Authentic Assessment Workshop

Recently I attended a workshop on authentic assessment. It was really good for my professional development as it allowed me to see how really practical and useful tasks can be created for students. Some of the key points I learnt were –

–          All QUT units must have at least 1 summative authentic assessment task.

–          Authentic assessment is meaningful, applying knowledge, an open task, no one right answer, exposes them to

real world and the messiness it entails, simulate or replicate what is done and asked of professionals.

–          Use authentic assessment to prepare, engage, give perspectives, problem solving, apply knowledge, expose

students to industry.

–          Supports learners making a successful transition into professional environments & develop professional identity

and reflective practice.

–          Use ADT framework as basis for building authentic assessment which includes

.  Cultural context: purpose & type of text

.  Social context: subject matter, mode, medium, role and relationship

–          Roles part of framework is really important if you want to argue that it is authentic i.e. from the perspective of a

lawyer, conservationist, teacher etc.

–          Enhance by considering – Roles or practitioners in chosen profession, purposes they achieve, formats/ texts they

use to achieve purposes, subject matter, modes used to communicate and audiences of their texts.

–          An example of authentic assessment exam – group discussion. Given background information prior, time limit

and marker for each person. Good but difficult to set up.

–          Put authentic assessment in unit outlines; use all the terminology so people know what it is.

–          More workshops being run in September with Part B added (more individual support).

Authentic assessment relates to information professionals as we are all about how to engage information with users. These types of assessments are successful and mandatory in universities because they do engage with students and allow them to gain information knowledge and apply it in professional settings and thus make them more prepared for the real world.

I am really glad I was able to attend this work shop and learn about how to create authentic assessment tasks. I think this will aid me professionally as a librarian as I can understand assignments that students need help with and also potentially help design assessment tasks in conjunction with lecturers, or at least offer knowledgeable advice to them.

 

Go back to Part C: Professional Development Activities

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HR Coordinator, here we go!

Since my last glowing review of HR for an information professional, I have been promoted to HR Coordinator. I have been doing this new role for 8 months now and let me tell you, it has been interesting, challenging, motivating, hectic and FUN! I have really enjoyed growing into this role and taking on additional responsibilities and improving as an information and HR professional and getting to work alongside an amazing team.

It was quite difficult for the first month or so as I straddled my old and new jobs. There was a seriously high volume of work coming through from my old job with no one to take it on and I was struggling to learn my new responsibilities. However, I persevered and worked on my time management and delegation skills and was able to process a bulk load of information into our payroll data base in order to meet our deadlines. As an information professional this has really enhanced by database knowledge and my information management skills as I had to sort through a lot of information and select the appropriate information in an efficient way.

Not all of it has been hard times. In my new role, as I have a bit more seniority and experience I am able to communicate a lot more with a range of different people including higher up managers such as the General Managers of Madame Tussauds and the London Dungeon as well as directors of the Merlin London Cluster. Being confident and knowledgeable enough to advise with a variety of people throughout the business is important as an information professional as it allows me to communicate information effectively and efficiently.

Other additional responsibilities I have taken on as a HR Coordinator include being much more active in Recruitment and Training. I can now run assessment centers and conduct interviews with candidates and have also run several training courses, including company inductions. These are great experiences and have really aided in my development as a HR and information professional. Both training and recruitment require me to impart information to a group of individuals. For training it is for the employees development and growth that I must effectively teach them new knowledge and skills. This is a vital skill as an information professional, as people learn in different ways so I have had to use different learning techniques, such as presentations, videos, group activities and individual activities, throughout the training courses in order for all employees to gain from the experience. I have had to share and communicate information in different mediums such as oral, written and visual in order for each employee to grasp the information. Again, this is a VITAL tool for any information professional.

Running assessment centres and conducting interviews has also helped my information skills. Again, I must impart a lot of important information to sometimes a large group of candidates. I must manage the information given to them so they aren’t overwhelmed and can understand what tasks they must undertake. This is really important in order to get the most out of the candidate and recruit well. Assessments and interviews are also about gathering, finding and deducing the information we need from the candidates in order to make informed decisions. As an information and HR professional this is key and can also be tricky thus different mediums are engaged such as forms, presentations, group tasks and questions. This information must be processed accurately and fairly on a scoring matrix in order for the correct decision to be made for the business. Therefore the gathering of this information is crucial to successful recruitment which directly relates to the success of the business. HUZZAH for information!

