Busy, busy bee.

Lots of things have happened since I last had the chance to post in here!  It’s been a busy summer at IT Training, that’s for sure.

First things first, my co-worker Peter and I finished up the Creating Research Posters video series – it’s available on IU’s Kaltura Mediaspace.  You can view the first video in the series here!

Speaking of research posters, I assembled one on some research that my co-workers Jessica, Kim, and I did on the effectiveness of collaborative learning in technology workshops.  It’s a tiny tidbit of promising information that’s helping motivate me in the collaborative workshop realm!

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I’ve also been doing a lot of materials editing, as the materials coordinator.  With all our Microsoft Office workshops coming up for revision, things have been incredibly busy!  Someone’s got to make sure our materials match our style guide after all, and the person to tackle that is me. 🙂

I’ve started work on another video project, and there are more editing projects in my future, especially focusing on desktop publishing workshops.  I don’t see things winding down anytime soon, and I’m perfectly happy with that!

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A fun video I’d like to share!

I almost forgot this existed!  Last year, just before the Statewide IT conference, UITS Communications (I think) helped pull staff together to make this awesome video about the past twenty years in technology – and I’m in it!  (Wearing my well-loved Star Trek sweatshirt, of course.)

Five years at IT Training!

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Taken just after everyone moved into the CIB in August of 2011!

Today’s a special day for me – it’s been five years since I started at IT Training!  And oh, what a wonderful five years it’s been.  In the past five years here, I’ve…

  • been involved in some way, shape, or form in 340 workshops (either as an observer, assistant, or instructor)
  • worked as the administrative coordinator for two years, which was an interesting experience that allowed me to get a deeper understanding of what went on at IT Training than just assisting and instructing would do
  • written two workshops, five webinars, and edited so many workshops I can’t remember them all
  • held a number of job titles, including Administrative Coordinator, Workshop Instructor/Assistant, Senior Development Coordinator, Collaborative Learning Coordinator, Video Development Coordinator, Materials Coordinator, and my most favorite title: Senior IT Education Specialist.  And at any given point, I’ve held at least three of those titles. (Right now, I’ve got four job titles, technically!)
  • moved desks four times (hey, I had to find the place I’m the most productive in!)
  • learned to ride a scooter specifically to get to and from work with ease
  • transitioned from being an hourly staff member to a full-time professional staff member, something I’ve worked hard for!

After five years, I still love my job – I’m still excited to come in to work every day, to see what sorts new things I can learn, what I can teach others, and what other sorts of challenges await me.  Here’s to many, many more years at IT Training!

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A happy five years in a very decorated cubicle!

What is a research poster, anyway?

That’s what I’m trying to outline for a video series I’m working on, focusing on creating research posters.  And it’s turning out to be a weird question to answer – I mean, a research poster is pretty much a poster telling the story of some research, right?

It’s more than that, though.  It can serve as an abstract for your research.  It can highlight research methods for a project that’s in process.  It can stand in lieu of a presentation, or it can accompany you and help you tell the story of your research paper as you present.  It can help pique people’s interest, and get them caring about your research, or it can drive people away if it’s not designed well.

The designing is where my strengths come into play in this series – I love desktop publishing.  I could ramble on and on about how to lay out a poster in the perfect ways to get people interested and reading it.  I could go on forever about how to use contrast to grab attention, and proportion to make important items stand out.  But I only get one video to talk about that in this series – so I might just have to ramble about that here.

And I still have to talk about what a research poster is, and why you’d want to create one.  That’s where I’m at right now.  My notes are short and ridiculous, and I’m drawing a blank on things here.  Maybe I’ll go work on the layout and design video outline for a bit, and see if I can answer the question “what is a research poster?” in more detail than “it displays information on research”.

Work, wonderful work

I’ve been pretty quiet here since last summer – but I plan on changing that.  Partly because I really need to finish up my internship requirements, but also because I like talking about my work, and this is a perfect place to ramble about the intricacies of being an IT education specialist.

Being the Materials Coordinator has been fun so far, as it gives me a chance to see all the new workshops our team writes before they make it out to the world.  Granted, I’m combing through them to make sure they meet our style standards and that there are no strange issues with the FrameMaker files that’ll bring up problems in the publishing process, so sometimes I spend more time making sure paragraph styles are being used correctly than I do focusing on the content… but it’s still fun.

I finished writing Creating Graphics for the Web late last year, and it’s been taught a few times – sadly, I didn’t actually get to see it during its first teach date here at Bloomington because I was involved in another big project – this one a research project on teaching methods used in IT Training workshops.  I can’t talk too much about it, as it’s still in progress, but once the study’s done I’ll write up an entry about it so everyone can learn what the study’s about.

Another big project I’ve been working on that I can talk about a little bit is the video workshop project.  We’ve been working on getting some of our workshops recorded so people can view them whenever they want, and it’s been exciting to help shape that process.  We’ve got a handful of workshops we’re testing out now, and a couple of different methods of producing workshops as well, and now we’re working on getting feedback from participants in order to see what they think about our offerings.

That’s what I’ve been up to since becoming full-time staff – I apologize for the oncoming barrage of literature reviews that will probably pop up tomorrow, but I hope whoever’s following this will find them interesting!