The Digital Learning and Media Center (DLMC) is a highly visible, open learning space that serves as a collaborative studio, a formal classroom, a computer lab, a showcase for student work, and a hub for media equipment use and lending. Each year there is a partial turnover of the student staff of Media Mentors, and an orientation needs to be run to promote team morale, train the new staff and offer the returning staff the opportunity to teach workshops and set personal goals for their own media scholarship as well as learning about lab changes and updates.
This year a 3-day orientation will train 5 new Mentors and refresh the skills of the 9 returning Mentors. The goal of the training will be to have the new hires achieve mastery of the systems we employ and a comfort level and working knowledge of the software. Another goal is for experienced Mentors to partner with new students to encourage teamwork and act as another resource for their development. All of the students are highly motivated and want to be here. They all see a great benefit to doing this job, not just to have a job on campus, but to practice and gain experience on a variety of tools and software programs that they might be expected to use when they graduate. They get access to a variety of tools and opportunities by working here that enable them to progress in their own scholarship. All returning MM have experience but varying levels of mastery of our core competencies and 4 of the 5 new MM have never seen the program we primarily use so there will need to be different activities and learning outcomes for the different groups.
The following was taken from the Learner Analysis I did in the first course:
New hires for Fall 2017 in the DLMC – Media Mentors
Return hires for Fall 2017, returning staff
General Learner Characteristics
4 of the 5 new hires will be sophomores, 1 will be a junior
3 of the 5 are male
3 of the 5 are international students
All of the students are very smart but vary in their technical abilities; one of the international students comes from a very poor country and had no access to technology until he came to campus last year. He is a computer science major.
Many of our student workers are pursuing a Film & Media Studies minor. Majors include Neuroscience, English, Comp Sci, Women's Studies
All of the 9 returning Media Mentors will be Juniors and Seniors
8 are women
Only 1 is an international student
All returning MM have some experience but varying levels of mastery of our core competencies
4 of the 5 new MM have never seen the program we primarily use
All of the students are highly motivated and want to be here. They get access to a variety of tools and opportunities by working here that enable them to progress in their own scholarship.
They all see a great benefit to doing this job, not just to have a job on campus, but to practice and gain experience on a variety of tools and software programs that they might be expected to use when they graduate.
Our international students are excellent English speakers but sometimes have soft voices and heavy accents which makes it difficult for other students to understand them.
The DLMC is a space on campus that has specific responsibilities to faculty who entrust us with their students and portions of the classes. The Media Mentors (MM) need to be highly trained in the software, compassionate and empathetic to the students struggling with a new medium, and dependable and efficient in loaning equipment out to the community. A level of professionalism is expected and this training needs to illustrate that. All of these skills won’t be mastered during the training, that’s why it’s called an Orientation. The first 4 weeks of the semester are relatively slow and they will have assignments and deliverables to practice and be able to show their level of skill with the tools.
Instruction will be delivered by a variety of trainers in a face-to-face model with plenty of time for individual practice and goal setting. The new hires will be given a list of deliverables that need to be completed within the first 4 weeks of school, giving them time to practice and gain experience in the software applications. They will be given rubrics to guide their work. Some work will be individual; some will be with a partner. Formal training on Final Cut Pro will be offered as the primary software that is taught in the lab, as well as introductory sessions on other commonly used applications. The workshops will be taught by professional staff and experienced Media Mentors.