Using an Unconference Model in Faculty Development for Digital Humanities and Pedagogy

I’m thinking about a talk session that explores the nature of faculty development programming in digital humanities and pedagogy, comparing the standard workshop model (presentation/facilitation of content/training by one or more “experts”) with a THATCamp style unconference model. Have any of you tried/experienced “unconference” style faculty development? The question is raised in part by the arguments presented by Maha Bali and Lee Skallerup Bessette in “Toward A Critical Approach to Faculty Development.” Maha and Lee suggest that

institutional and professional expectations often dictate that the workshop model remain predominant even when it is not the most appropriate choice. This leads to a complicated balance between what faculty developers know works … and what faculty and administrators expect. We are not suggesting that workshops necessarily use poor pedagogy; just that they, in all their diversity, should not be the prominent form of faculty development, with one or two experts as facilitators.”

So, what would an “unconference” approach to faculty development, particularly with introduction to DH at a small liberal arts college, look like?