Surfing the information wave workshop


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In my MA work, I designed and conducted a workshop on internet use for a college's information desk.

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Surfing the information wave workshop

  1. 1. 1Page | 1 Client(s)/Organization Blank College is a four year, Liberal Arts college. There are four information desks located in several buildings. There are two binders at each information desk which contains directions if a person is coming to Blank College from south, east, west and north, directories of staff/faculty/departments, events such as Blank College’s athletic schedules, computer lab and library schedules. A second binder is located at each desk which contains an alphabetical list by department and another section by employee’s last names. Typically the internet is used to find out that day’s schedule of events around campus, room schedules of the campus, Blank College’s website for event information if the binder is missing information and the employee online directory. The information desk generally recieves calls/ questions that include asking for directions to Blank College for event purposes, private event questions, guests asking where a nearby business is, class schedules, and asking to be transferred to faculty voicemail. The desk worker has to handle the phone, the two way radio and assist people that come up to the desk. Due to the usage of different technology devices, multi tasking and priority setting is needed to master this job. The Information desk is managed by the Telecom/Info Service Manager and the 2nd shift weekend supervisor. Information desks hours vary and tend to be based on the hours of Academic Computing, Library, and if there are events in designated buildings. The switchboard is to be answered on the first ring and handled in a quick manner. There are no hold buttons or multi lines for the switchboard which adds to the urgency of quick execution. Assumptions and Biases: Busy calling times/ walk-ins are sporadic and come in spurts throughout the day. The busiest times are the beginning of the semester and if there are big events such as Grad Finale, or Homecoming. When it is busy there is another desk open that the receptionist can transfer a call to another worker if she can’t find the information. However, the TL desk is the main desk Surfing the Information Wave Karen Pilarski
  2. 2. 2 and generates most of the calls, walk-ins. The other desks aren’t always staffed at the same time. The LA desk is open 8:30-12:30pm and then re-opens at 5pm therefore creating a time conflict.Page | 2 The second binder isn’t necessarily needed because of the online staff directory. The online directory is arranged the same way as the hard copy. Lack of internet skills may slow down execution of calls or assistance at desk. Learners/Participants (Audience): The information Desk workers are all females ages 29-75 years old. Longevity of employment in this position ranges from a few days to 15 years. The Levels of internet literacy rages from beginner to proficient respectively. Standard internet use training is a need. This includes use of Map Quest, Google, and Yahoo tools. Tips and hints on how to maneuver the Blank College Website may be beneficial as well as a briefing on internet safety. Assumptions and Biases: Feelings of seniority may cause desk workers to not want to attend workshop. Supervisor may feel desk workers have a handle on job roles and therefore don’t need assistance. Due to different work schedules there may be time conflict with arranging a workshop to meet the needs of the information desk staff. Learning Environment: Desk worker’s work schedule may interfere with workshop time frame. Events surrounding workshop location may become loud and distracting. Ex. Weddings, parties, Telesis class registration, president’s social gatherings. If the workshop is presented during a non-weekend, Blank College technology malfunctions, the Media hub won’t be open to assist with the problem. Weekend College is busy and rooms may not be available to reserve. Especially during registration time and mid semester assessments. There will need to be handouts and summary of workshop for workers who couldn’t attend, one on one meeting, or arrange for an additional time frame for workshop. Surfing the Information Wave Karen Pilarski
