For this post, I'd like to share our experience hosting connected learning hackathon sessions. I have attached our session agenda (which includes the reason why the session was set up in a particular way) and the session questionnaire we distributed to the participants.
We hosted three separate 5-hour long sessions. The main goals of our hackathon were raising awareness of our playlist project and generating ideas for our content development team. For this first round of hackathon sessions, we did not intend to to train participants on how to create their own playlists.
Attendees included educators, librarians, career counsellors, instructional designers who are interested in designing online resources for self-guided learners. We wanted to have a good mix of professionals who work with youth in various capacities. This provided us with a view of the challenges and opportunities of each playlist from the various perspectives.
During the session, we avoided discussing the platform the playlists will be hosted on and just focused on creating the content on paper. The participants entered their ideas into this learning activity form. At the end, we found the 5-hour long session was not long enough to fully flush out the ideas. The learning activities submitted through the form still needed to be further refined by the curriculum development team.
Feedback from the session participants was very positive. They enjoyed the opportunity to play, think, and interact with other professionals they may not have otherwise had the opportunity to work with. One educator noted
I just wanted to take a moment to thank-you for inviting me to the Hack-A-Thon on Saturday. It was such an amazing experience! I entered Monday with a renewed energy (which is hard to come by the week before Spring Break:) I had learned so much from the other participants and had been energized with the idea behind the Connected Learner Project.
What about you? Have you hosted similar sessions and how did they go? What format worked best for you? Did the participants generate a lot of activities?