Venue: Civil Service College
Participants: Nature guides and prospective nature guides
Facilitators: November Tan
Guest Speaker: Ria Tan
Last week saw a good turn out for the Soft Cnidarian Workshop held on 5 Dec 2008 at Civil Service College. Majority of the participants were NParks staff and volunteers, followed by NakedHermitCrabs volunteers and potential guides from National Institute of Education. There was also a good diverse range of other volunteers from BlueWaterVolunteers, Cicada Tree Eco-Place, Nature Society (Singapore) and even a teacher from St Gabriels Secondary School who is bringing his school's students for field trips at St John Island. 15.7% of the worksop participants mentioned that they appreciated meeting other nature loving and like-minded friends and guides at the workshop. Thanks to the diverse groups of volunteers attending the workshop, we were able to meet like-minded friends from a wide range of groups which we would otherwise not have the opportunity to encounter.
A total of 32 people registered for the workshop, of which, 25 participants attended this workshop. This is a 78% turn out rate which is an improvement from last month's 72% attendance of 18 people. This is a 138% increase in number of participants.
Out of the 19 people who completed the feedback forms distributed at the end of the workshop, 100% of participants indicated that they found the workshop (1) useful, (2) with ample opportunity to talk, (3) addressed all their key concerns, (4) with a group size that's just nice and (5) that the venue was good.
Ria Tan of WildSingapore, author of Chek Jawa Guidebook and WildFactsheets engaging participants in the "lecture" component of the workshop.
However, 2 participants felt that the time allocated was too short for the 30 minutes lecture in the first part of the workshop, while 1 felt that the activities (2nd part of lecture) was too long. While the other 16 participants felt timing was just nice. 2 also commented that the lecture could be slower and more detailed. While the playdoh creation was fun, some felt that more learning points could be provided.
Presenting their weird cnidarian creations in the 2nd activity of the workshop.
A large number of feedback (37%) found the analogies / jokes / messages shared as part of the 1st group activity in the workshop were highly useful. Groups were asked to select a type of soft cnidarians and a target group from a list provided. They are then asked to think of an analogy (metaphor) to present their cnidarian in a way that their chosen visitor type would best relate to. Many workshop participants found this to be a good deposit of stories to use for future guided walks.
Workshop participants also found the lecture component to be especially useful and that 31.5% commented that they have learnt something new about cnidarians. One even mentioned they have "really begin to be interested in cnidarians as I've never really put in any thought into it before". Another 15.7% mentioned that the most useful takeaway from the event was learning about the different classes of cnidarians and that they are actually very different from each other.
Many of the participants heard about the workshop through NParks and friends as well as through the organizer and even Facebook. (We have a facebook page!)
Ria, our speaker for the day, has also written an account of the workshop with lots of colorful photos on her wildshores blog.