Organization - I think the speakers could tailor their presentations to focus on what we need to present to users. I appreciate that there are still a lot of bugs to be worked out (in the OT, for example) but thought that dealing with those are not what this session is supposed to be about. We need to be trained to use the tools, and additionally to present them to users.
Hands on - It would be nice to have more hands-on time. Specifically, we could work through templates - if they are not present in the OT itself, for example, then we should have a series of basic, Early Science compatible OT templates ourselves to show users how to set up what we think will be common ES observing modes. During a TTT it would be useful to go through them in detail.
Timing and Focus - a lot of the sessions could have been condensed if we were focused on the real goals of TTT rather than going off on tangents. Much of the tangential information was useful, but perhaps was not within the scope of TTT. This meant we ran late and there were not enough breaks - by the end of each afternoon it was clear people were tired and cranky.
I thought it was a useful session. Even though things aren't as ready as we would like them to be, there are ways of focusing on the basic stuff that users need to know in ES.
- if visitors participate, get nametags for everyone, esp.
- have coffee available
- post materials before presentations
- post acronyms on wiki (JAO has these on their web page) - need to instruct higher level people that purpose is to train on tools as they are, not to discuss policies or how tools should have been designed
OT - first do a "happy ticket" presentation (end-to-end proposal generation & submission of a very simple case); then go into the gottchas.
Splatalogue - this really should be a live demo with splatalogue, not a tour through the quickstart guide
Overall - your original plan was a good one (lots of hands-on time scheduled), but we didn't execute against it. Maybe set it up more like summer school - have most sessions be completely hands-on with a tool, and then tell presenters to do a brief intro to kick people off. OT & simdata in particular. Or maybe only talks in the mornings, then afternoons all hands-on with help available (although I suspect many participants would just use the time to read email etc.).
Need a way to test whether we achieved goals. Homework that should be completed before end of TTT session?
I learned lots of useful things, and it was good to get so many of us from disparate sites and groups in the room together. I think that the two-day format was the right length, and the right people and topics were selected for the talks.
The next time we have a session like this (I hope we do!), it might be a good idea to encourage people to discuss how to use the current tools as they are. I think too much site was spent discussing ways in which the tools could be improved, so we didn't have enough time to get trained on what currently exists.
Of course, no matter what you say, some people will want to complain about things, so I don't really know how to implement my suggestion.