A Guide to Planning and Leading PKAL Events

What is a PKAL Meeting?

Vision, Mission & Goals

What Makes a Good Meeting?

  • We start with a compelling vision.
  • From that vision comes the event goals; we recommend no more than three.
  • Next, strategies (with deadlines for actions) are identified to reach these goals.
  • Finally, actions are implemented; these are what you do to make the event work.

Sidebar: Vision Goals Strategies Diagram

What Needs to Happen to Realize Goals?

  • We develop a program (curricula/pedagogies) that reflects insights about how people learn:
    • building on existing knowledge;
    • giving participants opportunity to shape their own learning;
    • making connections to their real-world, day-to-day life as a STEM leader.
  • We empower both leaders and participants with a clear understanding of the actions to be taken before, during and after the event.
  • Participants are expected to own their knowledge gained through the event through hands on understanding of how they will use the knowledge in the real world.

Sidebar: Examples of actions before, during and after event.

The PKAL Meeting Design

The agendas for PKAL meetings (workshops, seminars, national assemblies) follow a common template. There is intentional and explicit connection:

  • between theory and practice: considering both the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of transforming the undergraduate STEM learning environment, in the context of the meeting theme.
    Attention to this connection results in a carefully orchestrated rhythm of plenaries, break-out sessions, consulting clusters, time for personal reflection, etc.
  • to 21st century goals for student learning and the pedagogies that serve those goals.
    Attention to this connection results in the selection of a variety of pedagogies that give attendees a first-hand opportunity to experience and reflect on approaches having documented success in enhancing critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as the capacity for collaborative work for undergraduate STEM students (an opportunity to become a student once-again):
    • to people, ideas and material making a difference for students, science, and society.
      Attention to this connection results in the identification of planners, presenters, consultants, mentors, facilitators and of those whose work is recognized as having demonstrable impact on their community or communities— local, regional or national, again in the context of the meeting theme.
    • between planning and action, between goals and strategies, between individual and institutional visions for the future.
      Attention to this connection results in the development of a ‘take-home’ product, an agenda for action (by an individual or a team) that specifies next steps— immediate and short-term— through which the best ideas and promising practices learned at the event are implemented on the home campus most efficiently and effectively.

    See Appendix for Agenda Templates