All the materials from my workshop are at http://tiny.cc/eRum2020.
The complete three-hour workshop is summarized in this 8-page long cheatsheet. Special thanks to Anna Kozak for the cover.
Delivering online workshops is different from the classical formula. Here are my experiences.
In the classic workshop it is easy to wander around the room and talk to participants about potential problems. In online formula it is tricky to guess how many more need more time. To deal with this I simplified exercises. But not enough. I had examples on the slides for classification, but hands-on exercises were for regression problem — unnecessary complication. Lesson: make it simpler. Really!
I used an ipad to show slides and a laptop to show R-code. But despite two screens, it was difficult for me to follow the chat. Lesson: do it with a few tutors. I was helped by Ania Kozak (author of vivo package) and Szymon Maksymiuk (author of DALExtra package). Thank you guys!
In a regular workshop, if someone has a problem, they can always ask their neighbour for help. But in an online workshop there are no neighbours. Questions will go to tutors. Lesson: do it with a few tutors.
I think it is difficult for the participants to keep their attention for 3 hours if they look at the static slides. Lesson: tools for sketching on slides can be helpful. I used a notebook writer, which allows you to write with a pen on the pdf documents. This direct participants’ attention to elements that are important at the moment.
The most difficult part for me was to talk without seeing the participants. At the beginning of the workshop there were over 130 people, but I didn’t see any faces except mine. Lesson: it is useful to visualize the people that you are talking to. I used pictures of people in our lab to have someone to talk to.
Conducting online workshops is an interesting experience. I teach online at the university. But it’s a different experience. Many thanks to the organisers of eRum 2020 for this opportunity. Lesson: despite some small complications it was fun anyway.