How do you review a workshop with participants that goes beyond the ‘sticky dots’? Well, the sticky dots can be meaningful, it all depends (as always) on the context and the purpose. The question is what we are aiming to achieve through the workshop review and how it will support the further learning process?
Workshop reviews can focus on different levels:
- A review can be a moment of reflection for the community of learners; and supports the learning process on an individual and collective level; or
- Be an opportunity to give individual feedback and appreciation to each other; or
- Provide feedback to the hosting team to inform the design of the follow-up process and/or of future similar workshops; or
Voting with sticky dots
Voting with sticky dots is quick and dirty and gives an impression at a glance, not more than that. The basis is a visual canvas on a big wall paper with key dimensions, questions or statements that trigger reactions. Variations are endless (ladder, dart game, matrix etc.).
The problem with a visual canvas is that the voting might be biased. Participants are influenced by colleagues in their voting behavior. A way out of this, is to place the canvas somewhere protected from curious looks.
In any case, a dot voting is best complemented by further review activities. Here some further options for real-time workshop reviews with links and examples:
Review methodologies that promote joint reflection
After Action Review – AAR: There are several options to do an After Action Review: right at the workshop involving everyone or after the workshop with the hosting team, this works also perfectly well in an online conversation with a whiteboard.
Circle with a check-out question: Close the workshop in the circle with a reflective question or with a flash, one word or one sentence that expresses the essence (Shaping Questions for Powerful Check-in and Check-out Processes by ShapeShift).
Sociometric line-up: participants express through their position on a line where they are standing regarding a question, dimension or statement. It is dots-voting with your body and triggers immediate conversation (see Viv McWaters and Ingenious People Knowledge).
5 finger feedback: Get some inspiration how to do it here.
Kudo cards are positive feedback cards expressing gratitude and appreciation to different stakeholders present in the workshop room (Kudo Cards by Management 3.0).
Feedback on your back: As with the Kudo cards feedback is given to each other; in this version everyone gets a flip over paper attached on their back.
Picture: Feedback on your back
Open Feedback door: Invite comments on post-it notes on the door (by Management 3.0).
Written questionnaire (with open or closed questions): always possible if appropriate and meaningful and reflecting the style of the workshop.
Journaling: a great way to reflect deeply on a very personal level of learning and insights (see: (Shaping Questions for Powerful Check-in and Check-out Processes by ShapeShift).
Harvesting written cards: With some 2-3 guiding questions.
Commenting on the visual agenda with post it notes: If you prepare a visual agenda to make the workshop flow visible, the agenda might be a great place for your workshop review. Invite participants to comment on the different sessions and the overall flow. With an additional set of various smileys participants can also rate.
For more ideas have a look at the short and valuable guideline from UNICEF:
What are your favorite workshop review approaches? Do you have any ideas or links to share?