In May 2018, I had an opportunity to co-organise the 8th edition of the Information Science Doctoral Colloquium in Edinburgh. The iDocQ colloquium is aimed at students studying towards PhDs in information science and other related disciplines.
This year’s event took place on Thursday May 2018 at Edinburgh Napier University. Attendees from parts of Scotland and England, were offered the opportunity to showcase their work to leading academics, researchers and other doctoral candidates as well as enjoy networking opportunities throughout.
As one of the student-led organising committee, I was responsible for overall event visual identity and participants recruitment. As digital storytelling and visuals playfulness techniques are really close to my heart, I process enjoyed the process - from my early visual 'brain' ideas appearing online to seeing participants playing with them during the ice-break activity on the day.
Keynote:‘Stories are persuasive – the use of digital storytelling for place promotion’ by Professor Brian Detlor
The day was packed with exciting PhD activities and workshops. As you can see from the programme below, the session started with a keynote speech by Professor Brian Detlor from McMacster University in Canada. Proffesor Detlor is a founding member of the Digital Literacy Social Lab – a social lab project carried out by the Community Campus CoLab (a unit based out of McMaster University) in partnership with the Hamilton Public Library. More information about Prof. Detlor can be found here.
Brain's presentation provided a discussion of digital storytelling in terms of its potential to rally interest in a city as a place to live, work and visit. Specifically, research results from a case study of the ‘Love Your City, Share Your Stories’ digital storytelling initiative in Hamilton, Canada were discussed. The second part of the discussion was dedicated to a lengthier and deeper discussion on the viability of using iBeacons – a proximity-based technology – as a means of raising interest in a city and its cultural heritage. If you'd like to learn more about Brian's work, please visit this link.
PechaKucha / 20×20 is a fantastic way to share your work with the public and create a compelling narrative of your PhD journey. This year, we had six brave PhD students presenting their work and you can read their 20x20 #iDcoq2018 abstracts here.
The winning presentations were as follows:
1st Prize Hugo Watanuki (University of São Paulo): Are All Cultures the Same? An Investigation towards the Impact of Cultural Diversity on Individual Trust Development in Virtual Collaboration
2nd Prize Anne Elogie (University of Strathclyde): Information Behaviour of Low-Income Pregnant Mothers in Nigeria
3rd Prize Leo Appleton (Edinburgh Napier University): The role of the UK public library within the 21st century Information Society
PhD Workshop 1:
One word at a time: how to get writing (Dr Gráinne Barkess )
Interactive session facilitated by Napier's in-house writing expert Dr Barkess. During the session our participants had an opportunity to reflection on their writing and publication goals, as well as try the magic of automatic writing (defined as "a claimed psychic ability allowing a person to produce written words without consciously writing" according to Wikipedia gurus!).
PhD Workshop 2:
Your PhD and public speaking (Dawn Smith)
Dawn Smith leads public engagement activity at Edinburgh Napier University and has worked in the higher education and third sectors for over ten years. Dawn is passionate about making sure research has real meaning and impact for society.
Her workshop was not only extremely interesting but interactive and fun. Dawn used a set of practical exercises to show us how important is to express ourselves clearly and how to considerate our audience when "selling our academic pitch". What I really liked about the workshop was that the participants were practically involved in co-creation of the educational process - we had a chance to hear a range of useful tips from students and academic staff who were present in the room. In a way, Dawn provided us with some some food for though and possible pointers on how to explore our individual speakers styles.
PhD Workshop 3:
PhDs and well-being (Leah MacGilp and Angus Mackenzie)
"Leah MacGilp and Angus Mackenzie are the student Mental Health Advisers at Edinburgh Napier University. They have combined approximately 14 years working in the University student Mental Health Sector. Leah and Angus are passionate about reducing the stigma around mental health and the barriers that students with these issues may face when engaging in study". (Source: idocq2018)
The final of the day allowed us to spend some time thinking about our personal well-being as PHD students. Leah and Angus explored the notion of work-life balance and added that although this is often considered as a cliche, it is extremely important to consider how me manage our workload on a daily basis. This informal session, provided us with some tips and ideas on how to remind ourselves about the importance of our well-being and self-compassion. Finally, Leah and Angus shared some advise on how to get support and reach out for help when things are not great. They emphasised that our mental health needs as much attention as our physical health. This is particularly important now, as I'm writing this during the #MentalHealthAwanrenessWeek.
Co-organisning the event was a great experience and I would like to thank several people, who had initially encouraged me to do it. Although, I struggled with my health a little bit along the way, I received tons of support from the rest of the team as well as iDocQ oragnisers from previous years. Thank you.
Finally, huge thanks to the guest speakers and the participants.
See you at #iDocQ2019!