The requirement of designing and conducting a workshop as part of the INTAPT course was anxiety triggering for me. It would be my first time in this capacity as even though I have been involved in numerous workshops before, it was never in this role. Considering as well, the number of other requirements to fit into an already busy schedule. No doubt, I was relieved to discover that this was a group task. I really appreciated that there was a practice run of the groups presenting during the first week when we introduced our topic and preliminary meeting schedule to the class. Essentially then, the forming stage was automatically complete.
By the end of our first meeting as a group planning this workshop we all knew who would fulfill what role in the process. Just by how each person naturally gravitated to areas of their strengths, that’s how it unfolded in our group. That is we knew who would, for example, lead the technological aspects of the workshop, the planning and organization of the setting, the compilation of the information and the research specific to simulation in education. There was not much to the storming process either in terms of planning as we knew what we were presenting so it was now to decide the tool to be used as the example. There was a bit of tension about the tool selected in relation to the case scenario created for which the tool was to be applied. We eventually decided and moved on to norming but had to revisit the storming stage when the utility of that tool for the specific scenario was questioned by our advisor. It took just another short meeting however to decide on a different tool and generate case scenarios for it.
The outline had to be SMART ( specific, measurable, achievable, relatable/realistic, timely ) I discovered, and we spent some portion of time creating and perfecting it. One of the plans we had during the norming process was to do a test run of the workshop with volunteers just to see how it would unfold in actuality and to make any adjustments necessary before the actual workshop. This did not materialize however for reasons beyond our control.
The day finally came for our workshop. As a group I think the support and love for each other was palpable. I did sense a bit of anxiety as well particularly from the fact that two days before the workshop I suffered a tragedy in my family. My other team members were really supportive and I thing they were also at a loss as to how I am going to manage this. This was especially seeing that they had offered to step in for my part and understandably so. Well to God be the glory as we all held together and the work was done. What a tremendous relief!!!!
The feedback we received were commendable with critique related mostly to the tool used for the feedback example. The general opinion was that there was a mismatch between the tool and the case scenarios used. The suggestion to have used a totally different tool was expressed as well. Other feedback received, for example, related to running of the scenarios and the division of the task among the team members particularly that more frequent cycling of presenters would have promoted more effective differentiation between the subheadings.
In conclusion I am happy for the experience. I have gained much of what I know will be useful to me in my career and future endeavors. We completed the team charter together at our last meeting as a group and the thoughts expressed therein reflect the consensus of the group. By now we had a good idea of everyone’s strengths and was able to give constructive feedback to each other. We, the group members have made a pact to keep in touch from time to time ensuring networking and the benefits of such continued interaction to our professional growth and development.