Organizing pre-workshop logistics activities
Gauging Interest and Support
You will usually start with discussions (especially with people of like mind within your institution) on whether you should organize an Open Educational Resource (OER) workshop. This discussion (usually oral) will outline the perceived impact of organizing such a workshop and inherent benefits if such a workshop is organized for your community or institution. These discussions will usually emanate from discussions relating to content development and the desire for your organization to participate in content development, or from perceived benefits of OER Content Development and eLearning generally. See the section of How to "sell" OER workshops to your organization.
Having put some effort into gauging support, you need to put together a working group to get a workshop off the ground. Ideally the group should be kept small and cover a range of technical, organisational, regional and subject matter knowledge if available. This group will be charged with the task of refining the original concept and coordinating the logistics to ensure things run smoothly.
Drafting a concept paper helps you to begin to formalise your thoughts and ideas and document some of the logistical issues and possible solutions as they arise. The concept paper should communicate to your potential stakeholders the various options available for achieving your particular project aims. Remember, you're goal won't be to organise a workshop, it will be to achieve the aims of a particular project you have in mind. The workshop may be only one of a variety of mechanisms you might employ for achieving these aims.
A concept paper(usually two pages) is always a useful initial planning document, outlining the need for such a workshop and the perceived benefits. Click here for a concept proposal template.
For examples of concept proposals see:
You might consider the establishment of other groups to provide recognition for the skills, knowledge or connections these groups may have within larger communities. For example depending on the status of your project, you might want to set up an advisory group or establish a collaboration with an existing advisory body with interests in the same area.
Another important area of collaboration to consider is the establishment of partnerships with others who already have experience in the area.
Once you have managed to gain acceptance for the workshop, you will be required to create a list of anticipated participants, a budget and an outline of the requirements of organizing such a workshop. However, you may decide to hold a workshop at your own school, polytechnic, training institution, university or community group - in which case many of the budget items may not apply. When developing a budget you might want to consider the following:
- Travel and accommodation costs - (costs relating to air-tickets, airport transfers, hotel accommodation and participant per-diems)
- Conference costs - (costs relating to the hire of the conference facility including but not limited to teas and lunch costs, presentation equipment, and internet connectivity)
- Printing and Stationery costs - (this may or may not include the costs of presentation banners, CD-ROMS, printing of participant binders and other training materials)
- Internet and hardware connectivity costs -(costs relating to internet availability in the workshop, hardware lease costs, the costs of setting up a Local Area Network (LAN) and other costs relating to computer hardware and the peripherals. This is optional and only applies where the internet cost is not included in the conference costs
- Facilitation/Consultancy fees - (costs relating to trainers fees and any other costs payable to facilitators and/or consultants)
If you are required to set a budget you may want to use the attached template as a guide.See here for a draft budget template.
Clearly outline the requirements you have of a venue particularly if the location and venue are unfamiliar to you. This will allow you to communicate these requirements to whoever might be making these arrangements locally.
Communicating planned workshop
It's important that information about the workshop is communicated as early and as widely as possible. Consider all the avenues of media that your potential participants, facilitators and supporters might access. Media channels may include:
- print (posters, brochures, written invitations, newspapers, newsletters, industry magazine articles, advertisements)
- radio local and national radio segments (technology, education, industry programmes)
- telephone (audioconferencing, txt/sms messaging, skype)
- the web (email, wiki (WikiEducator), blog, podcast programmes, industry/technology/education websites, skype)
- opportunities at other conferences or seminars
- targeted meetings or seminars
Click the link for a Media Plan Template.
As part of your early planning, consider how you want participants to apply and how you will collect and collate the information received. You need to think about the number of participants it is feasible to accommodate both in terms of having sufficient teaching capacity and physical accommodations. You also need to think about cut-offs or deadlines for applications to allow sufficient time to process and respond to participants and finalise venue, travel and accommodation arrangements. Click on the link for an Application Process Checklist.
Health and insurance
If you have participants traveling from outside your immediate region provide a detailed health information sheet so that participants know what to expect and come prepared having had the necessary vaccinations and have sufficient medication supplies for their needs.
- Logistics Management Checklist
- Concept Proposal
- Draft Budget
- Workshop Venue Checklist
- Media Plan Template
- Application Process Checklist
- Health Information Sheet