Lessons learned from organizing and teaching virtual phylogenetics workshops

Date
2022-04-12
Authors
Barido-Sottani, Joëlle
Justison, Joshua A.
Borges, Rui
Brown, Jeremy M.
Dismukes, Wade
do Rosario Petrucci, Bruno
Fabreti, Luiza Guimarães
Höhna, Sebastian
Landis, Michael J.
Lewis, Paul O.
May, Michael R.
Mendes, Fábio K.
Pett, Walker
Redelings, Benjamin D.
Tribble, Carrie M.
Wright, April M.
Zenil-Ferguson, Rosana
Heath, Tracy
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© 2022 The Authors
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Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology
Abstract
In 2020 and 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic led to an abrupt overhaul of many academic practices, including the transition of scientific events, such as workshops, to a fully virtual format. We describe our experiences organizing and teaching online-only statistical phylogenetics workshops and the lessons we learned along the way. We found that online workshops present some specific challenges, but format choices and rigorous planning can alleviate many of the concerns typically associated with a virtual medium. In addition, online workshops have unique advantages such as the flexibility they offer to participants and instructors and their accessibility to non-traditional and underprivileged audiences. We hope that our experience will encourage workshop organizers to consider online-only events as an integral part of potential training opportunities rather than simply a stop-gap solution for unusual circumstances. In addition, we hope to prompt broader discussion about integrating aspects of online workshops into traditional in-person courses to make training opportunities more flexible and inclusive.
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This preprint is made available through EcoEvoRxiv Preprints at doi:10.32942/osf.io/kp8sz. Posted with permission. CC-By Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International
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