Learn something new in 20 minutes: bite-size sessions for research, teaching and collaboration
Andy Tattersall, University of Sheffield, email@example.com
Jenny Freeman, University of Sheffield, firstname.lastname@example.org
Claire Beecroft, University of Sheffield, email@example.com
Ursula Potgieter, University of Sheffield, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nowadays the environment in universities and other large knowledge organisations is increasingly pressurised with busy staff finding it increasingly difficult to make time for training, even when it might enhance their role and enable them to work more efficiently. We have pioneered an innovative, minimal-cost solution that encourages staff to engage with new technologies that could enhance their potential as researchers and their abilities as lecturers, as well as increase the skills-base of support staff. It is based on one very simple idea, that whilst individuals may not be able to spend hours training, they can spare 20 minutes during the mid-afternoon for a quick coffee break. We give a weekly 20 minute presentation using a variety of technologies such as Prezi, videos and voting tools for interactive demonstrations, along with an optional 10 minutes for questions and discussion. As an added incentive we provide free cakes! The ‘Bite-sized’ sessions have been designed to cover various topics relating to teaching and research practice, with a strong emphasis on web 2.0 and emerging technologies and innovations. Bite-Size actively seeks out sustainable technologies that can address staff needs and solve organisational problems usually for no cost. Topics so far have included Google Docs, social networks, rss, the use of the Social Web to promote research, and the use of electronic voting systems in lectures. The sessions act as both a demonstration and a signpost to further resources- they are very much about planting seeds and ideas.
The poster will explain the key ingredients that make up Bite-Size, the structure and format of the sessions, the content that has been covered to date and the target audience. In addition we will present research that we have undertaken to evaluate the Bite-Size sessions and discuss its future direction including podcasting sessions and new topic areas.