  3. 3. 3 Instructional Matter: For the workshop there will be handouts with easy hints/tips for usage of Google, Map Quest. Included with handouts are screen shots to further communicate lesson. Handouts will be hole-punched so that desk workers can put it in side work binders forPage | 3 use. Activities during workshop include Internet scavenger hunt utilizing Map Quest, Google, etc. This is for participants who learn better using hands on methods. To summarize lessons, an interactive game will be played. Prizes will be awarded. Question and answer session will be included to avoid participants feeling ‘lost.’ Facilitator will use computer on projector screen so participants can follow along as the steps are completed. This will reach participants who are visual learners. Goals include creating awareness of the benefits of the internet for both personal and business use. Personal Perspective (my goals, perceptions, Assumptions and Biases): My perception is that because I have familiarity between workers and myself (I am a desk worker as well) this will make staff comfortable and at ease. I have a BA in Professional Communication and working towards my master’s degree in Instructional Design and Adult Education. This offers credibility to my audience. My goals are to showcase another way to assist callers and walk-ins. A sub goal is to have fun with the use of creativity to reach participants. Assumptions and Biases: There is a sense of favoritism among the supervisor and several workers. The supervisor tends to react negatively to proposed assessment of workers and takes feedback personally. Workers react nervously to a sudden change in protocol. Participants may feel workshop components are boring, childish and un- necessary. Surfing the Information Wave Karen Pilarski
  4. 4. 4Page | 4 Outcomes/Goals: The outcomes/goals for the workshop are gain awareness of how to use the internet. The sub goals are to initiate learning of Google, Map Quest, Yahoo tools and use these tools in the workplace. In addition to these goals, there is the goal of learning ethics and privacy when it comes to the usage of these internet tools. Understanding how to use these tools will hopefully effect how the Information Desk assists customers and visitors, colleagues of Blank College. Google can be used to search for a business such as a restaurant, a bar, or other Milwaukee landmarks. An example would locate an address of the Art Museum for a student that is meeting her class there. Instead of trying to determine the website address, a desk worker can Google it and come up with not only the website but other interesting information. This leads up to the discussion on MapQuest. MapQuest is used to find directions from place to place. Instead of using the big binder and finding broad directions, MapQuest is designed to give more clear and concise details. The participants can use Google to find out the address and then plug them into MapQuest. By using both tools, the desk worker can execute calls and assist walk ins faster, which is the bottom line in customer service. To assist people in a fast, and accurate manner. The use of Yahoo is more for personal usage. Setting up personal email through Yahoo can help ease the overload of the Blank College Email System. Also this is a way to tend to personal business while not using business email. Yahoo has other functions such as games, weather, and horoscopes. Although not necessarily a business need, instead of using the switchboard for personal calls the desk worker can use their personal email and help decrease the amount of time spend using the switchboard for personal business. Understanding privacy and the dangers of the internet is crucial when teaching about how to use it. The following is a brief list as a reminder to be careful while using the internet: Do not use credit card information over the computer, make sure it is a safe and secure website. Do not give out personal information to third parties. Surfing the Information Wave Karen Pilarski
  5. 5. 5 Close out of windows when you are done if you are taking a break. Be aware of scams such as pop up ads, scam emails. Discuss spam and spam blockers for Yahoo emails. The closing of the workshop will be the internet scavenger hunt. This activity willPage | 5 combine all the skills of google, yahoo, map quest, and internet safety. The purpose of the activity to summarize skills learned during workshop and allow participants to apply them. The winner of the internet scavenger hunt will win a prize. Surfing the Information Wave Karen Pilarski
  6. 6. 6 Agenda Script:Page | 6 Welcome & Session Preview (5 minutes) Discuss the positive outcomes of taking this workshop: Providing good customer service, Assisting callers and walk-ins in a fast manner, new ways to gather information quickly. Storytelling- Give an example of how using the internet helped me in my workplace and for personal use. Introduction to Google (10 mintues) Goals: 1. Initiate a basic understanding of google capabilities such as looking up a store, a topic such as recipes, or an event. 2. Provide ways to narrow search criteria to ease confusion, frustration with the search engine. 3. Limit google history tidbits and full capabilities. Stay focused on providing exposure on using google. 4. Bridge knowledge with MapQuest. Materials needed: Projector screen, computer, Google printed handouts with pictures. Activities: Facilitator shows the group an example of using Google and how to narrow search critera. Example looking for Chrismas cookies recipes. Narrow the search to a specific cookie. Search Gingerbread Cookies. If you are looking for a specific ingredient search for Gingerbread Cookies made with applesauce. Allow Participants to experiment with google on their own. Facilitator will walk around the room in case there are questions or concerns. Introduction to MapQuest (10 minutes) Goals: 1. Set context on using MapQuest. MapQuest can be used to find directions which may be easier than looking in binder at desk with general directions listed. 2. Apply knowledge of Google with gained understanding of MapQuest. Google a restaurant for the address and then MapQuest from Blank College to the business. Materials Needed: Projector screen, computer, MapQuest and Google printed handouts. Surfing the Information Wave Karen Pilarski
