The Measuring the Impact of Workshops (MIW) workshop took place 20 September 2016 at the Oxford e-Research Centre. If you run workshops, are thinking of running workshops, have built tools or are thinking of building tools for assessment of learning outcomes then this was the workshop for you! Participation at the workshop was by invitation to participate and people used this form to let us know if they wanted to attend. We brought together a small but focused group of people to talk through issues related to measuring the impact of workshops; by attending they committed to spending some time helping put together a best practice guide on measuring the impacts of workshops.
We hope to support the measuring of impact of workshops that take place. Workshops occur in projects and organisations to meet certain goals and to help those attending in some way. How do you know that the change you seek is being facilitated by the workshop you are organising? Additionally those funding the workshop and people in the community of practice are often interested in knowing exactly what your workshop is achieving; they seek to know if the event is worthwhile, i.e. worth the time, energy and resources spent on making it happen or even attending your events.
Are people learning, are they networking, are other intended outcomes being realised, are aims being met; how do you 'prove' all of this? How does one capture information about an event to make impact more traceable?
This is the reason the Software Sustainability Institute ran this event; to help serve those who attend the meeting, the wider community and the Institute by exploring the topic of tracking impact and assessment of workshops to measure things better and influence the way workshops are conducted to make them more beneficial and impactful for those who attend, support and run them.
We believe the workshop was useful for:
- Organisers of workshops; specifically academic or related workshops, including those who would like to run workshops or workshop series in the future
- Those who would like to present how they have measured impact in the workshops they have run
- Those building tools or process to better measure or assess the impact of workshops or workshop goals.
- Those with a research interest in this area; although the MIW was focused on practical matters, expert perspectives are welcome.
By taking part, participants signalled that they are willing to contribute towards the guidance that will put together after the workshop on best current practice in the space of measuring the impact of workshops.
Take a look at the agenda to see how the day was structured.
The workshop report
At MIW people came together to talk about experiences, practices they have used, insights, new tools and useful resource in the space of measuring impact. We hope to harness this information and the energy and commitment of those attending to produce a report which is of practical use to the community and something they can turn to for advice when planning their workshops.
We plan the guide to cover:
- Current best practices for measuring workshop impact
- Case Studies of how others have measured impact
- Sample survey forms that can inform your own design
- Understanding key issues and strategies for how to deal with them (e.g. bias)
- Other relevant resources