Thursday, August 24, 2017

Scientific videos; evaluating videos; creating videos #wlic2017

At the 2017 World Library and Information Conference in Wroclaw, Poland I'm attending a session Media is the Message: Critical Use of Video in the Digital Age. It was organised by 3 IFLA sections: Audiovisual and Multimedia, Information Literacy and School Libraries. I will be saying something about each talk.

Extending Media Literacy Education: The Popular Science Video Workshop from Margret Plank (German National Library of Science and Technology, Germany), Attila Dávid Molnár (speaker) (Eötvös Loránd University of Sciences, Hungary), Paloma Marín-Arraiza (São Paulo State University, Brazil). The speaker referred back to his youth and the creation of his first scientific film inspired by Carl Sagan. Now he makes these professionally. He talked about the increasing multimodality of scientific communication e.g. vidoes, links embedded in a scintic article. However some scientists are sceptical about video as a valid method of communicating scientific research. To help overcome this they organised three workships in Germany and Hungary, with the aim of convincing academics that videos were a good way of communicating science. (the photo is an illustration from a workshop)
The speaker talked about video abstracts, something you may have seen on journal websites: the idea is to abstract the paper, but using video. Here's some guidelines from the New Journal of Physics
They type of content in visual tends to be divide in 4 kinds: on camera video of the person, animation, documentary and stills. The workshop covers this (emphasising that people will already be used to taling about their work!), but starts with writing, and creating a script, going on to filming and editing. The full paper is here:

How the Library Can Better Support Students to Analyse and Evaluate Sources When Using Popular Media Platforms from Malin Nilsson (speaker) (Medical Library), Magnus Olsson, Lenita Berggren (Arts Campus Library), Samo Grasic (HUMlab), Susanne Sjöberg (speaker) (Library) (all from Umeå University, Sweden).
They identified that various popular platforms like Buzzfeed or Vimeo are increasingly used by students. They decided to investigate how students use and evaluate film. They did interviews as a pilot study and then workshops. They learned that film was not seen as a primary source, but was used to explain things, to understand and for inspiration. Students were uncertain about using it in academic work - whether it was ok (was it approved the lecturers) and how to cite it. The authors found that the students felt that print sources were more relable than film sources (even if they had the same content). The editing process for books/articles made students feel they must be more reliable.
In terms of evaluating film, the source (producer/director/publisher) was seen as important; the agenda of the producers was considered; recommendations from faculty had a big impact; also if the film was produced in a technically competent way, this was seen as a signal of reliability.
Messages for librarians included: explaining how to cite all types of media, with examples; creating more visual guidance (about library services generally, I think); teaching students about information in all types of media. Full paper is here

Faculty Readiness in Teaching Video Information Creation in Nigerian Library and Information Science Departments was the next talk. It was presented by Professor Assani on hehalf of from Nancy Achebe, Victoria N. Okafor, Ngozi Osadebe, Ezinne O. Njoku, Beatrice O. Ewa (all University of Nigeria, Nigeria). The presenters noted the increasing opularity and power of videos in learning, and it is also getting easier to make them. Videos can also help achieve a globalisation strategy: to reach out to a wider number of students without geographic barrier. Therefore the skill of video creation can also be useful to library and information professionals to support their work: however this was not an area covered in Nigeria higher education. The authors decided to undertake a study to find out whether LIS departments in Nigeria were prepared and able to teach this. They investigated 12 departments, using an observation checklist and questionnaire. They found that there was no standard curriculum for teaching video creation, with challenges like irregular power supply, lack of resources and training. There needed to be training for LIS faculty to raise their interests and skills, so that video creation could be part of all LIS curriculum. There also needed to be awareness raising, to understand the value of using videos in different ways, so the faculty cvould also motivate the LIS students. The full paper is here:

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