Sunday 25 October 2020

Claire Sewell - The Pivot to Online Training

Our second event of the 2020-21 programme, was an online talk from Claire Sewell, about the Pivot to Online Training. 

Claire spoke on how she has "pivoted" her research skills training to online versions over the lockdown period and in to the new academic year. Fortunately, she had already got lots of experience using new methods and free software to engage students but this has been bolstered by incorporating knowledge from her Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching which she has recently completed. 

Claire covered: 


These recreate the lecture formate and although they can be sneered at for being "boring", students benefit from the format because it allows them to hear the academic dialogue. 

Short videos (e.g Lumen5)

Younger generations are used to getting content through videos. Using Lumen5 you can either make them funny or serious. It can act as a trailer for further content and you can signpost to more resources. The videos will catch people who would never usually sign up to a library training session. 

Visual Resources (e.g Canva)

Visual Resources grab peoples attention. Using Canva makes your work look profession and modern, plus it is very simple to use. There are lots of templates, including infographics, presentations and social media posts that are ready sized to use. Claire gave us a demo of how to use it, and showed us the images you can find, and the way it makes the simple look brilliant. 

Podcasts (e.g Anchor)

These can be used for a different audience - people who like to multi-task and therefore cannot watch a screen. The audio can be extracted from a webinar and turned into a podcast too, but usually best to rescript and re-record!

Online Courses (e.g Sway)

Sway can be used to pull in all the above content that you've created and embed them into a sequence, with some text to become an online course. It allows the student to have a resource they can come back to and a good part of your asynchronous content. It is more engaging than one long video on a single topic. 

Claire then allowed us to vote on Menti to determine which product we wanted to see. We voted for Canva and Sway and she gave us live demos. 

Claire concluded with the points: 

  • Don't try and use too many snazzy features in one presentation.
  • Planning your students learning outcomes is still worthwhile.
  • You will need to adapt. 
One benefit of the Pivot to Online that Claire emphasised is that for each product you have to reassess and re-evaluate the content and your delivery - if we return to "normality" our presentations will forever be more inspired. 

Further information is available at her popular blog

Thank you to Kate Faulkner, Squire Law Library for contributing this blog post.