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Workshop format Flexibility of Workshop Materials
Adapting the Workshops Using the Workshops
Preparation The Programme
After the Workshop Sample Programmes
An Afternoon Workshop A Two Day Workshop

Guidelines for
Conducting Workshops


Acknowledegments and Copyright Appreciations


Guidelines For
Conducting Workshops

This CD Rom and website has been developed to provide those responsible for teacher education - both initial pre-service teacher preparation and continuous in-service professional development - with resources for ensuring that today's teachers have a wide range of concepts, examples and teaching skills with which to share with their students the importance of coastal and marine studies.

The particular audiences for the workshops in this website are both students studying pre-service teacher education courses and experienced teachers involved in continuing or in-service education. Thus, the materials may be of value to workshop facilitators engaged in professional development activities through universities, professional associations, education systems, teachers' centres, environmental and natural resource agencies and departments of local, State, Territory and the Commonwealth Governments, community environment and conservation organisations, and schools.

The workshops have been written with the needs of workshop facilitators in mind. Thus, the activities have been phrased in terms of the things that the workshop facilitator needs to consider doing when planning and leading a workshop

Workshop Format

Each workshop has a common format, which includes the following headings and sections.

  1. Introduction: Brief rationale and background information

  2. Objectives: The objectives of the workshop

  3. Workshop Outline: A brief overview of the major components of the workshop

  4. Materials Required: Organised in categories, as below, as appropriate:

    1. Provided
      • Overhead Transparency Masters
      • Resources (handout masters to be copied for participants)
      • Readings (background for facilitators and participants)

    2. To be obtained by workshop facilitator, e.g., materials that need to be obtained by the facilitator and prepared in advance.

  5. Further Reading: A Bibliography of materials used in writing the workshop and which could prove useful for facilitators seeking additional background information.

  6. Activities: These are always written in the form of instructions for workshop facilitators. This section provides direct suggestions and refers the facilitator to the resources in the workshop module and explains how they can be used.

Generally, each activity is based upon a concrete learning experience which requires participants to work individually, in pairs, or in small groups to complete a task.

Thus, the workshops promote active experiential approaches to learning and model the sorts of learning experiences that can achieve the wide range of knowledge, skill, values and participation objectives of coastal and marine studies. Lecture-style input is kept to a minimum and is always referred to as a 'mini-lecture'.

The workshops are generally presented in three phases:

  • an introductory 'icebreaker' activity which seeks to build group rapport and provide an overview of the objectives and sequence of activities in the workshop;

  • a developmental phase which teaches particular concepts about the workshop topic and/or particular teaching strategies; and

  • a concluding activity which provides an opportunity for participants to apply what they have learnt in the workshop either to their own teaching situations or to their own personal and professional growth.

Flexibility of Workshop Materials

The modules in this manual generally provide all the materials that Workshop are required to conduct the workshop. Where this is not the case, the Materials additional materials that the facilitator needs to obtain and prepare are listed (as in section 4B above).

However, two points should be noted:

  • It is not necessary to use any or all the resources in the form that they are provided.

    Facilitators are encouraged to obtain or develop local variations of the materials or to adapt the provided ones so that the workshops and the materials are as relevant as possible to the cultural and educational contexts in which they are working.

  • The level of available educational technology may vary between venues.

    The authors have prepared the workshops assuming that only overhead projectors and some form of printing or photocopying are available. Where facilities are available, workshop facilitators are encouraged to integrate various audiovisual resources such as computers, slides, videos and educational television programmes into their versions of the workshops. This will greatly enrich the experiences and learning of participants. Alternatively, instead of making overhead transparencies, some facilitators may choose to make charts and posters of some or all of the display material provided as overhead transparency masters.

Adapting the Workshops

The key word in the use of the workshop modules in this website is Workshops FLEXIBILITY. Workshop facilitators are strongly encouraged to use the workshop materials and activities as guides only. The more that facilitators adapt, change, revise and add to the prepared workshops, the happier the workshop authors and editors of this manual will be.

Indeed, it is vital to the success of the workshops that the outcomes, materials and activities be adapted to suit the educational contexts in which they are being used, the backgrounds and professional development concerns of participants, and the skills and workshop styles of facilitators.

Using the Workshops

The workshops may be used in a great many ways and combinations. However, it should be noted that the first four workshops were written to be introductory. These workshops provide an introduction to:

These four workshops may be considered the hub while the remaining ones are spokes that address particular themes and approaches to teaching and learning in coastal and marine studies. They may be used in any combination and sequence but, preferably, after the four core workshops have been completed.

Probably the most common way in which the modules will be used will be as "one-off" activities incorporated into an in-service or pre-service education course being conducted for a particular groups of teachers. This may be as part of an afternoon or weekend in-service workshop or may be when a lecturer in pre-service teacher education, e.g. in a science, geography or social science curriculum/methods course, chooses to use some of the workshops (preferably an adapted version) to teach a particular concept or teaching skill relevant to the course.