My new role has also allowed me to take on a few more projects. One that I worked really hard on was coordinating not one but two (!!) benefits fairs for our employees at Madame Tussauds London and the London Dungeon. These events for all our teams had to be planned well in advance and included me further developing the following skills –

  • Liaising with outside companies
  • Liaising with internal employees
  • Engaging with employees to find out what they wanted to see
  • Arranging and sticking to an assigned budget
  • Coordinating food, drinks, raffles, goody bags, rooms and with management
  • Advertising

By running and completing this project I was able to present information to our employees in an engaging and exciting way. I also had to organise information proficiently in order to deal with multiple vendors with requests and get them all on site for the fairs. Overall the fairs were very successful with over 250 attending the fairs and taking in the information I presented them, whoa!

Madame Tussauds Benefits Fair 2015

Madame Tussauds Benefits Fair 2015

Another project I undertook, at my own initiative, was in regards to employee engagement. At Madame Tussauds London we have an annual employee of the year award whereby employees nominate an outstanding employee. All the nominating is anonymous to our employees and they only find out the winners, not who is nominated. In order to inspire and engage our team I wanted to let them know who else had been nominated. I had to think carefully about what information to give our employees and how best to present it so that the employees were able to get the most out of it. This project was turning out to be all about the information! In the end I presented certain quotes and snippets of all the nominated employees on a large board in a busy thorough fare of the office. I jazzed the board up and took pictures of all the nominated employees, to make it fun! This project was wildly successful because of the way I presented the information. Everyone saw the board and were thrilled if they saw themselves or their colleagues up on it. It definitely helped with employee engagement and even the General Manager praised it, a very rare thing! Overall this project showed me how crucial it is to show information in an accessible way to suit your audience.

I have learnt loads more over the last 8 months however I don’t want to ramble on too long. Some other key skills I have picked up include –

  • Problem solving – being heavily involved in payroll I have had to solve many complex queries. I have come to really enjoy this side of my work, flexing my brain and being able to sift through information, find the cause of the issue and implement a solution.
  • Time management & prioritising – taking on more responsibility and helping support a new attraction opening (Shrek’s Adventure! London plug!) I have had an increase in my workload. I have had to utilise lists and prioritising more than ever before.
  • Employee Relations – I have been able to understand and advise more frequently on our company’s disciplinary policy, sickness and absence policy and other company policies. Senior managers feel comfortable discussing confidential matters with me and are confident with the advice I give them.
  • Training – not only have I run training courses but I have also been training my own colleagues in processes I am confident in such as payroll & recruitment administration. I have had to understand my colleagues’ needs and how they best learn in order to share the information accurately with them.

I am still utilising a lot of the knowledge I spoke about in my previous blog, The Wonderful Land of Human Resources :). However I am now really fleshing these out and expanding my skill sets and knowledge.

HR is still a passion of mine, especially now that I am interacting with more and more employees, such as in training and recruitment. These further skills have enabled me to implement knowledge I have gained during my masters and improve my information skills. Plus it is loads of fun! HR and information go hand in hand and I cannot wait to bring all my new skills and knowledge back to Brisbane and start the next stage in my information career, be that in HR or in the Library industry!

 

Go back to Part D – Professional at Work

The wonderful land of human resources :)

If you have read my previous blog you will know that I am currently living and learning in LONDON! It is a very exciting place full of wonder and magic that has opened my eyes to the possibilities. The possibilities of being an information professional and not working in a library. It kind of just happened, I didn’t mean for it but I am not sorry. My main career aspirations have always been to do something that I like (such as organising) and to help and interact with people. Because of this when I first started my course in Information and Library studies and started working on the L&R Desk at Gardens Point Library I thought I had found IT. The perfect job for me. But as I left that job behind and went exploring the world outside of Brisbane I discovered another job that met my career aspirations to a T. Human Resources.

I have been working in this department as a HR Data Administrator for nearly 10 months now and LOVE it. Not only do I work with amazing people but I get to utilise my information skills on a daily basis, organise a lot of information AND help all the employees that work for the company. This new career direction is seriously testing my loyalty to libraries, but is that a bad thing? I don’t think so.

