Workshops are used in many psychiatric teaching and learning contexts, from undergraduate to continuing professional development. Most psychiatrists have at some time attended a workshop. However, the terms workshop, tutorial and small-group teaching are used indiscriminately. It is therefore important to reflect on what characterises a workshop, the learning theories behind their development and what learning needs workshops best meet. We give an outline of the evidence for workshops in medical education and review the principles governing how to conduct workshops and the use of technology to enhance their delivery. Data collected from an undergraduate psychiatry course delivered in an Irish university are used to illustrate how applying these principles contributes to optimising the use of workshops from both the learners’ and facilitators’ perspective.
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