Discuss a Workshop

This handbook is still very much a work in progress. We welcome your feedback if you’d like to volunteer to help. But please know this isn’t completed or fully updated. Thank you!

Learn WordPress Team

Recorded workshops are great for learning and personal development; one key aspect that they lack is the personal interaction that you would usually have at an in-person event. We will also be hosting optional discussion groups based on the content of the workshops – led by community members, as well as the workshop presenters themselves.

The WordPress group Learn WordPress Discussions on Meetup.com is being used to promote discussion groups as individual events. Since this Meetup.com group is within the chapter program, these discussion group events will show up as events in the WordPress Dashboard events widget. The number of attendees can be limited per event to a size that is reasonable to hold a discussion and allow for a waitlist of attendees who could either join the session if people cancel or be added to the next discussion group on the topic.

Lead a discussion group Lead a discussion group

Discussion group leaders bring everyone together by scheduling synchronous discussion times and leading these conversations with a group of learners who have gone through a specific workshop. The discussion group leaders will need to have taken the workshop in order to lead the group discussion, but beyond that require no special expertise on the subject. Each workshop will come with both learning objectives and a set of comprehension questions which can be used to start off discussions.

When it is time to meet, discussion group leaders introduce the topic and help facilitate the discussion. Questions that can be used for starting off the discussion will have been provided by workshop presenters. If the discussion strays too far from the original topic, discussion group leaders refocus the conversation. When conversations stall, a discussion group leader can ask a question to restart the discussion. 

Another important role of the discussion group leaders is to make sure everyone gets an opportunity to be heard. They keep an eye out for quieter participants who may want to speak, and help them feel comfortable in doing so. Similarly, discussion group leaders remind all group members to be mindful of time, so that the discussion isn’t solely held by one or just a few voices. 

The goal is to have frequent discussion groups for each submitted workshop in the weeks following a workshop’s premier and to revisit those discussions as often as necessary.

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What resources are available to you? What resources are available to you?

Discussion group leaders have an advantage in that they get to select the workshops for discussion! Each workshop will come with learning objectives, which can help viewers quickly understand what the workshop is about, and what the workshop presenter hopes you will learn from watching the video. Workshops will also come with some comprehension questions created by the workshop presenter. These questions are a great way to start a discussion!

Another resource could be other members of your discussion group. Even if you come to your group prepared with lots of questions and points for discussion, another participant might also have some excellent questions and discussion topics related to the workshop. Multiple perspectives will help all discussion group participants better understand the workshop material.

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Discussion group formats Discussion group formats

The goal of discussion groups is to add community and interactivity back into the experience of watching workshops online. We want to create a supportive, safe space where people can connect and learn together and from each other. Because of this, discussion groups can take many different forms, and we invite you to be creative! Here are a few ideas:

  • Use icebreakers or activities to learn about each other & create a sense of community.
  • Use the comprehension questions as a way to guide your discussion.
  • Invite everyone to share what they learned from watching the workshop.
  • Invite everyone to share any follow-up questions that came up. Then, everyone can help answer each other’s questions!
  • Invite people to share how they will apply their newfound knowledge from the workshop.

The format of your discussion group isn’t limited to just one style. Get creative! Depending on the size, make up, and preferences of your discussion group, you may provide a variety of formats to help engage all kinds of learners. Don’t forget to review this handbook page which includes helpful tips and suggestions for online event hosting tools. 

Some formats that have been successful in the past are:

  • Zoom-based discussion groups.
  • Watch parties, where the discussion group gets together (in Zoom or on Slack) for a slightly extended time to watch the workshop together before starting the discussion.
  • Slack-based discussion groups, where workshop attendees join the Making WordPress Slack instance to share their questions and feedback.

In all formats, it’s helpful to come prepared with a few news and the comprehension questions provided by the workshop presenter. Text-based discussion groups, like Slack, often have a somewhat slower pace – which can be great for allowing attendees who are more quiet to find space to share their thoughts.

Want to become a discussion group leader? Great! You can either start one as an organizer of your meetup group, or apply here.

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Meetups Meetups

Meetup organizers can use the Learn WordPress content for their meetup events – simply ask your meetup group to watch one of the workshops in the weeks leading up to your scheduled event, and then host a discussion group for that content as your event. Likewise, lesson plans are an excellent starting point for Meetup topics as well. As they are all written in an outline-style format, they can be adapted to the needs for your specific Meetup group or community.

In either case, you do not have to apply to be a discussion group leader using the form above – you can just go ahead and do it as an existing Meetup organizer.

Tuesday Training: How can meetup groups benefit from Learn WordPress?

Learn WordPress contributors discussed how WordPress Meetup groups can benefit from Learn WordPress, as part of Tuesday Trainings. Watch the video recording of the session below to learn some tips on Learn WordPress and discussion groups.