Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Does anyone want any data?

Years ago (when I did a different job) I developed these plagiarism tutorials. There are now 17 of them and between them they've had tens of thousands of views. A while back I made them creative commons so that other people could make their own. Over time I've collected more than 1,000 responses to the questions that formed a survey at the end of the tutorial (the survey is currently bust and I need to fix it, but that's another story). The questions I asked were:
  1. Which version of the tutorial did you do?
  2. I found this tutorial interesting (1 = strongly agree, 4 = strongly disagree)
  3. I found this tutorial easy to use (1 = strongly agree, 4 = strongly disagree)
  4. I found this tutorial informative (1 = strongly agree, 4 = strongly disagree)
  5. The best bit about the tutorial was...
  6. The tutorial could be improved by...
Is this data of use to anyone? I don't have time to analyse it but there might be some interesting stuff in it. Let me know if you want it.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Historical Studies alumni videos

Two weeks ago I popped up a quick post on Alumni talking heads experiment. I don't what to be too premature about this but it seems to have worked a treat! Of the 10 alumni contacts that Professor Roey Sweet (the Head of Department) and Professor Rob Colls (the Careers Tutor) gave me, five said yes to doing the video. And to my surprise - all of them actually did it! What's more it took very little chivvying from me. Some did webcam straight to YouTube (as I suggested after belatedly realising that was easiest), some used a digital camera and one even used his phone! Four of the five uploaded straight to YouTube and one uploaded to the DropBox folder I shared with them. Only one of the five videos needed significant editing (the one uploaded to DropBox in multiple files), the rest just required topping and tailing. Matt did a fantastic job of the editing in a couple of hours on Tuesday afternoon, and created this page.
I'm really pleased with the end results. They're not broadcast quality but they are definitley good enough. The alumni did a great job on the content with very little guidance. They talked about how they got to their current role, a bit about what they do and some even offered a bit of advice at the end!

My next job is to try and get some conversation going on it round the department's Facebook page.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Alumni talking heads experiment

Recently I'm working with our School of Historical Studies on a Recruitment Boot Camp. It's designed to offer intensive support (in addition to our general support) to our Historical Studies finalists to help them to find a job on graduating. It will involve face to face sessions, online resources plus videos of Historical Studies alumni describing how their History degree from Leicester has helped them (Chris Willmott has been doing something similar for years to this last bit via his Careers After Biological Sciences project - but the difference here is that I'm trying to do it remotely).

The website will give you an overview of all this but what I'm focusing on at the moment is the alumni videos.

I contacted 10 Historical Studies alumni (via contacts from the department) a week or so ago and within a couple of days 5 had said 'yes' to recording a video for me. What surprised me was not just that half of them said 'yes' so quickly but also that they didn't really ask for technical help. The only information I gave them re the video itself was:
I’m hoping you might be able to help by recording a video clip stating who you are and when you studied at Leicester and how you got to the job you are now in. We would then edit the video and send it back to you for approval before posting it on the project website. Historical Studies finalists will then be able to see what some of their predecessors have been able to achieve since graduating, hopefully inspiring and motivating them and giving them some ideas. The video need be no longer than a couple of minutes and would need to be recorded via a webcam or digital camera. I can give you full instructions on how to record and then send us the video file.
Since then though I've been thinking I should probably give them a bit more guidance. I had suggested uploading the file to a shared folder within Dropbox but I'm beginning to think that recording straight to YouTube via a webcam will be the best option (didn't know you could do that, d'oh!), rather than to go to the trouble of creating a file to then upload elsewhere. So, here's a quick Screenr on how to do it that I'll be sharing with the intrepid 5.

Obviously they'll need to create a YouTube account if they don't have one already, but they can share the file with me unlisted or privately. Also, recording straight from a webcam will probably ensure a nice still image, plus it should be easier to get sound and lighting right.

Am I missing anything? Any suggestions?

PS. More to follow on Boot Camp another time... (but any comments/suggestions on that also appreciated)