MozFest Facilitator Handbook

MozFest Facilitator Handbook

Suggested Session Format: ADIDS

There are many ways to design a session that’s participatory, inclusive, and productive. Past session leaders have used games, dance, hip-hop, drawing, storytelling and more to create unique session experiences. Your topic and your own affinities will determine your session design.

If you’re looking for a starting point, consider ADIDS (Activity, Discussion, Input, Deepening, Synthesis) a session structure informed by scientific research on how individuals learn. ADIDS is a sequence of activities designed to build on one another, and can be adopted for any topic. After you very briefly describe your session topic and goals, and do any intros with the group, the basic ADIDS structure is as follows:

Activity: Begin with an activity that introduces the session topic in a way that invites participants to share their own perspective and experience. You can come up with your own activity, or select one of the examples below and adapt it to your content. Note that small group activities that encourage in-depth peer to peer interaction work best here. Activity examples include:

  • One-on-one conversations: ask participants to break into pairs to talk about the topic. Participants capture their thoughts on post-it notes, post them on a wall, then the whole group reviews, sorts, and categorizes the notes.
  • Order steps: Print each step of a process related to your topic on a sheet of paper, lay them on a table or on the floor, then, ask participants to put the steps in order – as they do so, encourage them to explain their choices.
  • Rank methods or techniques: ask participants to break into pairs and discuss a list of techniques related to your topic and ask them to determine most effective to least effective.
  • Gallery Walk: post photos, drawings or visualisations related to the topic on a wall; ask participants to review them as if they are in an art gallery. Provide a question to encourage reflection; ask participants to share their thoughts.
  • Explore Scenarios: create scenarios based on real-life problems that address the topic. Break participants up into small groups to review the scenarios and brainstorm solutions.
  • Drawing: ask participants to visually represent something related to the topic-- a process, workflow, or the outcomes or impact of their work. This works well on large sheets of paper so all can view the drawings.

Discussion: In this part of your session, the group shares responses and insights about the activity they just completed. The facilitator should frame the discussions with questions to help participants reflect on the experience. For example, framing questions might be: What surprised you about the activity? What did you discover? What did you see or hear from others in the group that stuck with you?

Input: The facilitator presents additional material on issues, insights, examples, and more advanced concepts about the topic. This is where, as facilitator, you share your own experience, learnings, and expertise.

Deepening: In a technical workshop, this is usually the hands-on segment of a session. Participants have an opportunity to set-up and begin using a particular tool or application, or practice a skill.

Synthesis: The group reflects and shares key points and outcomes-- what issues or solutions came up? What striking ideas were mentioned in discussion? This is may be a good moment for a short question and answer time. The facilitator may also wrap up the session by summarising key points and outcomes.

Up Next: Create a Session Plan