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OOCSI workshops

One of the best ways to teach OOCSI is to run a short workshop. We have done this for years, and it works. On this page, we give you few hints on how to run an OOCSI workshop and also some ideas what it could be about.

How to run a workshop

We have run workshops on and with OOCSI for years, and some things worked well, some other things needed to be tweaked. Here is a list of suggestions for running an interactive, fun and smoothly progressing workshop:

  1. Agree on one client technology for the entire class, e.g., Processing, Python or Arduino/ESP. Processing is usually a safe choice because it’s “batteries-included”, visual and very versatile. Also, by using Processing everyone will have a laptop/computer with a working network connection. That’s one connectivity worry less.
  2. Arrange a large screen or projector, so all participants can follow your moves.
  3. Arrange the seating such that all participants can see you and your (projected) screen.
  4. Type code yourself, don’t use copy-pasted snippets (keep them as a backup). This ensures a pace that the class can visually follow and it’s fine to make mistakes, typos and coding errors. Just explain the mistake and move on.
  5. Ideally there is not much distance between different participants, so they can easily collaborate and help each other. Some space is still good to be able to reach the participants and help with programming problems.

Workshop ideas

First of all, we recommend you brief the workshop participants to watch the OOCSI Basics videos at home before coming to the workshop. You could also explain OOCSI during the workshop, but that will be take time that is better used on interactive, hands-on and fun activities.

On the teaching page, we explain two short exercises that can be done in 20-30 mins with a novice class of learners. Given this introduction, you could go over a few intermediate topics in using OOCSI, before moving to group design activity.

One workshop that we often run is the data canvas workshop, which works well in groups of 15-30 participants. For project-based learning settings of multiple weeks or months, workshops around OOCSI and connectivity make more sense when they happen in the middle, when the participants have concrete design projects that need connection. The data canvas workshop was planned for these settings to inspire collaboration in larger groups of design students around a central education theme. For shorter, course-based settings, we suggest to split up the workshops into multiple session that thematically build on each other, moving from first connectivity experiences, to more stable communication patterns and then creating connected experiences jointly.

This page is work-in-progress; we will extend the teaching resources as new material is produced.

Copyright © 2013-2022 Mathias Funk.