For my latest evidence of skills and competencies I have had to go back over and see what claims I have made. I have yet to highlight some of the areas, including those in the area of team work. To that end I have created my own acronym, Communication and Teamwork, partly to make my title a geography and geology related pun, but mostly to focus on my competencies in these areas.
I have chosen to upload a screenshot from the group presentation we gave for this very class, Professional Issuesin Information and Library Careers. In particular, it is an overview of the section I delivered, on careers in the Digital Humanities. Our goal as a team was to present to our class that there are alternative career options for LIS graduates, and that they should consider them. We also had to engage them in some way and be creative in our presentation.
I would say that we were very successful in fulfilling our goal. What this screen shot does not reveal, is the amount of team work, collaboration and communication that were involved in the project. I worked with four others, and each of us began with our own ideas of what we should do. We created an environment in which feedback was encouraged, and importantly in which opinions were valued. We all contributed in several ways and because of our collective willingness to work together. The project became greater than the sum of its parts
I have never been fond of group work, perhaps my background in studying history has caused this as it is often an individual pursuit. Mostly it is due to the lack of control, however in this instance my own research was enhanced. Our planning on timing was essential as otherwise I may have gone off point, and the presentation itself as it was put together is more than I could have managed.
There were instances in which some felt they had taken on too much, this was managed through an effective communication channel. We all at some point volunteered to do another task that someone was struggling with, and in doing so kept the project going in the right direction.
In trying to think of how it can be improved, I am unsure. Again, I think that due to the group effort, and the amount of work that went into it, the project was a success. Perhaps my own presentation style could have been changed, and a little more focused, but it is a style which I have come to be most comfortable with.
Like Sherlock, I find myself searching for another artifact to use as evidence of the skills and competencies I have claimed to have. I have claimed an awful lot, so I decided on an artifact which I could apply to more than one area.
I have delved back a number of years and decided to pick a presentation I gave when studying for an MA in American History. The module was Media & Foreign policy, and looked at how various forms of media have either influenced foreign policy, or perceptions of foreign policy. It highlights evidence of my Independent research and learning skills, my presentation skills and in a certain way my preservation skills.
My goal for the presentation was to highlight how Hollywood films have depicted United States soldiers and war in the recent past.I proposed the idea that Hollywood often avoids making overly critical comments about those involved in war, but instead attempts to create a moral cause. The captive audience avoids films which may depict conflict in a bad light, and generally seeks a redemptive story. I had to direct the class on reading and other resources too.
I was somewhat successful in my goal.I highlighted how films which portrayed contemporary soldiers as flawed figures, without redeeming features, and war as an unnecessary step were mostly unsuccessful, despite critical acclaim. The most successful films were those which had something of a moral tale to it. I managed to present within the allotted time, and made available many of the resources I used. I was able to answer the questions which were put to me upon completion.
I did a lot of independent background reading for this, combining it with much of the required reading. I had to look at source from various academic fields; including media studies, conflict studies, history and sociology. In doing so I moved somewhere outside of my comfort zone. I had to watch a number of the films for the class anyway, but identified many others that much of the class, and lecturer had not seen or not even heard of.
This was one of the first presentations I had done. Since then I believe I have improved a good deal. My use of media is now better, and I am more comfortable talking in front of people. I recall being overly focused on my notes and losing my place a number of times. The presentation itself is a bit too text heavy, and now I would incorporate some more imagery and video if I were to redo it. The changes I can now see underline my personal learning in the intervening years.
The presentation would of interest to students of media studies, politics and international relations and history. It draws elements from each of the fields. They all have a little in common with the field of Information Studies too. As such it might be of interest to those interested in how political information is created. disseminated and consumed. This is something which I have touched on this year as part of the MLIS as mentioned in my previous post.
You might wonder what this has to do with preservation. When writing my thesis a little after making this presentation, the laptop I was using broke beyond repaid. Luckily, much of what I’d written was backed up elsewhere, but this and a few other items were not. I feared it had been lost for good. However only this week, I managed to retrieve much of the data from that hard-drive, including a number of assignments, personal photographs and the vast amount of reading material I had compiled for my thesis are now all accessible to me. I may not have thought to do this before taking on this course.