# Organizing a workshop

### Overview

Questions:
• What should we think about when we organize a workshop?

• Have we done everything necessary for organising a great workshop?

Objectives:
Time estimation: 3 hours
Last modification: Jan 20, 2020

# Introduction

### Agenda

In this tutorial, we will cover:

1. Checklists

# Checklists

These recommendations are highly inspired from the one by The Carpentries

## Groundwork

1. Decide on a general topic for the workshop
2. Identify possible dates for the workshop
3. Identify possible instructors, and contact them for their availability

## Before the workshop

1. Discuss with the instructors to decide on the curriculum
2. Set dates for the workshop
3. Find a good venue

A good venue is crucial to establishing a positive learning environment. Some things to consider include:

• Tables arranged so participants can watch the instructor, use their laptops, and talk with their peers

Fold up desks are usually not a good choice.

If a computer pool or computer room is available, these are usually a good choice since they come equipped with desktops and large monitors. If you allow students to bring their own laptops, they will sometimes bring very tiny ones and then struggle to read tutorials at the same time as following along.

• Tables arranged so helpers and instructors can easily walk around the room and talk with individual participants
• A room with a projector and screen that everyone can see, with HDMI, VGA, and Mac adapters to allow anyone to plug in their laptop
• Hi speed internet access (WiFi if not in a computer room) that can support everyone using it simultaneously
• High table or podium that instructor can stand behind while teaching

A flat podium is important; it’s difficult to use a laptop on a slanted podium

• Black/white boards can be useful for drawing diagrams. These work best in smaller rooms, in larger rooms people sometimes cannot see from the back, and slides can be better here
4. Ensure your location is accessible for those with different needs

It’s important to make sure the workshop space is accessible to all individuals. The registration form should ask whether instructors, helpers, or learners need any advance arrangements to ensure they can participate in the event. This may include considering whether or not:

• Building and room are accessible to those who can not use stairs (ramps, elevators, etc.)
• Restrooms are accessible
• There is a microphone for instructors
• The screen is large enough and bright enough to be easily read
• The building and room can accommodate service animals
• Lactation space is provided
5. Create a registration form
1. Decide if there will be a workshop fee

Even a small fee can greatly reduce the no-show rate.

1. Registration form: Google Forms or Eventbrite if fee

Example of regular questions

1. If there are social events planned, ask if students will participate in them
6. Create a small webpage with all the information about the workshop

Ideally, such a page should include:

1. General presentation
2. Registration information
3. Schedule with topics, presenters and helpers, start / end, links to material (latter) for each day
4. Location of the venue with extra information
5. Map
6. Lunch options around
7. Accomodation options around
8. Organizers

It can be easily done on the Galaxy Community Hub or European Galaxy website, depending on the audience

PR / Issue template for training events?

8. Prepare for visiting instructors
• Make travel arrangements for them or communicate the reimbursement process
• Make accommodation arrangements for them or maybe point out some common choices using your local knowledge
• If you will give instructors a thank-you gift, find something that is inclusive regardless of their background (so wine / chocolate / food are bad choices.)
9. Collect emergency contact information for instructors in case of last minute changes
10. Arrange required materials and equipment
• Power outlets for all participants

This may include setting up extension cords or power strips

• Sticky notes in two contrasting colors
• Name tags to help people get to know each other
• Extra pens and paper in case people want to take notes by hand
• Pens for black/white board
11. Arrange for beverages, snacks, and meals
• We all learn better with fuel!
• Catering can be expensive. If you choose to have participants find their own lunch, then you should add nearby lunch location ideas to the workshop webpage
• If your workshop is a multi-day workshop, you should include dinner options on the workshop webpage
12. Test the projector with a different computers
13. Contact participants to remind them of workshop webpage where you have written location/directions, start/end times, and contact information
14. Contact instructors and help to remind them of workshop webpage
15. Make a reservation for a social dinner
16. Prepare the participation certificates
17. Test the training materials that will be taught from the perspective of a student in the room you have booked

In one case the training material was taught in English, but the computers were in German. Some participants could not find the “Copy link location” that was mentioned in the tutorial. If you have sections that instruct users to do things like this, make sure to check how they will see it!

