Reporting back from discussion groups
Posted by Brian Kelly (UK Web Focus) on 20 November 2006
Over the past two years at venues with WiFi networks I’ve tried to make use of Wikis to support note-taking in discussion groups. This means that the discussions and recommendations can be disseminated across all participants and with the wider community – no need for the participants to frantically scribble down notes, or for my to take home flip charts, knowing that I’ll never get around to freeing the notes from the non-interoperable real world and transferring them to a digital environment.
However the feedback from several events shows that the final report back session seldom seems to work. The criticism seems to have been applied to last year’s CETIS conference, as this year the required the workshop session facilitators to sum up the discussion groups deliberations in one sentence or a single image, cartoon or equivalent.
This seemed to work well – and the notes are always available for browsing on the conference Wiki. I’ve suggested to my colleague Marieke Guy that we take a similar approach at IWMW 2007. Anyone reading this posting who plans on attending next year’s institutional Web management might like to give some thoughts on ways of summarising discussions in an informative, amusing or innovative way (a poem, a lyric, a movie tie-in, a mash-up, a video clip, …). Who knows, we may even provide a prize.