All about 23 Things

What is 23 Things?
23 Things is a self-directed course, run as part of the Engage programme, that aims to expose you to a range of digital tools that could help you in your personal and professional development as a researcher, academic, student or in another role. The aim is for you to spend a little time each week over Michaelmas Term, building up and expanding your skills. Each week, we’ll talk about one or more of the tools/tasks from our 23 Things programme and encourage you to try it out and reflect on it. We hope that the programme presents a realistic challenge and will allow you to fit it into your schedule. 23 Things for Research is inspired by the first 23 Things Oxford and based on the original 23 Things program which ran at the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County in the USA in 2006.

Who is it for?
The programme is open to all members of the University of Oxford, regardless of their position or status (staff, student, full time, part time, etc.). If you are not a member of the University, you are very welcome to participate in the programme, but you may not be eligible for support.

If you’re already an experienced social media and digital tool user, don’t worry! The ‘things’ cater for different different levels of engagement, so you may find ways to take your digital communications even further.

How does it work?
To take part, you’ll need to set up your own blog (don’t worry – we’ll cover that right in the first week). You can then register your blog with us (we’ll explain that too) and use it to post reflections on the Things and your participation. If you already have a blog, you’re welcome to use that to participate instead.

We’ll add the URL of your blog to the site so that others can engage with you (and vice versa).

Do I have to set up a blog? What happens to it after the programme?
Reflective, open blogging is a core part of the programme. It is the medium for reflection and for creating the community of participants. It is also used for accreditation purposes to demonstrate that you have completed the course, for transferable skills training or staff development purposes.

You might be worried about privacy of your personal data, or of your online professional persona. You can use a pseudonym for your blog (and many of the other tools you register for) if you wish to remain publicly anonymous.

You are not required to keep your blog after the programme, although we encourage you to continue blogging as a medium for reflective development.

How long do I have to complete the programme?
The programme kicks off with 0th Week on 7 October 2013 and officially wraps up in December, but we encourage you to participate even if you need a bit more time or need to start later than that. You are also welcome to work ahead if you like.

What if I need help?
Please ask! We’ll try to give clear instructions on each thing, but feel free to leave comments on the blog posts with questions or tweet us (@bodleianlibs, @ltgoxford) with the hashtag #OxEngage and we’ll try to help. Since this programme is self-directed and we hope that University members across the disciplines will participate, we encourage you to look at what fellow participants are doing or what last year’s participants did and ask them questions too!

Will there be any training classes offered to show staff how to do this?
The 23 Things programme is self-directed, but we have a wide-ranging programme of events across the University this term that can help you learn about various tools and how other researchers are using them in their work. Visit the Engage site for the full programme.

Who are the 23 Things Team?
Liz McCarthy (Bodleian Libraries), Kate Lindsay (IT Services), Steve Eyre (IT Services)

Some content on the 23 Things for Research blog has been adapted from 23 Things Oxford, 23 Things for Professional Development, 23 Research Things and DH23Things under their Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, as well as from the 23 Things for the Digital Professional Blog with the permission of Emma Cragg and Mark Carrigan.

28 thoughts on “All about 23 Things

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