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What is an Easy Way to Help Quilting or Crafting Students Feel Successful in a Workshop?

Updated: Apr 10

Tori McElwain from the Quilt Patch by Tori

Grab Your Free eBook, Design Your Workshop, here. 


The answer is reflection.


Allow students time to reflect can be quick and easy, with an immensely valuable outcome. So many instructors go, go, go! Their pace is so fast that participants don’t get the chance to reflect on the information they’re learning. 



Reflection is a powerful tool for helping your students feel like they have invested their time, energy, and finances wisely. Plus it can be quick! Here's what happens when you grant them a few minutes of reflection:


1. Reinforcement: Reflecting on the skill, activity, or information presented in a workshop helps students reinforce their understanding of the content. By revisiting and reviewing the key steps or concepts, attendees are more likely to remember what they learned.


2. Application: Reflection allows students to think about how they can apply the information learned in the workshop to their projects or how they can use their newly acquired skill in their next project. It helps them make connections between the workshop content and their real-life situations, enabling them to implement the knowledge effectively.


3. Insight and Growth: Reflecting on the workshop can provide students with valuable insights and new perspectives. It also allows them to review how their time, energy, and money were spent. It encourages critical thinking, self-awareness, and self-assessment. By considering how the workshop content relates to their own experiences, students can gain new insights and identify their success and areas for improvement.



How can you work reflection into a workshop? My favorite way is quick and gives you feedback at the same time: asking for Ah-ha Moments! Ask your students “What ah-ha moments did you have today? What information, tip, etc. made you go “Ah-ha! I get it now?” As they take a few moments to share they’re reflecting on what they learned, seeing the value of their time and money, and you get feedback - it’s a win win win! 


However, there are many ways a teacher can add reflection opportunities during a workshop.


Individual Reflection

Allocate specific time during the workshop for participants to reflect individually on the information presented. This can be done through writing exercises, journaling, or self-assessment activities. Provide prompts or guiding questions to help participants focus their reflections.



Group Discussions

Facilitate group discussions where participants can share their thoughts, insights, and any questions about the workshop content. This is where the ah-ha moments come into play. Encourage active participation and create a safe and inclusive environment for open dialogue.


You can even assign group tasks or case studies that require collaborative reflection and problem-solving. For instance, when teaching about color, I had students do an activity called a Party Pull. I began with a colorful, bold print, and each participant used the theories we learned in class to pull fabric to coordinate and build a fabric palette as a team. It took teamwork, discussion, and immediately put into practice the theories learned in the workshop allowing them to reflect


Peer Feedback

Incorporate peer feedback sessions where participants can provide constructive feedback to each other. This can be done through structured feedback forms or guided discussions. Such as show and tell, where you can have individuals share their projects at the end or at specific points during the workshop. Encourage participants to reflect on each other's ideas, perspectives, and presentations, fostering a culture of learning from one another.



Reflection Prompts

Questions such as, "How will you use this in your next project?" or "what will you be doing with your finished project?" provide students an oppertunity to reflect on what they learned and how they will move forward using the skills or project they've created in the workshop. These can be given during the workshop or at the end.


Taking time to reflect is like the secret sauce for success in workshops. It's not just about learning; it's about feeling good about what you've learned and wanting to come back for more.


When students get the chance to reflect, it's not just a breather from the action; it's like hitting the pause button to let everything sink in. They have the opportunity to connect the dots, figure out where they're growing, and see how they can use what they've learned in their next project or how they will use the project completed for the workshop.


Reflection can also be sharing thoughts, bouncing ideas off each other, and feeling like part of a team. Whether it's chatting in groups, giving each other feedback, or just jotting down thoughts, it's about learning together and cheering each other on.


Reflection can help your students see and acknowledge their success, when they feel successful they come back for more - and they may even refer a friend!


 

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Grab Your Free eBook, Design Your Workshop, here. 


 

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