For Rachel Meyer's junior tutorial on Social Class, students read each other's research proposals before class and then participated in an in-class workshop to discuss each proposal.
Before the workshop, the students circulated their research proposals to all of their peers. Rachel Meyer explained the concept of workshopping and also emailed students instructions. They read the proposals looking for strengths and areas for improvement.
In class, they discussed one proposal at a time, starting with the strengths and then moving to how the proposal could be improved. The professor and the students drew connections between the proposals. This exercise helped the students understand common problems in research design and how to address them. After the workshop, the students revised their proposals and ultimately put together a better research project and final paper.
Rachel Meyer aimed to better prepare students for data collection and write up through the workshop. She notes that it is difficult for students to critique their own projects, so they learn how to make their own project better by examining their peers' projects.
For this kind of workshop, students will be very generous with each other and provide constructive criticism, if the professor sets the right tone. It also helps to start with positive feedback
Workshopping can work for a variety of contexts. Rachel Meyer's class did a similar activity for the research question stage of the project.