From working in HR I have learnt a million and one new skills and really developed my information skills. Some of the new skills I have developed and continue to develop are –

HR Generalist skills –

  • Developing knowledge of  HR, what it is, what is does and what the UK employee policies are regarding: sickness & absence, disciplinary, recruitment, maternity & paternity and long service etc
  • Helping employees with queries including payroll, benefits and recruitment
  • Liaising with management regarding their staff and their HR needs
  • Providing support with the disciplinary process including note taking and advice of disciplinary procedures
  • Supporting the HR Manager and others of the HR team

Recruitment skills

  • Assisting the Recruitment Specialist with recruitment administration including CV sifting, communicating with candidates & organising new starters
  • Successfully implementing new recruitment procedures including onboarding & scheduling centres as per company guidelines in order to streamline the recruitment process
  • Keeping employees up to date with current internal vacancies
  • Assisting in interviews and assessment centres
  • Note taking for interviews and assessment centres
  • Managing background screenings on new starters and liaising with third party company who runs them

Administrative skills

  • Inputting all new starter information into data base accurately
  • Maintaining all employee files and keeping them up to date
  • Carrying out regular audits on employee files to keep information up to date and compliant
  • Managing other employee databases relating to online STAR system
  • Inputting large quantities of comments onto STAR system
  • Managing and inputting any employee changes including leavers onto data base
  • Creating documents and letters for employees and their files

Information programs used successfully

  • Ciphr – employee database including all payroll information
  • Taleo – online recruitment system that allows you to interact with candidates via email
  • ADP Freedom – records employee sickness & absence and allows access to payslips
  • STAR – online employee benefit scheme
  • Agenda – online screening system

Working as a HR Data Administrator has really opened me up to a world of new information and what I can do with it. I utilise and store information for the business everyday whether that be paper filing it or inputting the data into one of the many HR systems we use. I can definitely see how important (and confidential!) this information is to the  business and that by inputting it correctly we are able to track employee records accurately. This is important for employees so they can see what training they have done, their career progression and get correspondence from the company in a timely manner. I can also see how it is important for the business as it allows the high ups (directors and general managers) to see who they employ, how many people they employ, track their departments sickness and other things that affect the business. The information that I help create and maintain is important and can affect employees and the business so I must be accurate!

Whilst in this role I have undertaken various projects, all to do with information management. One of the main ones was a file audit on all of our employees proof of right to work in the UK. By creating a list of all current employees who did not have a passport noted on the employee system, Ciphr, and going through their files I was able to identify which employees we either needed to update our database with the information within their file or contact the employee so they could provide us with their proof of right. I then contacted via letter all the employees who needed to provide their proof of right, advised them of what they had to show me and recorded and filed the information they provided me. I had to carefully manage the information coming in to make sure that I received the correct and valid documents from ALL of the people I needed.  I also had to liaise with managers in order to get the correct information on time. It was a big task with over 100 people to be contacted and managed however I successfully completed it.

From working in HR I can really see how an information professional could fit in and really contribute to a team. There is so much information coming in and out that there are ample opportunities to improve my information management, information retrieval , information programs and  information organisation skills and develop further as an information professional. I really hope I can continue on this career path of an information professional within HR as it is really worthwhile and exciting!

 

Go back to Part D – Professional at Work

Learning and Research Desk Training

To gain some further knowledge and develop my skills as a Library Adviser for QUT I attended two and half days of Learning and Research Desk Training. During these days I developed my skills in searching for information, helping students with study problems and how to deal with emotional clients. By completing this training I have grown as an information professional by improving my customer service skills allowing me to better help users and their library experiences.

One session taught was about searching for information and the tools available for students regarding studying. This was a valuable class as it highlighted to me that various searching techniques that are useful such as searching for synonyms by putting all similar words together inside brackets. I was also unaware of using questions marks as wild cards within words when words could be spelt differently in different countries such as searching for colo?r. It was also useful to see all the study skills resources QUT has available to their students such as CiteWrite, Studywell & Study Smart tutorials. The most enlightening aspect I took away was that as a first tier point of contact for users of the QUT Library my job is about pointing users to these resources and skills and explaining how to best use them, promoting independence and allowing the users to develop their own study skills.  Overall this session has allowed me to develop my searching skills further and define my professional perspective on how to best help and empower users to utilise the library resources.

