Interactive sessions - Next Library 2014

How to Create Participatory Session:

A Guide for Organizers, moderators, chairs and speakers at interactive sessions


The important roles of the organizers and moderators are to develop the interactive session through debate and interaction with other participants (before the conference) and to facilitate, stimulate discussion and lead Q&A (during the conference). We encourage you to use your own social network, e.g. Facebook, Ning, Twitter, etc. - as well as the next library website: #nextlibrary

We have tried to lay out some overall suggestions, advices, tools and hints as to how you might get your workshop flying – in alphabetic order:

All interactive sessions must contribute according to the ambitions for next library midsummer conference 2013:

  • To create creative, participatory, engaging and interactive sessions
  • To create new perspectives on the themes: Accelerate Learning

Evaluation / feedback from participants

Feedback and input from participants is essential for the conference. There will be a variety of ways that participants’ feedback will be displayed at Next Library; for instance whiteboards, easels, flipcharts, postcards, double interviews, interviews, twitterwalls etc. If you have any ideas or preferences on how to evaluate and collect feedback from participants in your session, please let us know.

Game plan

You should make a game plan for the entire session – and at the same time be prepared to change it rapidly. There is a big difference between running a workshop with 10 people or 100 people. Your game plan should take tools into consideration that could activate participants; processes that you wish to go through, how you wish to use your speaker(s), how you wrap up, and a general timeframe for various elements.

Moderators and organizers of interactive sessions are encouraged to create unique and open minded ways of meeting, sharing ideas and knowledge – and create new ideas.

Overall purpose: The interactive session form means that people who choose to participate should be kept active and involved. The goal is to have discussions, exchange and build ideas, inspirations etc. in the entire group of people attending. This also means that you have the right to expect active participation from the attendees.

Products: After each session there will be an interview session with some of the participants, the moderators and speakers. A few good pictures from the session will be nice. More information follows.

Role of the speaker(s)

Each session can be organized individually with chair, moderator, speaker, organizer, reporter etc.

The next library crew needs one contact person for agreements and communication of facilities, technology, description, game plan etc. Each workshop should make contact beforehand and agree on form, moderation, process etc. – that way you all follow the same game plan.

Depending on your preferred game plan the speaker(s) could function as

  • inspiration (short presentation)
  • panel
  • facilitator for group discussion and group activities
  • chair for sub-groups in the workshop
  • idea-keepers in the discussions

Or something completely different - your choice

The open, creative, participatory and engaging style should start already when brainstorming ideas and designing the session. You may invite your network in developing ideas for the workshop in your favorite forum: Facebook, Ning, Twitter, etc. can also be used as forum for network discussions. You may use:

Tools to get the creativity going: Now you need to make the participants talk, be creative and take part, which is not always easy. Forms you might use to kick-start the discussions and warm-up the participants:

  • Intersperse interactive activities throughout the session
  • Use chalk & talk: let people write ideas/words that’s on their mind when thinking about this topic: and ask them what lies behind their idea/words written on the board.
  • The presentation as an interview
  • Include audience polling
  • Include directed table discussions
    • Provide intriguing questions for the table to discuss
    • Pose a problem give teams time to solve it
    • Give each table a theme Suggest that we use 5 min for best practice
  • Include games or hands on building activities that relate to your session theme
  • Form groups that discuss various or similar ideas and present
  • Make a question, which sums up the central idea of the theme of the workshop. Ask the people in the workshop how they will reach an answer with this workshop.



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Posted by Next Library on November 19, 2020 at 21:17 1 Comment

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