During the summer of 2020, we held two free online workshops (one in English
and the other in Chinese), spending 3 hours each week, for a total of 11 weeks.
This is the first time we conducted the SEED workshop in an online form.
It is definitely a learning process for us. We summarize some of the findings in the following:
- Around 400 people registered for the workshops, with 50% from US, and the other 50% from
- 25 percent of the participants are women.
- On average, 120 people participated at each week's 3-hour session. All the others
can still access the workshop materials.
- $210,000: Had these workshops been offered onsite, like what we have been doing for the last 5
years (sponsored by NSF),
this would be the total travel cost for 120 people ($1500/person for domestic,
and $2000/person for international). Thanks to all the volunteers and the online platform,
we did it for free.
- Lesson: While these many people attended the workshops, the total number of people
who actually worked on the labs during the workshop is low.
This is in sharp contrast to
the onsite workshops. Getting more people to involve in the hands-on part of such an
online workshop is a challenge that we hope to address in the future.
- Surprise: As you can see from the survey results, even if the travel cost
can be reimbursed, the majority of the people still prefer the online workshop.
Online seems to be future.
We have conducted anonymous surveys at the end of each workshop. The results from
both workshops are quite consistent, so here we present the combined results
from these two workshops (we have received responses from 54 people).