Mini workshops provide developmental training in short bursts, often over a lunchtime. Along with the growth of rapid e-learning, they demonstrate how tight learning time now is in most organisations and how l&d departments must be increasingly flexible and imaginative in their responses to needs.
Short workshops need to be tightly focused, typically on a single topic. If they are not, content delivery will crowd out Q&A, discussion and practical work, and participants might find they would be better off listening to a recording.
They also need to be well promoted, as one organisation reported as part of research conducted by SkillSoft in 2007 : “Short one and two hour sessions are hugely popular, but they don’t just happen. They are very well publicised, with a whole communications package built around them. They are well-promoted and are pushed through the organisation using intranet, messenger and email. Line managers are involved too – telling people how they can benefit from doing the learning.”
Mini workshops are
- at their best when limited to a single topic, lively and interactive and highly relevant to real-work issues;
- best avoided when no more than a lecture, abstract and theoretical.