The Session Design Lab

Improve your offline and online training and facilitation skills.

This workshop is offered periodically. If you are interested in participating in a future lab, please let us know by sending an email to workshops (at)

During this workshop, you will get a grounding on how to design participatory and interactive sessions that support learning and knowledge sharing in online and offline environments. On the first day, we will do a deep dive into adult learning and review research that led to a session format known as ADIDS (Activity, Discussion, Input, Deepening and Synthesis). On the second day, you will design your own session based on ADIDS and have an opportunity to review that design with other participants.

We will also cover best practices for running virtual sessions, considerations to be made when bridging online and offline participants (hybrids) and how to engage participants before and after your session.

By the end of the lab, you will have:

  • a peer-reviewed session design ready for implementation
  • increased expertise in running effective online and offline workshops and convenings.
  • improved ability to determine whether an event will be work better as a virtual or face to face (IRL)

You will also get to work with the Virtual Session Design Canvas and make connections with others on a similar journey who can support your growth as a facilitator.

This lab is designed for people working with charities.

The Session Design Lab is facilitated by Dirk Slater, who has spent the last quarter of a century finetuning his training and facilitation techniques. Over the last decade, he has been on a quest to deliver virtual sessions that don’t suck. He is the Facilitation Support Coach for MozFest & RightsCon.

Planning an event? Check out The Event Design Lab.

Apply for a scholarship to The (Virtual) Session Design Lab.