Andrew Macpherson

Seminar vs Workshop

by on Aug.23, 2011, under Camera Club, Learning, Off the wall, Retouching, Travel, Workflow

Don’t get me wrong, the guys who do seminars are almost without exception extremely dedicated, skilful instructors who make the most of the teaching oportunity the format affords their students.  Such was the case with Scott Kelby’s “Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it” tour to Amsterdam.  I really enjoyed it and it also gave me a great chance to revisit a wonderful city.

iPad view from the 7th row

I did enjoy and learn, it was good value for money, but from the 7th row the screens were fairly poor contrast and one wonders what one missed.  I’m delighted for Scott that there were around 250 attendees paying rapt attention to his training, but I don’t think one gets as much  out of a class as one might from a workshop where one follows along, and emphasises the learning experience by doing.

Then there are of course also extremely bad cases — those organisations with sessions where one might as well just pick up the powerpoint at the start and leave — the presenter has a script, but is not actually able to instruct beyond it.  I’ve not suffered those for a while, and one hopes they learn to do better or fold.

I have much the same problem in a different way with some camera club evenings, where size of audience, and consequent necessary politeness prevents engagement with the presenter, even where they invite  it.

For me the keywords for really successful learning are

  • Workshop
  • Hands-on
  • Interactive
  • Practical
  • Guided
  • Experience

and I will be looking out for them for my future bookings, and trying to apply them to any sessions I organise.

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