Alternative Workshop Methods

At #AWP2016 today, I’m serving on the panel “Pedagogy’s Next Wave: Alternatives to the Whole-Class Workshop.” Specifically, I’ll be talking about guided workshops, collaborative workshops, and multimedia workshops. Below, I’ve included links to the handout I made for the panel, and a few additional pieces of information (lesson plans, readings, etc.) that other teachers may find helpful.

Here is the handout I presented at the panel, which summarizes the three methods (and includes an excellent comic from Lynda Barry’s book What It Is.

When discussing guided workshops, I gave a vague overview, but here are my detailed notes from one such workshop session. The prompt to which students respond for that workshop can be found on my Creative Nonfiction website. With a little casual exploration there, you can also find most of my other course syllabi, readings, and prompts.

The multimedia workshops I mentioned come from my various digital classes. Here are detailed notes for the “stolen” workshop from my Writing for Digital Media class (specifically, from the unit on remix). The “peer response as gallery walk” comes from my Digital Storytelling class.

Finally, this one isn’t mine, but I recently saw this post from Whale Road Review about alternative workshop methods, and have tried a few of them to great success so far!

Hopefully, fellow teachers have gotten some ideas for playful new approaches to the creative writing workshop; I’d love to hear from any of you about your own alternative workshop methods. I’m always looking for new ideas!

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