Reading List: Workshops Don’t Work

Hey IC-bGers, we are clearly ahead of the curve!

Workshops Don’t Work | Inside Higher Ed.

About Dr. J. Metzker

I believe in the power of a liberal education to transform individuals and society. I am currently the Executive Director of the Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence. Formerly, I led a community engagement initiative and held a full professorship in chemistry at a public liberal arts university. I am a proud product of The Evergreen State College.
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3 Responses to Reading List: Workshops Don’t Work

  1. Brandon says:

    Demonstrates our strength in numbers. I always “ask around” to gauge interest in a topic before I invest. ICBG: 1, Others: 0

    • It’s great confirmation that one-off workshops just don’t lead to change. Mentorship and sustained relationships (the stuff IC-bG is made of) support substantive change.

  2. I read the essay another way. Yes, the title is catchy, but not aligned with his central message. The message I read was not that workshops never work, but rather, that workshops that are perceived as irrelevant and timely to faculty will not attract faculty. The point was not that workshops in and of themselves are worthless; the assumption that the workshop topic is inherently valuable is flawed. To Julia’s comment that one-off workshops don’t lead to change–that’s true. Just as a one-off lecture on the Kreb’s cycle doesn’t create doctors nor a one-off lecture on Plato’s allegory of the cave creates philosophers. I would argue that a one-time workshop can be beneficial to individual faculty members (not the faculty as a whole) if 1) the topic is relevant and timely; 2) there are follow-up resources and one-on-one consultations with faculty interested in the topic; and 3) interest in the topic develops a natural faculty learning community. Ic-bG has been successful in meeting criteria one and three–I can’t speak to criterion two. Although I can’t promise we will always be successful, we will strive to meet those criteria through the professional development programming offered through the Center for Engaged Learning.

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