In Crete we collected written feedback. In Gothenburg we started and finished the day with a plenary session – with a feedback round towards the end. The general response was quite positive, but we also received a number of suggestions for improvements.
Our task has been to design a basic course than can work well in many different settings – including countries with weak or missing statistics. Within that framework the main needs before final delivery seem to be:
- Integrate and reorganize the handouts for greater clarity and ease of use.
- Write additional exercises, covering more topics – including more advanced topics
- Prepare more materials to demonstrate a variety of presentation techniques
- Write more case studies
- Create a single case study that could be used throughout the day, if desired
We will continue our work and hope to finish well before Christmas.
Variations on a theme
The course is aimed at national rather than international audiences. We had planned to do the pilot testing in a single country, but were not able to do so because of time pressures.
International conferences, like QQML2 in Chania and IFLA in Gothenburg, differ quite a bit from ordinary training events. Many of the people who had signed up, did not appear at all. Quite a number of people who had not signed up, just turned up at our doorstep. Most participants stayed the whole day, but some left after one or two hours. The participants had very different statistical skills and came from all types of libraries.
That’s the way such conferences work: more diversity and less control.
But we should not avoid the big conferences. They are very useful for marketing. But we should perhaps make “conference version” of the course – aimed at international audiences. Such a version may include more academic, more advanced and more international cases, concepts and exercises.