Participants are expected to come with their own laptops. Setting up a computer lab space is not necessary. Before the workshop, participants will receive instructions on what software they need to install and set up on their laptops.
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.
- Tables should also be arranged so helpers and instructors can easily mingle around the room.
- The room should have a projector and screen that everyone can see, with HDMI, VGA, and Mac adapters to allow anyone to plug in their laptop.
- High speed Wi-Fi internet access that can withstand everyone using it together. This may include securing guest access codes.
- Power outlets for all participants. This may include setting up extension cords or power strips.
- High table or podium that instructor can stand at while teaching. A flat podium is important; it’s difficult to use a laptop on a slanted podium.
- Refreshments. People learn better when they are well fed. They also won’t lose as much instructional time if they don’t have to leave to get coffee.
Equipment and materials¶
- Power strips, as noted above, to ensure everyone’s laptop stays charged
- Sticky notes in two contrasting colors. These are an important part of how we get feedback during a lesson. We should have enough for each person to have about 8 of each color.
- Name tags to help people get to know each other.
- Extra pens and paper in case people want to take notes by hand
- Sign in sheets
- Flipchart or whiteboard with felt-tip pen (ideally several in different colors) for the instructor to visualise concepts or note important details.
It’s important to make sure the workshop space is accessbile to all individuals. The registration form should ask whether instructors, helpers, and 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