Essential Workshop Structure

Jump-start your design process with this basic structure for a participatory workshop and adapt it to your needs.

Created by Deborah Rim Moiso – SessionLab

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When should this session be delivered?

In this essential template for a basic workshop you’ll find tips and reminders of all you need for a successful participatory learning experience including:

– an opening phase with activities to help the group get ready to learn;
– slots for your preferred activities and for debrief;

– a closing part including reflections, next steps and feedback.

This template offers ideas and a general outline of a generic workshop, and it’s up to you to fill it with content based on your topic.

But what is the difference between a lesson and a workshop? During workshops, participants have hands-on opportunities to interact with the content, often in experimental, playful ways.

A workshop can cover any topic, nevertheless, the basic structure of the process remains the same:

  • setting up a good learning environment,
  • offering group activities and
  • including individual, small group or plenary reflections.

Often, workshop designers follow a well-established framework of reference such as Kolb’s Cycle of Learning to give order and logic to their design. For more information and resources on designing your workshops check out this in depth-guide.

Who can facilitate it?

If you are working with a group from 6 to about 24 people, one facilitator should be enough. It your group is larger, consider working with a co-facilitator.

Co-facilitation has many advantages, including allowing you to learn together, and it can always be beneficial to have more than one person paying attention to group dynamics.

For more on this topic you can read our complete
guide to co-facilitation. And remember you can easily share designs using the SessionLab app!

Check out the template details including step-by-step plan with instructions, timings, printable schedule and more

About the author

Deborah Rim Moiso

Deborah Rim Moiso is an Endorsed Facilitator with the IAF – International Association of Facilitators and the current co-chair of the Italian IAF Chapter. She is also a content writer for SessionLab and a published author of a manual and deck of cards on facilitation available in Italian (Facilitiamoci! Prendersi cura di gruppi e comunità). 

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