The workshops carried out at the Open Institute are classified as the counterpart to scientific conferences. Generally smaller in terms of audience size, these workshops are a perfect opportunity for students to get a first-hand experience of working together with other people towards the achievement of a common goal, often revolving around a practice-oriented topic. The collaborative approach of workshops allows participants to get involved intensively in a task and thus develop new analytical, communication, problem-solving, and decision-making skills that will help them in a future professional environment. Participants at workshops can expect to be involved in more group-focused interactions over a shorter period of time. Some of the activities include group discussions of scientific questions, collective thinking and analysis of relevant topics subject to the particular workshop, problem-solving, assessment of individual ideas, and more. Workshops at the Open Institute are held and moderated by experienced lecturers and professionals who share their valuable expertise through interactive activities while simultaneously encouraging participants to be actively involved. Throughout a typical workshop the lecturer will define the primary goal, shape the course of conversation while introducing the topic and thus steering a discussion among participants. This approach provides students with a clear and understandable structure of what is expected of them so that the development of the end results is done smoothly and in a collaborative manner.
Depending on the topic and problem in question, there are typically four workshop approaches carried out at the Open Institute: problem solution workshops, conflict resolution workshops, conception workshops, and decision-making workshops. In a problem solution workshop, the first step is to define a problem based on which appropriate goals are set as well as solutions developed. Those solutions will then be presented, evaluated, and, finally, recorded in a catalogue of measures by participants. The conflict resolution workshop, on the other hand, is defined by the resolution of a e.g. mutual scientific conflict, in the course of which an assessment of all current positive aspects is followed by a diagnosis phase as well as the finding of perspectives, which also lead to them being ultimately recorded in a catalogue of measures. A conception workshop involves the development of a new concept for an object of research, at the beginning of which the basic conditions and goals are determined. In groups, those goals will then be transformed into concrete ideas, concepts and recommendations for action, which in turn will finally be condensed and evaluated. Last but not least, the Open Institute also carries out decision-making workshops, which serve as an approach to a scientific project or model. The first step is to select various models or approaches which participants will develop on an individual basis as well as present to the group, and which will then be evaluated by the group. Based on the evaluation, usually three approaches or models are chosen in an effort to ultimately select one final approach or model.
All workshops are designed in way that provokes participants to use their creative and critical thinking in the attempt to find a solution to a particular problem as part of a team.
For current workshops, which interested academics and researchers can register for, see the event calendar.