Contributor: Kirsti Burton
Department: Careers & Enterprise
We all know how powerful a medium video can be whether it be for entertainment or informing. This project aimed to create a QMplus course that contains a library of video materials, enabling the streaming of a series of careers films using the new QMplus Media tool, to support and enhance existing careers information and build on the then recent launch of the department landing page on QMPlus.
Background & Context:
Results from recent surveys and focus groups conducted by the Careers & Enterprise and Marketing and Communications Departments, demonstrates that students are keen to receive careers information by video, so this has confirmed that it is an avenue that the team is going to explore further.
The project serves as an pilot to explore using videos as a medium of providing careers information to students, ensuring our materials were available in a range of formats to cater for different learning styles and preferences. In addition the video format was of particular interest due to being accessible to students on a 24 hour basis and available to those who are off campus (especially international and distance learning students.
The funding gained through the ELU’s E-Learning Production Scheme was used to hire two final year film students to create 10 short videos about careers related topics such as developing commercial awareness and how to avoid common CV mistakes. Hiring students who were familiar with the practicalities and technologies required to film and edit videos was an effective way to delegate the work as this expertise and did not exist within the department. These topics were chosen through discussion with the post-holders, in order to make use of their student perspective to prioritise themes most important to students.The post-holders also had autonomy over the look and feel of the films, within the parameter of conveying being friendly, approachable and professional.
The videos were competed and added to the Careers landing page before the start of the academic year, which was the main aim of the project.
Additional outcomes to note are that the videos were featured within blog articles and social media posts, so had an additional output of providing marketing material to help raise awareness of the department. The project also served as valuable relevant work experience for the students involved in filming these videos who were looking to enter a career in this industry. It was hoped that the videos could potentially engage students who had not previously engaged with our existing careers information in other formats, however we have not got any feedback or data to test this.
The decision was taken to recruit candidates based on their film-making ability and interest in employability, rather than their ability to use QMPlus or classify information. Once the videos were made, there was still a large amount of work to be done to upload them onto the QMplus media, classify them and add them to the module. Incorporating additional admin time into a project plan is key. As we ran out of time, there was no opportunity for the Production Assistants to cascade their knowledge about video production to current staff members in order to continue developing the resource. The likely next step is for careers staff to attend video training provided by the e-learning department.