Learning about dealing with emotional clients has really allowed me to improve my customer service skills and thus grow as an information professional.  We listened to a speaker from QUT Counselling services who explained when dealing with an overwrought clients it is best to empathise, stay calm and advise them of the options available to them such as counselling services, financial services and academic language and learning services. We should empower distraught clients to help themselves. When dealing with irate clients staying calm is best and this was reiterated by counselling services and from the Library Services Manager, Nicole Clark. Knowing how to deal with emotional clients is vital as these people usually need the most help. By learning these techniques it has allowed me to grow as an information professional as customer service is crucial role played by many information professional roles.

By attending these training days I have been able to grow as an information professional.  I learnt that as a first tier point of contact for library users it is my job to show clients the many options they have available to them for the study, financial and emotional needs. If I cannot help them directly it is important that I can point them in the direction they should go and make sure they get there. It is also crucial that I have the skills to deal with emotional clients in order to become a successful information professional. By attending the session from counselling services I have been able to further develop my customer service skills and thus develop my professional skills too.  Overall the Learning and Research Training days have allowed me to develop several of my skills including searching and customer service which has allowed me to grow as an information professional.

 

Go back to Part C: Professional Development Activities

Learning Resources & Services Open Day

Back in Semester 1, 2012 I was able to attend the QUT Library Resource Services Open Day as part of my professional development. This occurred because I was working as a Collection Access Assistant at QUT’s Garden Point library. I learnt many interesting things at this open day and it helped me grow as an information professional.

The day started out with an introduction to the LRS team and a tour of their work place. It was quite large with over a dozen people working in this department. The difference between a monograph and serial were explained as well as the new work structure based around merging the two teams that used to deal exclusively with one or the other. It was interesting to note that now all the team members were training so that they could deal with both monographs and serials making their team more efficient especially when someone maybe away. They are in charge of the actual ordering, after it has been approved, and with the labelling of the resources. Their work is very busy and constant with a large pile of boxes containing new resources that need to be labelled and catalogued on their large conveyor belt.

I also learnt a lot about the resource librarians and what they do.  They deal with the cataloguing of resources especially the hard ones such as kits. They are also responsible for loading records onto the library catalogue for databases including journal titles, e-books and serials. It was interesting to learn about EBI in relation to e-books and when they are rented or purchased. The criterion for QUT is that the first three times a student loans an e-book that is rented at fee is charged to QUT. On the forth loan the book is purchased as it has met the criteria of being current and useful within the QUT collection. The resource librarians get a lot of their updates from Library Australia and do record loads once a month. In turn they also send new records through to Library Australia when they update a record themselves. Most of the time the resource librarians cannot directly change the records that appear on the QUT catalogue and it has to go through Library Australia. I also learnt that they deal with the video streams in the catalogue too. It was interesting to learn that though the university purchases these videos they still have to pay viewing fees.

The other main aspect of the LRS that I learnt about was the life of an e-resource. They defined e-resources as something that is available online or in a digital format such as a journal, database, e-book, webpage or an online streaming video. They advised that the life of an e-resource started with a new order requested by a liaison librarian to information resources committee. They then contact the vendor and the licence is discussed. This seemed the most complex part as the licence needs to be negotiated for the right terms and conditions. The most important clauses that they negotiate on are confidentiality of price and no harm will come to the publisher. The order is put into millennium where it can be tracked. The next step of the lifecycle is renewal and evaluation. According to LRS orders over $1,000 are reviewed every two years by the information resource committee and orders under $1,000 are reviewed by the LRS team.  Mature order comes next in the e-resources life and this involves any changes to the order such as a title change. After this the resource becomes an ageing order where it doesn’t get as much use and the librarians need to establish whether this resource is still relevant to the collection. If it is not relevant the order is cancelled and this can be done in one of two ways – perpetual order whereby all subscriptions up until the cancellation are kept or an unperpetual order whereby all of the holdings are removed.  The latter order seems very harsh to me and would make me do my research very hard as to whether the order really needs to be cancelled.

