Possible Workshop plan
(also available at https://doi.org/10.1017/S003060531900067X)
- Participants receive an invitation to the workshop based on their self-identification or supervisor identification of them as a ‘conservation’ researcher or someone with research related activities.
- Participants are asked to complete the questionnaire in advance either on an online form or on paper. Both group and individual results are calculated by the facilitator and brought to the workshop as spider diagram profiles. If this is not possible, individuals can complete a self-score questionnaire themselves at the start of the workshop.
- In the opening of the workshop, the facilitator(s) provides some contextual background as to the nature, overview and selection process for the participants. Before delving into the individual results related to the preference tool, the facilitation guides the participants through some group socialisation activities that highlight that different and similarity exist in many ways in groups, and that allow people to start engaging in discussion about these things on non-personal topics. For example, the group may be asked to break into randomly assigned groups and do word association activities with things such as ‘science’, ‘impact’, ‘conservation’ and then discuss what the different ideas, definitions, issues put us under each idea mean for how similar or dissimilar people view the world. In this way, the group begins to engage in reflective dialogue around less-personal topics and starts to develop interpersonal rapport.
- During the workshop, participants are given their spider diagram questionnaire results profiles, showing both individual and group results, but these are not shown to the whole group. Individuals are asked to individually reflect on their results and ask any clarifying questions. They are also encouraged to engage in facilitated dialogue if the questions lead to more general group discussions. Participants are not encouraged to disclose their results, but are also not prohibited from doing so if they feel comfortable.
- Participants are then invited to participate in an activity. A line is drawn in the centre of the room or flipcharts placed in differ places in the room. For each factor, the two extremes of each factor are assigned to different ends of that line or a differing flip chart. Participants are then asked to position themselves along the line corresponding to their numerical result for that factor (Figure SM2.1). The facilitator(s) highlight that that group already has many differences and similarities based on the first round of exercises, and that the preferences tool helps to describe these but NOT prescribe them. Careful attention must be paid to the group dynamic and moderated based on group cohesion, expressed sentiments and non-verbal cues.
- As individuals or in groups, participants along the line are then requested to explain to those at the other side of the room about why they thought their preferred approach to each factor was important. They can also ask each other any questions about the research approach at the other extreme of the factor. The dialogue is facilitated to find a balance between individual reflexivity and peer-to-peer dialogue, questioning and group learning. The facilitator should ask participants to reflect on what this means for the work and how they might take these insights into their future work and research.
Figure 1. An illustration of an activity to engage respondents in dialogue about the different research preferences that are identified through the questionnaire.
Notes: The questionnaire is not intended to create new dualisms between the extremes of different factors. The results of the questionnaire are intended to be indications of fluid tendencies within researcher preferences that can and will change over time. It is for this reason that the results are displayed as numerical positions in a spider diagram, along a spectrum, rather than assigned as a fixed category. The contested nature of concepts and terms used in the questionnaire may also lead some respondents to feel like the factors do not accurately reflect their worldviews or that they change over time. Such reflections are perfectly valid. Facilitation is critical and the group cohesion, dynamics and verbal as well as non-verbal cues should be carefully monitored and moderated.