This article will outline some practical tips if you're considering adding a new method to the SessionLab public library of facilitation techniques.
Our purpose with the library is to provide a place where people can find inspiration and useful methods for their workshops.
Some people contribute because they want to 'give back' to the community and share some of their best practices, while some people find it a good opportunity to gain visibility for their own methods and brand. We welcome you in either case.
If you want to contribute to the public library, please follow these guidelines to ensure that:
the method you submit has a structure and style consistent with the rest of the library (see the tips below)
it contains sufficient amount of details for one to understand how to use this technique. You may to link to your own website where you offer more details about a technique, as long as the reader has a basic set of information available in your entry to understand what the method is about.
it contains proper attribution to the sources you used and respects copyright, in case you refer to any trademarked content/asset.
You can create a new entry in the library by signing in to SessionLab, visiting the https://www.sessionlab.com/library page and clicking on the 'Add new resource' button.
In the modal window that pops up after clicking on Add new resource, you will be able to fill in all the details for your method:
Practical tip: Before proceeding to fill in all the details, it's best if you click on the Create personal / Create [your team name] button in the right sidebar.
Everything you enter in SessionLab gets saved automatically, except when creating new methods in the library: until the new library method has been created, changes won't be saved. You can prevent this by first clicking the Create button before you begin filling in all the details editing. From then on, all changes you make are saved automatically.
Name of your method: Give a short title for your method. This will be its title visible in the library.
Owner of the method: The method you create will automatically take your name that you specified at your account settings
Profile image: automatically taken from the logo you upload at your profile settings for your account (you may choose your own personal or your brand logo)
Tags: Start typing and you can choose from the tags already used in the library. It is recommended to use not more than 5-6 tags for your method: the tags ideally should not take up more than two rows on the card view of your method. (See the example below). It is also advised that you pick at least one of the 8 top-level tags - the ones you see in the header for the library: team / energiser / idea generation / issue resolution / issue analysis / action / skills / remote-friendly (These will be highlighted with bold formatting after you submitted your method). Unsure which tags to use? Get in touch with us at email@example.com and we'll be glad to help!
Card view of a method - "Category tags" are highlighted
Length in minutes: add a range of minimum and maximum recommended times that you'd suggest for this activity. Besides the recommended minimum and maximum duration, you may add an optional explanation if you wish.
Editing min-max duration of a method
Recommended number of participants: If the method needs a minimum or upper limit of participants to run effectively, you may enter these suggestions.
Editing the recommended number of participants for a method
Level of Difficulty: Low / Medium / High - indicate how difficult it is to run this method from the facilitator's point of view. If a method does not require any specific skill or training to facilitate, then it would typically be Low difficulty. If it deals with complex group dynamics, emotionally charged conversations where experience is needed to manage the group's and individuals physiological safety, then it would typically be a High difficulty method. If a method needs complex training and/or certification to run, it is also advised to indicate this by assigning Medium or High difficulty
Assigning a Difficulty level for a method
Description: serves as the short 2-3 sentence summary of what the method is about. Importantly, the first sentence is what typically gets shown in the card view of the method, informing the viewer about the general theme and purpose of the technique. Below you can see an example short description alongside how that is shown in the card overview.
Note how the first sentence only is used in the library card.
Goal: Highlight the goals/objectives of this method
Attachments: Please upload any relevant files that are needed to run this activity. Typically this might include worksheets, a slide deck, or participant handouts. Besides the visual assets and handouts, this is also the place to add a cover image for your method. After you’ve uploaded the cover image for your method, move your mouse over the image (while in Edit mode of the method) and the 'Make cover' button will appear.
Uploading images and setting cover image
Materials: If your method requires any materials, e.g. physical tools you need to run the activity, this is the place to list them one-by-one.
Example of materials listed for a method
Instructions: This is the place to add all the practical details about how to prepare and run the exercise. Typically it contains the following types of information : Preparation needs, Room setup, Step-by-step instructions, Debriefing questions and any tips about how to run different variations of the exercise. You may use formatting options, such as headers, bold, italic, underline as well as inserting images to illustrate. The goal here is to give enough information that someone who has never run this method before would be able to do so successfully. You may also add links to explanatory videos, examples, and references where more information can be read about certain aspects of the method.
Example of detailed Instructions for a method
Background: If your method is built on or derived from any known framework, methodology or existing method, please reference the inspiration used, and whenever possible, link to the sources you have used. Using copyrighted content without the author's permission is prohibited and may result in the removal of your method from the library. If you are the author of the method, you are welcome to include links to your own websites offering more details about the method and your services.
How to make a method public?
When you are ready editing your method, the last step is to set it into Public visibility.
You can do this while you are in Editing mode, simply click on the 'Public' toggle button on the right sidebar of the method page:
Setting a method's visibility to Public
Thank you for taking the time to review these guidelines and contributing to the library. If you have any question about submitting your method into the library, you are welcome to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org