Workshop Planning

Planning a workshop at the CTL

The CTL provides customized workshops and information sessions for departments or other academic groups on campus. To discuss scheduling a customized workshop, contact us at 212.854.9058 or at

To learn more about opportunities to run workshops at the CTL, browse graduate student opportunities or email CTL at

CTL workshop guidelines

The following guidelines and information about our facilities can help facilitators plan effective and engaging workshops at the CTL.

1. Learning objectives

What will participants learn or be able to do as a result of attending this session? What are some main takeaways?

Open the workshop with clearly articulated learning objectives. This will help participants understand from the start what they will gain from the session, and is also helpful for gathering feedback about whether the session successfully met your goals (see #4 below).

2. Opportunities for active learning

What activities will you incorporate into the workshop in order to give participants opportunities to try out or explore its topic?

Incorporate opportunities for participants to directly engage in the topic, through activities that prompt discussion, application, and reflection. Read about active learning techniques in CTL’s resources section. As you plan activities, decide whether you will need particular materials to support them (ex:  butcher or easel paper, sharpies, sticky notes, index cards, etc.), and determine the optimal setup of the room (see information about rooms and setups below on this page).

3. Workshop plan

What is the outline of the session (including approximate time for each part)? When and how will you be incorporating media?

Lead Teaching Fellows and other graduate student workshop facilitators who are designing new workshops are expected to meet with a CTL staff member at least a week before the session to review a detailed workshop plan. They are also welcome to request a consultation on this plan this plan at any point as they are designing it (contact Visitors running workshops at CTL are also encouraged to send a detailed workshop plan ahead of time.

4. Workshop feedback

Did the workshop deliver on its goals and meet the needs of the Columbia learning community?

For every workshop held at the CTL, we ask participants to fill out a brief, anonymous survey to help the workshop presenter and the CTL understand the success and impact of the session. This survey typically asks whether the session accomplished its stated goal(s) (see #1 above), which aspects of the session a participant found useful, what a participant might plan to incorporate into future teaching, what suggestions the participant may have for improvement of the session, and what additional kinds of programming the participants would like to see the CTL offer.


CTL workshop configurations


212 Butler

While CTL runs workshops across Columbia University, our main workshop space is located in 212 Butler Library. The room’s amenities include: Apple computer, wi-fi access, a projector and screen, speakers, video and video conference capabilities, two mounted whiteboards, one mobile whiteboard, and chart paper and markers.This flexible room can seat up to 32 participants around tables, or up to 35 participants in theater configuration. See pictures of configurations of 212 Butler.

208b Butler

CTL also runs some programming in 208b Butler Library, also known as Studio@Butler. Columbia University Libraries renovated this space in collaboration with GSAS in 2014. Ever since it has hosted events produced and sponsored by CUL’s Digital Humanities Center and other library digital units, digital and course labs run by Columbia faculty, and workshops run or sponsored by the CTL. See pictures of configurations of 208b Butler.