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Workshops for College Students: Learning by Doing

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Workshops are especially important because they are conducted based on the premise of “learning by doing.” Unlike regular classes where information is presented and explained and discussions ensue to elaborate on that information—not at all a disadvantage, considering many concepts do not possess a physical dimension, although much working with intellectual concepts require ongoing practice—workshops serve a purpose of allowing students to enhancing their skills by actually using those skills and gaining insight through others who are doing the same, and then providing their own insight to others. This is an equal exchange where everyone contributes equally. Seminars and shop classes are forms of workshops.

In light of their hands-on nature, workshops are the preferred type of course for various fields, such as writing, studio art, automotive engineering, film-making, advertising and magazine publication, among others. Other skills that might feature a workshop for enhancing skills might be income tax form preparation, day- and homecare, real estate, and starting a new business.

Workshops are usually viewed as inferior because they hold the connotative reference that they are needed for people who are “having trouble learning.” This couldn’t be farther from the truth. In actuality, workshops are a major part of everyday education and comprise a significant portion of graduate programs that focus on perfecting one’s skill in a giving area. Creative writing is a great example. One only shapes and betters one’s craft by actually doing. This is why most writers do not get published right away. By doing and doing and doing again, one learns about one’s strengths and weaknesses and spends time developing the weaknesses into strength, and then honing the strengths. Input from other developing and established writers also serves as guide and offers insight to students. This is essential for anyone who wants to begin a professional career in any of a number of fields. The workshop is the place in formal education where that practice is done, and students get credit for it.

In addition, workshops are those allotted spaces in a curriculum where professional work canons are begun. Students start on their work so they have something to represent their skills and place in their portfolios, which absolutely must be started prior to graduation. Assembling a portfolio itself is a skill that is learned in the workshop. As a matter of fact, some workshops are designs strictly for that. This way, [some of] the work and the portfolio are complete even before students walk up on that stage to get their [fake] diploma. See, those who devise curricula and set up workshops for students do have a clue and know what they are doing.

In the end, workshops offer students an ongoing array of opportunities for self-development, self-promotion, and even contacts, as established people in that field are quite often featured and provide lectures. As everyone knows, networking is essential for success in every field, so regardless of what students plan to do in life, the workshop will definitely help get them there.

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