My experience of leading a Covidence workshop
I am Eman Alzghoul, a PhD student at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney. My Journey with Covidence started in 2021 when I was awarded the Covidence systematic review scholarship. I started attending the 101 training sessions to learn more about Covidence’s tools and to gain a better understanding of the software.
Conducting a systematic review is an integral part of my research as a PhD student. It’s always the first step before embarking on any research project. Covidence provided me with a great chance to conduct research and provide evidence-based work efficiently. When I heard about the Covidence Ambassador Program, I was immediately interested and eager to participate and be a part of this scientific community. I was assured that it would be an extraordinary experience, and it certainly was! I applied to the program and was privileged to be selected as one of the 13 ambassadors in September 2022.
The Covidence Ambassador Program offered me the opportunity to meet and learn from talented, like-minded researchers from various organisations around the world. Furthermore, the training sessions organised by Covidence Community Managers were very informative. The training helped me develop my action plans, and encouraged me to share what I have learned with my colleagues at the UNSW.
With the support and facilitation of the Covidence teams, I started preparing to conduct a training workshop for my higher-degree research fellows at the School of Optometry and Vision Science, UNSW.
Before the training session, I circulated a registration form among the higher-degree research students, including the date and place of the training session. The form also included questions about the attendees’ expectations, what they want to learn, and the best way to conduct the workshop, as some of the students work from home.
In total, 29 participants attended the hybrid workshop, 10 in person and 19 online. The attendees were PhD students in the first, second, and third years of their candidature. 80% of the attendees reported that the systematic review application motivated them to join the workshop. All attendees gave feedback and reported that the training was interesting, practical, and easy to follow. The participants also were very interested in attending further sessions on Covidence and systematic reviews at UNSW.
Conducting a training workshop requires meticulous planning. The preparations started with obtaining the necessary permissions from the higher-degree research student coordinator. One of the most important considerations was the workshop’s timing and attendance availability. Also, it was imperative to convey all the important aspects of the Covidence platform while offering a practical session and giving the attendees a chance to apply it during the session.
Learning and leading
Planning and delivering this training session was a valuable learning and leading experience for me. Despite feeling overwhelmed by conducting a hybrid session for such a large group within only a few weeks, the positive feedback from my colleagues encouraged me to continue. I am immensely grateful to the Covidence community for allowing me to be part of this incredible organization and for all the support I received to conduct a successful training session.
Photo: Eman led a hybrid workshop for higher-degree research students
Are you interested in becoming a Covidence Student Ambassador? Contact our Community Team (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.