The first Chek Jawa workshop for the year was started off on Friday 28th January evening to introduce the diversity and basic biology of Molluscs to participants. The participants mainly include chek jawa guides, trainees, and Nparks staff, ranging from age 22 to 55 years old. In a short span of 3hours, participants were taught to identify the different classes within the phylum Mollusca and the basic body parts of the mollusks through a series of activities including videos, lecture and pictorial presentations, hands-on dissection practicals and games.
Preparation could be done earlier; materials and programme schedule should have been finalized at least 2 days before the workshop (ie. The materials should have been prepared by Wednesday if the workshop was conducted on Friday.)
More communication between instructors and organizers is required so everyone is sure about the roles they play, especially for the video and practical session. There could have been a run-through of the entire programme with the instructors at least 1hour before the workshop begins to notify of any last minute changes, and to make sure the equipment and tools for the workshop are prepared.
More help for preparation and during the workshop would have been appreciated. (Glad to have Ria and Swee Cheng helping out).
The number of slides was just right and the presentation was good at the start but became quite draggy at the ending part; perhaps because we were ahead of schedule?
The hands-on dissection practical was engaging for the audience, however I could not really appreciate the game whereby the audience was asked to match the shells/specimens to their scientific names. It would have helped if common names were provided, so they could learn to associate the respective common names to the respective scientific names. From what I see, the activity merely tested the ability of the participants to use the seashell guidebook?
From the two feedback forms that I saw, both participants gave positive feedback and they learnt much from the workshop; On a scale of 10, both awarded 10 for the amount of information they gained from the workshop. Have to look at the rest of the feedback forms to know what the participants thought. But on the whole, I would say the workshop was a success.