Descriptions of graduate (and advanced undergrad) courses sometimes indicate that the lectures are going to be conducted in a "workshop style". I am unsure what a "workshop style" lecture entails and how it is usually conducted over a two hour span?

How does a workshop-style lecture differ from formal lectures?

  • @paulgarrett Can you please turn this into an answer so that I can vote for it? – jakebeal Jul 25 '15 at 5:24
  • @jakebeal, converted comment to answer... – paul garrett Jul 25 '15 at 15:57

In my experience, "workshop-style lecture" is an oxymoron. A person leading a workshop might speak for a while, introducing a concept or process, but then the focus would shift to the students, who actually do something (write, brainstorm, etc.) and then discuss their experiences. A student will leave a workshop having worked on something, either individually or with a group, rather than just having taken notes.


Workshop "lectures" are less logically formal, less detail-oriented (but usually with careful references). The idea of a workshop is more top-down, more action-oriented, intended to get people up-to-speed on the current state of a topic (rather than, cough-cough, compliance-oriented). Examples, heuristics, prototypes, thought-experiments... more of the things we actually do, rather than the formal narrative reporting on it later and not-as-though-it-were-live.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.