The other interesting thing I learnt at the LRS open day was about e-books. There are three ways in which they can be ordered according to QUT LRS team. These are the patron driven model, individuals select and purchase and the purchase or an individual title or collection. The e-books in the library collection are evaluated each year.

Overall my time at the Learning Resource and Services open day was very informative. I had no idea how much time and effort it tool to create and maintain a large academic library’s collection such as QUT’s. All their work was very interesting and I wonder how they each fell into their roles at QUT. They were a comfortable team and obviously work well together to get through their intense workloads. Going to this open day has helped me grow as an information professional as I have had my eyes opened to all the behind the scenes jobs that take part in the library with regards to cataloguing and ordering. Also it has let me see the application of what I have learnt in my studies so far such as collection management especially regarding e-resources.

 

Go back to Part C: Professional Development Activities

Working as a Collection Access Assistant

During my first semester of studying my Masters in Information and Technology I managed to get a contract position working part-time as a collection access assistant at QUT’s Gardens Point Library. Whilst working there I learnt a lot of things and gained some valuable experiences. Fortunately, the staff I worked with, including my direct supervisors and the branch library manager, Helen Hobbs, were all supportive of my goal to become a well-rounded and successful librarian and wanted me to gain as much as possible from my short stay there. I was allowed to shadow both the Business Liaison Librarian and the Science and Engineering Librarians to find out what they do on a daily basis. I also was able to spend some time on the Learning and Research Desk where I could utilise my customer service skills. Overall my time as a collection access assistant has given me valuable experience and helped me grow as an information professional.

I learnt many different jobs and systems at Gardens Point Library as a collection access assistants. These include working in returns where I learnt how to use the millennium computer system to process the incoming books. I was able to successfully follow prompts and clear sanctions, put books onto the hold shelf and identify books designated for Kelvin Grove, Document Delivery or Course Materials. Another job that I successfully learnt was sending documents via document delivery using the Ariel Scanner. I also was able to spend a couple of shifts doing Document Delivery. At the end of my time there I understood the whole process of Document Delivery, from receiving the requested from different students/universities, finding the correct document and scanning and forwarding it to the client. I learnt how to use LADD to process the requests and reply to the universities. I also used LADD extensively when I had a list of damaged books and had to determine if the same books were held at any other universities. Other duties I completed on a daily basis was shelving books, which helped me become familiar with the dewy decimal system, tidying the library, making labels for books and sorting out the serials. A lot of the times my shifts were made up of shelving books, especially towards the end of the semester. I had to work together with my colleagues to get all the books shelved efficiently. All of these tasks that I completed were important behind the scenes customer service jobs that helped give the clients the best experiences possible regarding the QUT Library services.

Whilst working at Gardens Point Library I was also able to spend a couple of hours on the Learning and Research Desk. This was an enjoyable experience as I shadowed Library Advisor Amanda Perrins and was able to ask her questions about her job. I saw what kind of queries came through the desk, such as sanctions, document delivery pick ups and lending questions. Amanda also advised me that they experience a lot of referencing questions also particularly Endnote questions. During my time on the desk I was able to utilise my customer service skills and help some clients with their queries. Working in this section of the library highlighted to me how much I enjoy helping people with their queries and that this particular role is something I will aim for in the future as I can utilise my proficient customer service skills and grow as an information professional.

I was also fortunate enough to spend two shifts shadowing the liaison librarians from both the Business Team and the Science and Engineering Team. The librarians from the Business team took me through their individual roles with the three of them having their own tasks such as ordering, research and classes. I was able to attend a vendor meeting with the librarian in charge ordering. The vendor was from Alexander Street Press and the meeting was regarding updating the current librarians with their new additions to their video database. It was very interesting as they explained as each video was transcribed you could search the transcripts and then by clicking on the area in the transcript you were interested in it would start the video from this section. We found out that they don’t have many videos relating to Business but they were still expanding as my Liaison Librarian was very interested in it they would make it a priority to build this topic for the library. Shadowing the Business team also introduced me to study guides which the librarians put together for students to help them with their units. These seem very important and interesting to put together as they include videos, pictures, links and text.

