, reaction… and results on ‘fake’ data ? Would it stop the thinking process by guiding on an other path? Like in some culture when you ask ‘is it this rection?’ they will always say yes even if then don t know or it is another one, because it is impolite to say ‘no’ or ‘I don’t know’. In this situation, I know by experience that it is better to always ask open question: ‘ What is the direction’ ? Is it also the method which should be apply when organising a workshop ?
From the exercise experience, I think it might be easier to ask people to ‘make’ something physical with given or found material. The task in simple, and participants can be creative ac much as they like. When You have to make people think about issues or solutions but you can’t really make them do anything; when it is about reflexion or personal experience; it seems more tricky.
When it implicates that they should go on site to record some ideas or experience but you don’t have the time to do it and they don’t know the area, it is very difficult to find a way to collect data. I believe that with more preparation, thoughts, organisation… it would have been possible, by approaching the problems with an other angle.