Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Planning for recruitment before your ethics application (Jason Murphy)

Image by Pavan Trikutam
As a communications lead in the Graduate Research School, I'm often asked to support the recruitment of participants for research projects from within and outside of La Trobe.

With the majority of these requests, what has struck me is that researchers are limiting themselves to email and flyers posted around campuses when there are a wealth of communication channels at their disposal.

Contemporary society equals communication overload. We're all used to being time poor, and constantly assessing whether the deluge of information coming at us is relevant or of interest.

To have a chance of communicating effectively these days means you need to tell your audience very quickly what it is your message is about. If they're interested, they'll be willing to take further action, such as clicking through to a webpage for more information.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Theory by the tramload (Melissa Kennedy)

Inside the Theory Tram | Photo by Melissa Kennedy
How do you make social theory ‘social’?

This was the question our Planning and Social Theory Reading Group asked ourselves as we developed the idea for a social theory salon. This idea went on to be generously sponsored by the Graduate Research School and College of Arts, Social Science and Commerce's Intellectual Climate Fund.

Importantly, we wanted to ensure that the event would complement the purpose of our reading group, which informally gets together to discuss the application of social theory to our studies in a space where we can 'grapple-in-common'.

While modelling the event on a French Enlightenment-style ‘salon’ evoked an interactive setting for the discussion of ideas, would it be enough to spark broader interest in a social theory gathering?

And where could we hold it? Should it be on campus? What if we took theory ‘downtown’ and held it on a tram...? Would it be distracting, maybe a little too much fun? What if it all went off the rails (literally and metaphorically)? Do we just do it anyway?!

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Finding the perfect image (Tseen Khoo)

Troop inspection | Photo by Pascal
Do you know how long I agonised over what photo should accompany this post about how to find photos to accompany posts...?

I know that's all a bit meta, but stay with me. I'm from the Humanities.

For the RED program, I run a series of workshops about creating and building a digital profile on social media, especially Twitter.

Many of you will have attended them. Many of you run research project blogs, PhD blogs, or regularly contribute to group research blogs.

Many of you organise research events for your colleagues and put together the promotional material for them.

Most salient to this post, many of you who do these things ask: “How do I find free images to use? What are the rules for using them?”

There are plenty of resources on the internet about finding images to use on blogs, image copyright and attribution, licensing, Creative Commons, fair use, etc. Here’s a search I prepared earlier!

What I’m doing with this post is not presenting a comprehensive handbook to online image searching, use, and attribution. I’m giving you my simple (hopefully not simplistic) insight into what I find to be good practice for sourcing and using images for non-profit blogposts and other non-profit projects and events.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Why litter? Not enough bins? (Lucie Semenec and Jen Wood)

 Everything looks better when there is no litter on the grass.
Our second Department-organised litter clean-up day was held at La Trobe University's Melbourne Campus on 13 May.

We'd spread the word a bit wider this time and were joined by litter-busting volunteers from across the Campus.

Volunteers included those from the Microbiology, Zoology and Ecology departments as well as some RED, and GRS team members. We were also joined by Craig Allen from the Environmental Operations Office, who provided some materials for use in gathering litter. 

This month, we focused on car parks at the University to see where the litter begins, as staff and students enter the uni to start their hard-working day.

The good news is we collected a lot of litter and really cleaned up the car parks. The bad news is, we collected a lot of litter.