Spending time with the Science and Engineering Team allowed me to do some actual work. Using a particular data base I went through all their articles relating to Environmental engineering in order of how often they were viewed by others. I then looked them up on the QUT catalogue and made a list of all the articles and journals that are popular in the engineering world but that QUT doesn’t currently hold. The appropriate Liaison librarian would use my list to see if they should purchase any of these articles for the QUT collection. Shadowing and working with the Liaison Librarians gave me great insight into their duties and reinforced my goal of becoming a successful librarian like them.

I have also attached my completed Performance Planning  and Review for Professional Staff. This was completed at the end of my contract at QUT Gardens Point where I worked as a collections access assistant for semester 1, 2012.

QUT – Collection Access PPR[1]

Overall my time at Gardens Point Library as a collection access assistant was hugely beneficial to me. I learnt many new skills and gained some valuable insight into various roles that are played by the staff in the library. It has reinforced my desire to become a librarian and given me some further goals regarding becoming an information professional.

 

Go back to Part D – Professional at Work

INN634 – Workshops Reflection

During my first semester back at university I have participated in six workshop activities as part of completing one of my courses, INN634 Professional Practice. By completing these workshops I have learnt many things about what it means to be an information professional and the places it can take me.

During the first workshop in week 3 we had several guest speakers including Lynn Macallister and Kate Davis. I learnt about the significance of having a presence in the information profession and how an online portfolio could aid in my career development. From this workshop I discovered that there are many ways in which I could construct my own portfolio including using QUT’s ePortfolio or use Blogger or WordPress. After this workshop I did my own experimenting with the various systems available to me and decided to go ahead and set up my own domain name with WordPress as I found it easiest to navigate. Whilst listening to all the speakers it really hit home to me how important communicating my skills and capabilities to the wider community was in respect to networking and finding jobs. Workshop one was a great tool to push me towards starting my portfolio and really taking an interest in it as it will help me with my development as an information professional.

Workshop two also had a variety of speakers but they brought up the issues of what professions and information professional can fill. It was interesting at the variety of jobs the ladies all had including research assistant, web editor, records management and of course a library manager. As I want to be a librarian I had never really thought about the other career opportunities available to me after completing my Masters in Information and Technology. By listening to the ladies describe their jobs it really opened my eyes to how my studies could be applied. At the end of workshop two, even though I still wanted to work in a library, I found it very interesting and comforting knowing there are a wide variety of choices out there after completing my Masters.

Completing workshop three was an interesting and enjoyable experience for me. Our personalities were discussed and completing the online test I found out I am an ISFJ and that jobs that suit my personality include nursing, teaching, housekeeper and LIBRARIAN! When going through all of the personality traits an ISFJ has I found it scary how well it had pegged me. The majority of dot points associated with ISFJ described me exactly. I was so impressed with it I made all my friends and family do the test also. Most of the answers were so spot on it was freaky. This workshop was really interesting in showing me how different personalities are suited to different tasks, perhaps not jobs especially. Obviously I am on the right track according to my results!

During workshop four I heard from Ann Gillepsie, a Teacher Librarian. Coming from a science background myself it was interesting to hear about how the framework for research regarding Teacher Librarians. It was obviously different from the structure I am used to regarding biological scientific research strategies and I had not known there was any serious research being conducted by librarians. I find this reassuring as it shows that librarians still want to grow and make their field and the work they perform recordable so that others can see the results of their hard work. Overall I found this workshop enlightening and reassuring regarding the librarian profession.

Workshop five was interesting as it let me know about some further career paths that I had not considered. Elham Abdi talked about doing her PHD and why she is doing it. I had never considered doing this myself as I like to be actively out in the workforce, however I can see how it would be a good experience allowing yourself to learn a lot more comprehensively. I think overall though I would still prefer to be out in the workforce learning things practically and by being able to apply my knowledge to complete my job.

I really enjoyed workshop six which concerned the nature of ethics within a library context. By completing the reading and the case scenario it allowed me to see what some current ethical issues can appear in a library and what I should be prepared for in this profession. I think it is important if I am to ever have some responsibility in my future roles as a librarian that I become familiar with the ethic code where I work and also construct my own code of ethics regarding the library context in order for me to have a fulfilling and fair work environment.