18. Name badges for the instructors, usually with a different colour border so attendees can identify people who can help them with any issues they encounter.
19. Name badges for attendees are important for participants as well. At busy venues it can help attendees to find each other and remember each others’ names.
20. Ensure that your catering service will label the food for contents (e.g. for vegetarian/vegan/allergens like gluten, etc.) This is extremely important for attendees to be able to enjoy themselves and find food that will not hurt them.
21. Identify places you can promote your event Galaxy Hub is the primary place to do this. You should do this 3-6 months in advance of your event (if you can)

## During the workshop

### Before the participants arrive

1. Ensure that the room is set up with all necessary materials and equipment
2. Make coffee/tea

### After it begins

1. Introduce the workshop
1. Explain the emergency plan
2. Explain the schedule
3. Organize a icebreaker (bingo sheet, for example) and ask for the data needs

2. Remind them of the resources on the webpage
1. The schedule
2. Point out the lunch options
3. Periodically check in on the class to be sure things are running smoothly

### In the mornings

1. Remind the participants what they have learned on the previous day. Show a quick slideshow covering the major themes
2. Organise an ice breaker to help them make new friends they didn’t meet last time

### In the evenings

1. Before they leave in the evening, recap what was learned that day, just the highlights
2. Sometime later in the evening, contact the participants to remind them:
• it’s happening
• what the schedule is
• what’s going on the next day
3. Prepare the recap slides for the next morning, if they do not exist already
4. Update the workshop webpage with links to each training material that was presented that day

### Before they leave

1. Hand out participation certificates

## After the workshop

1. Collect workshop attendance
2. Reimburse the instructors, thank them for their participation
3. Collect feedback form and discuss the results with the instructors
• Ask what went right? What went wrong?
• This is a good opportunity to identify things that are missing from this list
4. Contact the participants with the links to the materials

# Conclusion

### Key points

• Running a workshop is not easy, there are many things to remember

Have questions about this tutorial? Check out the FAQ page for the Teaching and Hosting Galaxy training topic to see if your question is listed there. If not, please ask your question on the GTN Gitter Channel or the Galaxy Help Forum

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# Citing this Tutorial

1. Bérénice Batut, Helena Rasche, 2020 Organizing a workshop (Galaxy Training Materials). https://training.galaxyproject.org/archive/2022-01-01/topics/instructors/tutorials/organize-workshop/tutorial.html Online; accessed TODAY
2. Batut et al., 2018 Community-Driven Data Analysis Training for Biology Cell Systems 10.1016/j.cels.2018.05.012

### details BibTeX

@misc{instructors-organize-workshop,
author = "Bérénice Batut and Helena Rasche",
title = "Organizing a workshop (Galaxy Training Materials)",
year = "2020",
month = "01",
day = "20"
url = "\url{https://training.galaxyproject.org/archive/2022-01-01/topics/instructors/tutorials/organize-workshop/tutorial.html}",
note = "[Online; accessed TODAY]"
}
@article{Batut_2018,
doi = {10.1016/j.cels.2018.05.012},
url = {https://doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.cels.2018.05.012},
year = 2018,
month = {jun},
publisher = {Elsevier {BV}},
volume = {6},
number = {6},
pages = {752--758.e1},
author = {B{\'{e}}r{\'{e}}nice Batut and Saskia Hiltemann and Andrea Bagnacani and Dannon Baker and Vivek Bhardwaj and Clemens Blank and Anthony Bretaudeau and Loraine Brillet-Gu{\'{e}}guen and Martin {\v{C}}ech and John Chilton and Dave Clements and Olivia Doppelt-Azeroual and Anika Erxleben and Mallory Ann Freeberg and Simon Gladman and Youri Hoogstrate and Hans-Rudolf Hotz and Torsten Houwaart and Pratik Jagtap and Delphine Larivi{\{e}}re and Gildas Le Corguill{\'{e}} and Thomas Manke and Fabien Mareuil and Fidel Ram{\'{\i}}rez and Devon Ryan and Florian Christoph Sigloch and Nicola Soranzo and Joachim Wolff and Pavankumar Videm and Markus Wolfien and Aisanjiang Wubuli and Dilmurat Yusuf and James Taylor and Rolf Backofen and Anton Nekrutenko and Björn Grüning},
title = {Community-Driven Data Analysis Training for Biology},
journal = {Cell Systems}
}
`