It is common in most colleges providing higher education facility to organize workshops from time to time. Universities have reserved funds for seminars and workshops and it is mandatory for all affiliated colleges to utilize the funds in the stipulated period for organizing workshops. In Engineering College in Pune, it has become a trend; colleges make it a capital issue for attracting students. The question is,does it bear any impact on students? What are the benefits of organizing workshops? It is not simple to organize workshops. It is a kind of mega event that needs a lot of preparation and ground work. Organizing workshops is also expensive. The faculty members and non-teaching staff have to do extra work. The venue has to be decided, arrangements have to be made for guest speakers, there is the sound system, the seating arrangement, refreshments, LCD and so many minor details that have to be attended to. The students also have to work as volunteers. In spite of the additional workload, many educational institutions make it a point to organize workshops. We find sometimes that a workshop proves to be a complete failure. In such cases, it is a waste of time and money.
Workshops fail if they are not properly planned. There are many factors that have to be taken into account before Engg Colleges in Pune organizes a workshop if you really want workshops to make the desired impact on students.
- Topic: the topic for the workshop must be important in current times. It should be related to current issues so that it has value in terms of significance. It should enlighten participants, add to their knowledge and motivate them.
- Participants: Who is going to participate? How many participants can be accommodated? How much interest do they have in the topic? How is the workshop going to benefit them? These questions must be considered beforehand.
- Venue: Is the venue at a convenient location? Is it enough to accommodate the number of participants comfortably? Is there a screen, a blackboard / whiteboard, LCD projector, table, chairs and other necessary things?
- Resource persons: This is the most crucial factor while organizing a workshop. The resource persons must be carefully selected. They must be experts in the subject. They must be able to understand the exact needs of the students and present the topic accordingly. Irrelevant discussions are not appreciated by students and it affects the attendance during workshops.
- Activities: In some workshops, some activities are assigned to students. The materials for activities must be sufficient and provided in time. There must be enough space and proper arrangement otherwise the result is chaos and confusion. The situation becomes unmanageable and the intention of the activities is not fulfilled. Volunteers and staff members must provide help and support to the resource persons while conducting activities.
Organizing workshops have several benefits. Students get acquainted with expert personnel from industry. They get more knowledge from people outside the institution. It is a healthy change from the academic routine. Workshops provide opportunity for practical work. Students get various perspectives and are motivated to think from different angles. They can interact with industry people.
If a workshop is well-organized and if the objectives of the workshop are fulfilled, it certain creates the desired impact on students.