During all the workshops a common theme always stuck out at me, how important networking is. This had not occurred to me at the start of my degree however now I can see it is a vital part of the career I wish to have. It worried me at first as I am a shy person by nature and do not feel comfortable approaching strangers. Over the last semester, however, I have learnt to accept the challenge of building my professional network. I hope by the end of my Masters I will be more comfortable with this concept and have started to build my own network through my current jobs and through the work placement schemes.

Overall I have found the six workshops very constructive and informative. It is always a great opportunity and motivation to hear from people already working in the professional environment that you wish to enter shortly. These workshops have motivated me immensely to build up my social networking skills, develop a professional portfolio and to make sure I stay current with all the issues surrounding the information profession such as research and ethical issues.

 

Go back to Part C: Professional Development Activities

Twitter Reflection

As part of my studies at QUT I have had to complete five Twitter activities over the last semester. By participating in these activities I have learnt a lot about Twitter and the Library and Information industry. I have also discovered some of my own strengths and weaknesses. This post will reflect on my experiences and learning outcomes as a result of finishing the five Twitter activities.

I have learnt many things from my experience using Twitter. Firstly, I learnt how to actually use Twitter and I discovered what the big fuss was about. By completing the five different activities I was able to learn different skills needed to be a successful Twitterer. For example I can now successfully post a tweet and know that there is a character limitation to these tweets. I can search for groups or people and sign up to follow them and also include them in my tweet. One activity also showed me how to post pictures along with posts which I think is very useful as posting pictures and/or documents could be important when establishing contacts.

The twitter activities also allowed me to see why it can be a great networking tool. Many people and organisations from around the world are connected to Twitter and by including them in a post or following them it is an easier and less awkward way to contact them or simply introduce yourself to them when compared to an email or phone call, even if it is slightly less formal.

By completing the activities I have also learnt about some interesting ideas and facts about libraries. This was especially seen from the responses by mentors and lecturers. I learnt about some interesting links such as organisations and twitter groups that can help me improve my knowledge about the Library and Information industry and was also introduced to some of my peers using these activates.

I have identified some of my strengths after completing the five Twitter activities. One strength is that even though I had not used Twitter before I had used several other social network sites such as Facebook and Myspace and this allowed me to easily navigate around Twitter and feel comfortable with it. Another strength I identified was also concerning not having used Twitter before and that is that I was not afraid to jump right in. As soon as we were advised we would need to use Twitter I signed up and started joining several communities I am interested in including QUT, WWF and ALIA. My time management was also a strength in these exercises. I completed all activities within their allotted week even overcoming the challenge of being overseas with limited internet access to complete the photo album activity. I feel that by completing these exercises I have been able to identify several strengths of my work ethic and ability to use new information tools.

Some weaknesses were also identified when doing the Twitter activities and also during a reflection of the activities. As I had not used Twitter before, this was a definite weakness. However I feel that by completing the five tasks I have overcome this weakness at least with the basic uses of Twitter.  Also because I had not used Twitter before and I didn’t know anyone in my social or work life who used it I found a weakness I had did not know many people on Twitter to begin with. This made it hard for me to connect to others, i.e. friends of friends, and initially made me dubious of its potential staying power in my life after completing the activities. By completing the activities I have seen that all my peers are using Twitter as are my mentors and many industry professionals, thus showing my weakness in doubting twitter longevity in my life was wrong. It is a valuable networking tool that I shall continue to learn about and use. Another weakness I identified was that I am not very knowledgeable or aware of the Library and Information industry. The activities forced me to engage in the industry and explain why I wanted to join it. I feel this weakness has slightly been strengthened but I need to invest much more time and energy into learning about the industry, networking and staying current with the information available regarding the Library and Information industry. After finishing the five Tweets I have been able to identify several weaknesses relating to myself and my current knowledge.

Overall these Twitter activities have enlightened me in a surprising way. I have learnt a lot about Twitter in general and also about the Library and Information industry. My strengths that I identified include using other social networking sites such as Facebook and being comfortable to throw myself into Twitter. The weaknesses I have found vary and some are minor and will be overcome just by using Twitter regularly but others have shown me that I will need to actively work, listen and read about the Library and Information industry in order to be informed and knowledgeable about it. In conclusion the five Twitter activities have helped me immensely and was a useful aid towards my future as Library and Information Professional.

 

Go back to Part C: Professional Development Activities