Estimated reading time 13 mins (2576 words)
I’ve just come back from my second and last bioinformatics workshop of the summer!
From last Wednesday to Friday I spent 3 days in a row staring at a computer for 8-9 hours.
You might be thinking “Well, isn’t this what you usually do?”
Touché. It is.
But this time it was special because instead of spending 99% of that time googling problems and getting distracted/giving up on my Ph.D., I was learning a bunch of incredibly useful and time-saving skills at the 2018 Applied Genomics in Anthropological Research (AGAR) workshop organized by the American Association of Anthropological Genetics (AAAG). Look, academics just love an acronym…
Since these workshops are still all fresh in my mind, I decided to write a little post about them to summarize why I think doing workshops is a really good way of learning important material for grad students.
There are many types of workshops. Some are a few hours, others are a few days. They might be offered at your university or at a conference, or they might be independent events that you have to travel to (as was the case for me this summer). What they tend to have in common is that they usually draw participants and instructors from various universities (or various departments/ cohorts in the case of within-university workshops) and they tend to be given within a limited period of time (a few hours or days).
The combination of bringing together diverse groups of people and stuffing a lot into a short time period means that they are essentially the polar opposite of the kind of learning you do within a coursework situation. So, here’s my list of 4 reasons why I think workshops > coursework.