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March 02, 2011

Follow Up For My Effective Seminar Participation (P5) Workshop

Follow-up to Effective Seminar Participation (P5) from Samantha's blog


In the past few weeks I have been able to put into practice the skills I gained from the Effective Seminar Participation Workshop.

My first action point was to incorporate my body language and actively listen to others in my group. I have found that by appearing more confident in myself I have engaged with others and seen that they too have more confidence when discussing research areas.

My second action point was to use language cues to encourage others to engage in the discussion. By using phrases such as "What do you think..." or "Does anyone disagree with me?" I have actively gone forward to invite discussion. This has worked really well and has given the seminar more purpose and direction. I find that I gain more from my peers and they are more willing to share their research with me. Overall this has probably been the most beneficial change for me and by extension for the group as a whole.

My third action point took care of itself in some respects. My tutor made aspects of the seminar more interactive and tactile by bringing in artifacts from the specific region we were discussing. This made the interest for the subject matter immediately increase and provided more relaxed casual conversations between the seminar members about the artifacts.

Also on this point my other seminar tutor divided up the work load between students and gave each individual a specific area to look at and discuss in the next seminar. This worked really well and meant everyone had to contribute their research to the group.

Overall my participation in the workshop opened my eyes to how small changes can have a big effect on the atmosphere in a group. I particularly liked seeing how by feigning my own confidence meant others also followed my lead.


January 31, 2011

Effective Seminar Participation (P5)

I attended this seminar in order to work on my first action plan that I made from my CORE skills workshop:

1.    My first key skill which I wish to develop is my assertiveness and communication. Currently I find it hard to bring my opinions and viewpoints forward in seminars and have the confidence to voice my research and ideas. To begin my process I will firstly attend the Undergraduates - Effective Seminar Participation (P5). By attending this I hope to gain pointers in how to organise my thoughts and communicate them effectively and confidently to others. To measure my progress I will try and participate more in seminars and put more points forward week after week.

This workshop helped me to understand a little more about how my body language and behaviour can affect the behaviour of others around me. Part of communicating my thoughts effectively starts from the offset when I enter the room and commerce with my peers. One point that our workshop leader, Bev, discussed with us was that simple communications skills such as smiling and talking with peers in an informal mannar can help build confidence when it comes to presenting ideas.

I am going to base my first action point on this idea. I hope to get to know my fellow students who are in each of my seminar groups and to open up a little bit more towards them in order to be confident when putting my ideas forward. Through my body language I want to appear confident and open,as well as letting others know I am approachable, I also hope this will help me to activly listen to others and get more out of my seminars.


Further elements of this workshop also helped to give me an idea of how to communicate with my peers and invite them to join in the discussions and share their opinions. Simply asking others to contribute directly and use phrases such as “what do you think about that..” means that I am actively seeking their input into the discussion.

Thus my second action point will be to directly ask my peers to debate my points and ask for their opinion on the subject. Whilst this may seem like a small change I feel it will enable me to gleen more information from my peers and make my overall seminar experience more productive.


On the idea of having a productive seminar, which is something which will futher enhance my academic learning, I want to discuss with my seminar tutor how to perhaps structure the seminar in order to gain the most from it.
Therefore, my third and final action point is to talk to my tutor and discuss ways of encouraging more participation from myself and my peers. Also  to discuss how to structure the sharing of ideas perhaps with smaller group presentations or deligating certain areas of the reading to certain people so collectively we can report back the information we learnt.


Overall the workshop gave me confidence in myself and taught me that even if I’m not feeling confident on the inside that I can still show, through my body language, confidence and assertiveness which will help me to gain the best from my seminars.

To summarise my three action points are:


1.    Incorporate the body language learnt to actively listen
2.    Use the language cues and invite others to discuss points raised
3.    Finally I will discuss with my seminar tutor how to remodel the structure of our seminar to gain maximum productivity.


May 2022

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  • A very good final reflective account, Samantha, to round off your Warwick Skills Portfolio Award. Yo… by Mary Sage on this entry
  • This is a good concluding blog to follow up the actions you have taken since the workshop. It is und… by Sue Johnstone on this entry
  • A great final entry for P1, Samanatha. it's really good to see how the whole reflection process has … by Mary Sage on this entry
  • Sam – nice concluding summary of A1. It sounds like you've taken a lot away from this workshop, that… by Han-na Cha on this entry
  • Your first blog is comprehensive, although I would be interested to know how the actual content of t… by Sue Johnstone on this entry

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