[NSF Workshop] Getting On-the-Spot Feedback from Your Audience: Online workshop for scientists who engage with the public

September 15, 2020

October 26 - November 20, 2020
60-minute live sessions on Mondays at 2pm PT / 5pm ET (October 26, November 2, 9, 16)


Join us for a 4-week online workshop for scientists who engage with the public. If you've ever wondered "Are they with me?" then this workshop will introduce techniques to help you ensure that your audiences are both engaged and providing you with the feedback you need to achieve your goals. This workshop will combine weekly live sessions with online group forum discussions and individual asynchronous work designed to introduce you to audience feedback techniques that will help you design public engagement events that are more inclusive, interactive, and satisfying.

You will gain the following through participation in this workshop:

  • A set of “on-the-spot feedback” tactics that allow you to gauge and respond to your audience’s interest and understanding during your public engagement events.
  • Effective ways to use these tactics during virtual and in-person public engagement events.
  • Membership in an online community of scientists and public engagement experts who are also interested in using audience feedback to improve the quality of their engagement events.
  • The opportunity to receive a $200 stipend for participation in our NSF-funded research project to develop and refine on-the-spot audience feedback tactics.

To participate in this course and receive a $200 stipend, you must...

  • Work or study in a science-based field (e.g. science, engineering, health sciences). Students should be at least at a graduate level.
  • Have completed science communication training and/or have experience facilitating public engagement.
  • Spend about 2 hours per week on tasks related to the workshop. There will be a weekly one-hour live session on Mondays at 2pm PT / 5pm ET, and the rest of the tasks can be completed as they best fit into your own schedule. The live sessions are highly interactive, so live participation is preferable and highly encouraged, but recordings will be made available if you miss a session.
  • Agree to try out On-the-Spot Feedback tactics from the workshop in at least one public engagement event (whether virtual or in-person) February 28, 2021, and report back within a week on your experience.

To apply:
Complete an online application form by Sunday, September 27. The form has 22 questions and takes about 15 minutes to complete. Note that this course has limited capacity, so we may not be able to accept everyone who applies. We will send out acceptance notifications by October 7.

If you have any questions about the workshop, the application, or your eligibility to participate, please contact us at ots-staff@astrosociety.org

About the On-the-Spot Feedback project:
This online course is part of the NSF-funded On-the-Spot Feedback project (award #1811022), a collaboration of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Portal to the Public at the Institute for Learning Innovation, the STEM Research Center at Oregon State University, and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory. Through this research-to-practice initiative, we are developing a set of embedded feedback tactics and professional development to support science-based professionals in effectively communicating science to the public.