Ideally, however, several of the workshops could be used as an integrated set - again, preferably, with local adaptations - for a core or elective programme in environmental education, science education, social education, etc. This approach may be very desirable if it is feared that the infusion approach may lead to the duplication of some topics and the omissions of others or some participants missing out altogether.

The materials may also be used as the basis for a linked programme of professional and curriculum development for teachers in which innovative approaches to curriculum planning and teaching and learning are being sought. In these cases, the theme of coastal and marine studies provides a very interesting and relevant theme to use as a vehicle for these wider educational goals.

The workshops have been written to facilitate their use in these different ways.

Conducting Effective Workshops

The modules contained in Coastal and Marine Studies in Australia: A Workshop Manual for Teachers present ideas and materials for the pre-service and in-service training of teachers. Careful planning is necessary to maximise the many benefits the workshops in this manual may provide. The purpose of this section is to suggest some questions and guidelines to assist workshop facilitators in their preparation of activities.


1. Consider the Participants

The characteristics of participants influence the structure, content and activities undertaken in a workshop. Key questions a facilitator might ask include:

  • What is the size and the composition of the group?
  • What is the age, ethnicity, gender and teaching experience of the participants?
  • What is their level of interest? What are their needs? How might you ascertain these?
  • In what ways might the group contribute to the workshop?
  • How might you cater for their individual differences?

2. Brainstorming the Programme

The term 'brainstorming' refers to the generation of ideas which can later be evaluated and used. Key questions which could be considered during this phase include:
  • What are your aims for the workshop?
  • How might different modules or combinations of activities from different modules be best used to meet the needs of the participants?
  • To what extent may modules and activities require modification?
  • In addition to the processes suggested in the modules, in what ways can you model coastal and marine perspectives and environmental awareness through your facilitation style?
  • In what ways can the programme contribute to the empowerment of teachers to contribute to positive environmental change?

3. The Venue

The activities in Coastal and Marine Studies in Australia: A Workshop Manual for Teachers are, by their nature, best conducted in a space where participants can face each other for discussion, move into groups easily, and where facilities such as an overhead projector can be used. Of course, opportunities to go outside on a beach should always be taken whenever possible. Further questions for consideration include:

  • What is the best space available for the workshop, given the number of participants and the style of activities?
  • What special facilities might be needed?
  • At what time should the workshop be held?
  • What facilities (eg. creche, refreshments, safety) might be needed to encourage participation and improve the effectiveness of the workshop?

The Programme

1. Content

The content of the programme requires considered planning. Some questions to reflect upon include:

  • Does the content of the programme meet the needs of the participants?
  • Does it involve a variety of different styles of learning experiences based upon principles of adult learning and professional development?
  • Are the purpose of the content and learning experiences clearly stated in a way which links them to the goals of the workshop?
  • Will the amount of content allow time for discussion and the input of the participants?
  • Have the advantages of doing some activities outside been considered?
  • Have you considered ways in which participants could support each other after the workshop to use the content of the programme? (See 'After the Workshop').

2. Process

The way in which the programme is conducted may greatly influence the outcomes of the workshop. This is perhaps best summarised by the old adage 'Practise what you preach'. Thus, facilitators could consider:

  • Will the presentation of the workshop be suited to the messages of the workshop?
  • Is the workshop flexible enough to respond to any needs raised by the participants during the session?
  • Will the workshop model concern for coastal and marine issues?
  • Does the process cater for all learning styles?
  • Is the course participatory and empowering ? Are participants provided with choice and room for negotiation?

3. Evaluation

An evaluation is an important part of any workshop for two reasons. First, evaluations provide concrete feedback to the facilitator about how the workshop was received. This information should be considered in the planning of future workshops. Second, evaluations require the participants to reflect upon the workshop, including the facilitation, content, processes, facilities, how they might use what they have learned, etc. An evaluation process which allows you as the facilitator to participate would continue the process of sharing and group activity which should have been established through the workshop. Questions for consideration include:

  • Which method of evaluation is most suitable for the workshop? (Some of these are described in various modules in this manual).
  • Will my chosen evaluation method reflect the processes and attitudes I tried to establish in the workshop?
  • In what ways will the participants and the facilitator benefit from the evaluation?

After theWorkshop

Much of the success or otherwise of a workshop will depend on the support Workshop provided to teachers keen to implement new ideas and strategies in their classroom. Have you, through the workshop, established systems for change? For example, teachers who decide to use the ideas and materials in Coastal and Marine Studies in Australia: A Workshop Manual for Teachers might agree to meet and discuss their progress after a period of time. Groups of teachers might work together to prepare resources, or a mailing list might be established for the dissemination of materials. Teachers may decide to undertake an action research project to work together in developing strategies for implementing coastal and marine studies in their classrooms. Ultimately, what happens after the workshop will hinge on what has happened in the workshop.

