Thursday, January 6, 2011

2010 CoLAB for UF Freshman Honors Students

This session's goal was to introduce students to each other and demonstrate the potential for future friendships and partnerships on class projects. All these students plan to pursue doctoral degrees in the sciences.

Here's some comments from the students:
As an introvert, I was surprised by how easily I was able to begin conversations with people I had never met before and even want to continue talking past the three minute mark. It was really an effective method of breaking the ice and getting to meet your peers.

"Through the session, I was able to get to know my classmates and learn about their research interests, majors, and hobbies. It was a great way to get to know their names and start open conversation with them.

I also got to see who had similar research interests as myself. It would be great to collaborate or work with them in the future in looking for opportunities and in working on research topics.

I also realized that many of my classmates were in the same boat as me with the lack of research experience, and it made me feel better about the lack of experience I have."

I learned a lot about my fellow students. Most people in this class are interested in the sciences, particularly the fields of biology and chemistry.. Most students also seem to be on the pre-professional tract. I think a lot of students see the class as an opportunity to get involved in research. Though most conversations were about the general questions such as your major and classes you are taking, there was other topics that were more fun and carefree.

I was surprised by how curious others were about me. I thought the meeting would be awkward, but it turned out to be a great session. People were asking me all sorts of questions after reading my info card. Likewise, I was more engaged after being asked so many questions and started asking plenty of questions myself.

UF Women in Science & Engineering CoLAB 2010

The goal of this session was to understand the basics of collaboration development towards the objective of identifying a faculty mentor in science or engineering. 15 students and 15 faculty participated.

Here are some comments from faculty:
I was impressed with Bess' introduction. Specifcially the levels of risk one is will to take to interact with others. I think she hit the nail on the head. To successfully collaborate, the partners must be willing to change behavior for the potential of a successful venture. I also liked the discussion of assets. This pre-discussion is/was particularly important for our young scientists.

The actual interactions between students and faculty were fun and it was striking the similarities that were written on our placards, despite significant age/experience differences. I really enjoyed meeting the students and pleased that we have such motivated young women.

We certainly met new people (one of the objectives), but it is not clear that the students identified new mentors. Our interests were quite varied. On the other hand, the faculty regardless of discipline should have a lot of experience that they could pass on. Perhaps time will tell.

I learned that there must be some inherent and common drive in women who enter science.

And from a student:
I recommend future CoLab can offer us more opportunities to talk with grad students, so that we can not only find something interesting in our academic work, but also can we broaden our social network:)

University of Florida: 2010 Collaboration Basics in Grant Seeking

I was invited to present this lecture to Ph.D. students in a grant writing course taught by Dr. Jared Daniels, in the Entomology Dept. For most students, this class was their first foray into grant seeking. Most didn't know each other--it was a multi-disciplinary group including science, health, math, and the arts/humanities majors.

The goal of the lecture was to help students understand components of outstanding collaborations, why collaborations fail, and how to learn about others' assets which is the basic tool for developing collaborative relationships.

Florida State University: Open Access Statewide Conference CoLAB 2010

The goal of this statewide conference was to present the most current information regarding copyright law and ways to inspire academics to publish in open access journals.

The problem was attendees largely didn't know each other's work in the field of open access. CoLAB speed meeting processes facilitated by Bess de Farber, created a knowledgeable framework about available assets in this topic area, from which collaborations and shared support could grow.

For the second part of CoLAB Planning ® the group divided into 8 “idea” tables, ensuring a diversity of institutional representatives at each table. First, participants exchanged information about their own institution’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as they relate to Open Access issues. Within a 10 minute timeframe, participants at each table brainstormed as many possible ideas for moving Open Access forward on their campuses and state-wide. As they brainstormed, librarians recorded their ideas on post-it notes. The results in this preliminary report come from the post-its created during the Idea Tables process.

Major themes to emerge:
This preliminary report categorizes the 204 suggestions given by workshop attendees into 12 major themes. The structure of this report lists the theme, a definition of that theme, and all the suggestions relevant to that theme. 84 suggestions fit into multiple themes and therefore are listed multiple times.
Because this was a brainstorming activity, no ideas have been excluded from this preliminary report.

# of suggestions Theme
77 Engage in faculty outreach
40 Market/ Develop PR for Open Access
34 Strategic planning for Open Access initiatives at the campus and state level
33 Improve Institutional Repositories & digital collections
33 Continue librarian education/ promote librarian awareness
32 Develop workshops on scholarly communication; integrate scholarly communication into existing instruction efforts
15 Get support from/ work with administration (both librarian and campus)
11 Engage in student outreach
9 Librarians should publish in Open Access journals
7 Conduct environmental scans or assessments
6 Develop Open Access Journals hosted by/ managed by libraries
6 Create strategies for working with/ responding to publishers/vendors

TABLE 1: Suggestion Themes
As a follow up to the CoLab Planning ®, all participants will be sent the list of suggestions generated at the event. A webpage will be developed for participants to comment on suggestions, share new suggestions, and continue the conversation thus extending the workshop experience.

Friday, November 27, 2009

CoLAB Session: UF College of Fine Arts 2009

Another experiment! The UF College of Fine Arts wanted to present a CoLAB session for their faculty in the 3 schools: Music, Theatre/Dance/Design and Visual Arts. The problem was lack of time. I was appropriated 1:30 minutes in which to make this happen: signs were ready but participants had to insert their personal answers to questions about their personal passion, their skills and future recommendations for changes with the school, college or UF systems.

We've got a lot of great photos (shot by Barbara Hood of this facilitated process. The location was a renovated women's gym at UF that presented natural light and two floors with a useful ledge around the balcony for preparing signs. Approximately 100 participated and were able to have 10 focused conversations with colleagues from schools different from their own. Although faculty were extremely skeptical about the process, it was a huge success. The Dean Emeritus, Dr. Donald McGlothlin commented, the college "had tried many times to create a networking environment, but this was by far the most successful of all previous attempts." The process was so successful that some faculty are using it to help graduate students connect with each other's passions and assets.

CoLAB Session: Broward Community Foundation Summer 2008

WOW, two sessions for the Broward Community Foundation, with Kimberly Sovinski assisting were a tremendous effort. More than 60 participants attended and were divided into to groups: 8:00 to 12:00 and 1: 00 to 5:00. We managed to allow folks to move through enough rounds that they were able to have CoLAB discussions with nearly everyone. It was truly a Herculean effort by the CF staff and the results were excellent. Participants reactions have been consistent: they cannot believe how much they don't know about each other, the community, and the available resources.

CoLAB Session: Living the Future Conference April 2008

This was definitely an experimental session. The theme of the conference, Transforming Libraries through Collaboration, drew over 150 from throughout the country, both academic library professionals and Tucson fans of Peter Senge, the keynote speaker.

The goal of this CoLAB session was to help conference attendees quickly connect with each other by learning about the assets they each possessed. It was facilitated after the keynote during the first day of the session and ran for a couple of hours.

The result was a conference unlike any other. The energy was high throughout and attendees enjoyed the "open-access" environment that permitted very open discussions without the usual inhibitions of conferences where it's a lot of work to connect with those you don't know. The CoLAB session somehow gave folks "permission" to connect and reduced the distance between "strangers."