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)


  1. Collect as much data as you can. If that means you can't use Plone or Facebook, host elsewhere. Analyze the data you collect mercilessly. Reiterate.

  2. Hi Alan. I don't know how I missed your comment - sorry. Will indeed collect lots of lovely data... (thankfully Matt can access Google analytics on Plone and FB will come up trumps on the page.