  7. 7. 7 Activities: Participants will google a place and then open another browser and MapQuest directions from Blank College to the business. Facilitator will walk around room in case there are questions or concerns.Page | 7 Introduction to Yahoo: (10 minutes) Goals: 1. Gain awareness of Yahoo capabilities such as email, Yahoo home page contents such as horoscope, weather, instant messenger, yellow pages etc. 2. Create a general understanding on how email works, how to set it up. Materials Needed: Projector screen, computer, Yahoo email set up printed handouts. Activities: Optional activity: How to set up email Allow class time for participants to explore yahoo homepage. Understanding Internet Safety: (5 minutes) Goals: 1. Discuss tips on how to stay safe online. 2. Answer any questions. Materials Needed: Print out handout tips from website Internet Computer, projector screen. Activities: None for this segment. Internet Scavenger Hunt: (10 minutes) Goals: 1. Apply learning to interactive game. 2. Apply Yahoo, MapQuest, Google, and Internet Safety knowledge to play game. Materials Needed: Printed Handouts, Computer. Wrap up and closing: (5-10 minutes) Goals: 1. Answer any lingering questions. 2. Summarize workshop. Surfing the Information Wave Karen Pilarski
  8. 8. 8 Participant Script:Page | 8 5:00-5:05pm Welcome & Session Preview 5:05-5:15pm Introduction to Google & Google activity 5:15-5:25pm Introduction to MapQuest & MapQuest activity 5:25-5:30pm Break 5:30-5:40pm Introduction to Yahoo & optional email set up activity 5:40-5:45pm Tips on Internet Safety 5:45-5:55pm Internet Scavenger Hunt 5:55-6:00pm Wrap up and Questions Surfing the Information Wave Karen Pilarski
  9. 9. 9 Project Style Sheet: The margins for the document t is 1”top, bottom, right and left.Page | 9 The title is centered in the middle of the page. Black font type MS Mincho, size 16 for text. The text is in bold. Word Art Style 3 is used for title to make the text shaped like a wave. In front of text are three dark blue wave shapes. Each wave shape has a height of .28” and 2.92” for width and is connected to each other. This is to compliment the title (surfing the information wave). The border around each sheet of the document is light blue with a height of 0.14” and width of 1”. The Blank College website uses a mixture of two different hues of the color blue. The border line size is 6 pts all around. Under the title header is the body of the document. Font Times Roman size 12 are used. Each header is in bold, size 14 Font Roman Times. The text is aligned ragged left with dashes after the title. Sub points are in italics. Font Times Roman size 12 are used. Surfing the Information Wave Karen Pilarski
  10. 10. 10 How to Use Google: 1. Log onto | 10 Surfing the Information Wave Karen Pilarski
  11. 11. 11 2. Enter in searchPage | 11 Surfing the Information Wave Karen Pilarski
  12. 12. 12 3. Narrow down searchPage | 12 Surfing the Information Wave Karen Pilarski
  13. 13. 13 4. Narrow down search even more (see example in screen shot):Page | 13 Surfing the Information Wave Karen Pilarski
  14. 14. 14 How to use MapQuest: 1. Log onto www.mapquest.comPage | 14 2. Enter in location to and from with address Surfing the Information Wave Karen Pilarski
  15. 15. 15 3. Look at map or pick from the left side what set of directions you want. Click select. Scroll down and either look at directions or map.Page | 15 Surfing the Information Wave Karen Pilarski
  16. 16. 16 How to use Yahoo: 1. Log onto | 16 2. Go to sign up for email Surfing the Information Wave Karen Pilarski
  17. 17. 17Page | 17 Surfing the Information Wave Karen Pilarski
  18. 18. 18 How To Be Safe While Using the Internet: (Print out of website will be in binder this is just a sample of the page).Page | 18 Surfing the Information Wave Karen Pilarski
  19. 19. 19 Workshop Evaluation: Please score the workshop on a scale 1 to 5 (1 highly disagreePage | 19 and 5 highly agree). This Program was of value to me The Handouts & supportive materials were though and easy to follow The facilitator showed mastery of subject Communication of Content was clear and concise Facilitator was responsive to student needs Do you have any suggestions?_____________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Comments:______________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Surfing the Information Wave Karen Pilarski
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