Sample Programmes

Two sample programmes of workshops based upon modules in Coastal and Marine Programmes Studies in Australia: A Workshop Manual for Teachers are provided. The first is an after school session for teacher in-service. The second is a full day in-service workshop. The 'group' of teachers attending each workshop is described to demonstrate the ways in which their differing needs are met. The sample programmes also display the flexible nature of Coastal and Marine Studies in Australia: A Workshop Manual for Teachers to meet both these needs of participants and practical demands such as time.

An Afternoon Workshop

Twelve teachers in the Science and Social Science department at Gilby High Workshop School would like to learn more about how their teaching of coastal and marine studies can be integrated. A three hour time period has been allotted for the in-service. The teachers have between one and fourteen years experience in the classroom, with most of them having taught for about six years. Ten of the teachers are female. They have a general understanding of the nature and scope of coastal and marine studies and are looking to implement new strategies in their teaching, without rewriting current programmes.


  • To clarify a common working definition of coastal and marine studies;
  • For participants to experience a variety of activities and teaching methods for the incorporation of coastal and marine perspectives into their teaching; and
  • To establish a support system to enable coastal and marine studies to be incorporated into current programmes.


A room in the school Resource Centre will be used. This room has a large space and tables which can easily be moved to suit a variety of activities.

Four students from the Senior Child Care course will be invited to supervise younger children of the teachers with games and a video in the library. Older children who may be present in the afternoon may watch a video or use the library facilities.


3.15 - 3.30 Arrival

Refreshments are served

3.30 - 4.00 Review of coastal and marine issues in Australia

Module 1 - Activities 1 and 2

4.00 - 6.00 Best Practice in Coastal and Marine Studies

Module 2 - Activities 2 and 4

(Refreshments available as needed by group)

6.00 - 6.15 Brainstorming - Where Do We Go From Here?
6.15 - 6.30 Review and Conclusion A Two Day

A Two Day Workshop

Approximately forty teachers from both primary and secondary schools within a Workshop region have indicated an interest in teaching coastal and marine issues. The regional office, in conjunction with a local university, wishes to conduct a weekend workshop. The teachers have a great variety of experience and the secondary teachers represent a broad range of curriculum areas. They wish to develop their knowledge of the latest trends in the area, and are eager to understand the term 'sustainability' within the context of education, in general, and coastal and marine studies, in particular.


  • To clarify common working definitions of coastal and marine studies, environmental education, and ecologically sustainable development;
  • To provide experiences of a variety of activities and teaching methods for the incorporation of coastal and marine perspectives into teaching; and
  • To establish a support system to enable these perspectives to be incorporated into current programmes.


One building in a centrally located school will be used. The school hall will be used for refreshments and lunches, and can contain pinboards and tables for invited community conservation groups and government departments to display activities, resources and other ideas about coastal and marine studies.

The local TAFE has been contacted to provide volunteer work experience Early Childhood teachers to run activities for the children of the participants.

Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea will be catered by a local company. This cost will be offset by a small charge to participants.


9.00 - 10.30 Welcome

Keynote Address on 'Key Concepts in Teaching Coastal and Marine Studies' by an invited local university speaker

10.30 - 11.00 Morning Tea
11.00 - 12.30 Choice of 2 workshops
  1. Nature, Scope and Purpose of Coastal and Marine Studies
    Module 1 - Activities 1 and 3

  2. Best Practice in Coastal and Marine Studies
    Module 2 - Activities 2 and 4
12.30 - 1.30 Lunch
1.30 - 4.00 Cross-curriculum Planning in Coastal and Marine Studies
Module 3 - Activities 3, 4 and 5

(Afternoon tea taken by groups as needed)

9.00 - 10.00 Panel presentations on a local coastal and/or marine issue with invited speakers from different stakeholder groups.
10.00 - 10.30 Morning Tea
10.30 - 1.00 Choice of 2 workshops to be based upon panel presentation
  1. 1. Using the Environment and Community as Resources
    Module 4 - Activities 2, 3 and 5

  2. Teaching Controversial Issues
    Module 9 - Activities 2, 3 and 4
1.00 - 2.00 Lunch
2.00 - 4.00 Choice of 3 workshops
  1. Investigating Coastal and Marine Environments Through Science
    Module 5 - Activities 2, 4 and 6

  2. Investigating Coastal and Marine Environments Through SOSE
    Module 6 - Activities 2. 3 and 4

  3. Understanding How Our Coastal Zone is Managed
    Module 7 - Activities 4, 5 and 6
(Afternoon tea as required by groups)
4.00 - 5.00 Plenary Session
  • Planning a regional support network for coastal and marine studies
  • Future workshop plans
  • Review and conclusion