Thursday, 26 January 2012

Staff development hour on Open Access

At the end of the 23 Things for Professional Development course, I put together a Personal Development Plan (PDP) based on some of the things I'd learnt during the course and had decided I'd like to learn a bit more about. One of the actions was to prepare a staff development hour session for library staff on open access and the repository using Prezi.

Well, today I delivered that session - so I'm pleased to say I've completed one of the goals I set myself! I devised the session with a colleague, and we used a mix of methods to deliver the session. This included some standard PowerPoint slides for basic repository info, a Prezi to show the process researchers go through when writing research (with some great Open Access videos embedded into it), and some quiz sections which we used Turning Point for (a voting system software the uni has), to try and make the whole thing a little more interactive.

It was all a pretty steep learning curve - this was my first "proper" Prezi. Also, although I'd used Turning Point before, this was the first time I'd used it to design the questions and see the process through from beginning to end. However, I was pretty excited about running the session because it was using new techniques (well, new to me), and I was interested to see if people would enjoy it. It was also great that it was a training session for library staff, so there were plenty of friendly faces. That helped a lot when I was being experimental.

I'm happy to say that the overall result was a pretty positive one. Although there was a slight technical hitch with the Prezi initially (it froze and wouldn't load), turning the PC off and back on again fixed that pretty quickly. Plus, it gave people a chance to feel a bit more relaxed and ask some initial questions.

After the session, the feedback indicated that the people who attended really enjoyed the mix of interactivity and talking, and felt that they learnt a lot about what open access was. In fact, the only negative comments were that people would have liked to learn more! Unfortunately, there's only so much you can fit into an hour long session. One other great outcome was that a colleague working on managing research data asked if she could use my research process diagram (the one that appears in the Prezi) for her work. So not only did the whole experience help me learn how to use Prezi and make for a more interesting staff development session, it also directly helped a colleague with her work.

We're booked in to run the session twice more at two different campuses, and I hope my other colleagues are as enthusiastic about, and enjoy the session as much as, my colleagues today.

If you're interested in what I put together, you can view the Prezi part of the presentation above. You might also learn a bit about the research process and how open access can help with it!

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