Saturday, 18 July 2015

Online course

I have recently done my first fully online course, this post is going to reflect on the structure and what I liked / disliked about the course rather than the content. 

The course consisted of 3 units that were subdivided into 3 - 5 sections and made up of text, video and interactive activities. The assessments were free text questions relating to the content immediately previous. Along the way there were revision questions usually a choose the correct option(s) type and free text boxes to record your examples. There was also a notes section, for any notes you wanted to record.

I quickly found that I prefered to make handwritten notes, so that I had them visible alongside the course information rather than having multiple windows open or flipping between the notes and content on screen.

The size of the units and sections varied greatly, ranging from bitesize to overwhelming. I would have prefered more bitesize sections even though this would mean more of them, as the largest sections were off-putting.

I did like the way the sections were set out though, they were clear and easy to use. There were a variety of tasks, different ways to provide the information and revision questions, all which I found useful and engaging. The parts where I had to add my own examples, I quickly started to ignore, as I discovered that I didn't need to fill them in to progress.

The assessment questions were all in the same format and this was disappointing given the different variety of tasks on offer in the actual course. I thought that some of the questions could have been multi choice like the revision questions, or the own examples sections could have been used as part of the assessments (this would make me do them!). 

Sometimes the assessment questions weren't all that clear either, some answers required examples but didn't say so. This led to me having to resubmit some of the assessments. One of my assessment questions was missed out of the unit too. I only discovered this when I was reviewing my answers and found I hadn't answered one. I then wondered how I'd missed it because the course was set up to move on only after you had answered the assessment questions.

After this experience, would I do another online course? I'm not sure. I would have to really look closely at how it was set up before making that choice. It was a different experience rather than a good or bad one. It has made me reflect on what I liked about the course and what I didn't, so in the future I have a good base to make a decision over whether other online courses would be suitable for me or not.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Spring cleaning my logins

Image result for google login image 

I thought it was time to spring clean my logins, I have been suffering from technology overload and figured it would do me good to prune. I am not someone who signs up for everything but being aware of digital footprints and what people can find out about you, I thought I should close any unused accounts I have. Whilst about it, I figured I could make sure I know my passwords rather relying on the remember me facilities websites have.

In my mind this would take me about an hour, afterall I thought I wouldn't have that many logins to deal with and that I would end up with about 15 - 20. After 3 hours, I'm nearly there and I have over 50 logins, admittedly a few are the same but I've separated them for ease, things like Blogger and Google Drive, Skype and Hotmail. I've closed about 5 and I've finally figured out why my Google Drive and Hotmail have different passwords. I know that might seem obvious because they are different companies but I set my Google account up a long time ago with my Hotmail e-mail, so at some point I think they were the same. I've later changed passwords and they've ended up different. My logins can be broadly broken down into the following categories:

Social media / Apps / Cloud services 22 logins
Shops 12
Entertainment 9
Financial 6
Personal interests 4

All of these logins are personal ones, some I do use at work such as Dropbox and Evernote. I had considered setting up new ones at work for these, as though, I use them mainly to remind myself of things and know that I can share with my colleagues if I need to, I chose to use my personal account rather than adding to the long list of work logins. I also haven't included any logins from work that I might use at home like e-mail, Blackboard or Athens.

I have in my e-mail, a registrations folder to remind me of what I already have accounts for, this helped me greatly in both finding out what I had subscribed to and what my passwords might be, as I sometimes send myself an e-mail containing my password (yes I know that this could be a security risk). The interesting thing about this folder is that it didn't have any e-mails relating to the websites I log into regularly like Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Google Drive etc. These websites are the ones that I usually have set on the remember me option, so this tested my knowledge. I went to them individually, took out the password and re-entered it to see if I knew what it was. I surprised myself by still knowing them, The only one I use regularly that I couldn't remember was for Channel 4's On Demand (or All4 as they have recently changed it to). This amused me because I logged into it last Friday inputting both the username and password and 3 days later I've forgotten it!

As previously mentioned I'm not someone who signs up for everything, I therefore figure that my list of logins is small compared to other peoples. I think that I have probably forgot a few as well, although I didn't find evidence of a YouTube or a Spotify account, I have a vague recollection that I do have accounts for them. Are there anymore lurking around that I have forgotten about I wonder?

I do feel better for sorting them out, I've exorcised my technology overload. However, I am totally shocked by how many personal logins I have and never realised how many I use.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Catching up

Totally remiss of me but I haven't done any reflecting on the CPD I've done for ages. I am now trying to catch up, so in this post I intend to write a paragraph (minimum) on the CPD I have done over the last few months:


Initially this training was meant for a colleague to go to so that there are a few of us trained in Athens admin. However, after the interface was changed I felt like I was a beginner again with it and was struggling to manage it. I decided that I would go to the training as I had many questions on how to do things. 
As it was awhile ago when I did this training, I can't remember what questions I had. They must've been resolved as I am managing well with it for now. The main thing that I remember learning is that I can correct any errors in the bulk upload file and resubmit it without having to leave the page i'm on. This is fabulous because I can quickly see where the errors are, fix them and resubmit the file. This has saved me loads of time.

How to build resilience in the workplace

I wasn't sure what to expect on this, our Workforce Development Manager had mentioned that the session was on and would be useful for my staff and I. So I made sure we all booked on and went along to see what I could learn. Building resilience is a way of trying to achieve good physical and emotional health, in this case within the workplace. It focussed on positively handling conflict, being positive about yourself including readjusting any self-sabotaging beliefs we have, dealing with manipulative behaviour, avoiding burnout and stress management. This was a lot to take in all at once and I think that to help me build my resilience, I should evaluate where I am at with each area and try to improve my resilience in my weakest areas.

ARLG Members Day

This year's theme was accessibility something that I have been looking at improving at work over the last year and am continuing to work on. This session gave me so many new things to think about. Some of the things that were mentioned, we already do or have but I need to train myself and my staff about them and then promote what is available. I need to implement any quick changes that can be done. Investigate new apps / services etc that I heard about and train, promote and advertise where appropriate, and finally make a wish list of big things that I would like, in case money is available for implementation.

Safer staff recruitment

This looked at the process of staff recruitment and how safeguarding should be built into it at every stage. In a way this was timely and in another way it was too late. I am currently recruiting a new LRC Assistant and the job has gone out to advertisement now, so all the processes involved before this stage have been reliant on Human Resources and my subconscious for safeguarding issues. I can now though apply this new knowledge to the remaining processes starting with reviewing interview questions.

Making better use of e-resources

At the beginning of the year, or possibly late last year, an e-mail came through from Credo Reference informing me that some e-books had bee...