Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Post-course reflections: Session 2 - The "W" & "H" of Blogging

Conducted the second session of the talk at Civil Service College on Wednesday, 14 Mar. This time, I felt I didn't deliver as effectively as the first. I would just rate myself a 5.8 to 6. I felt the participants were less responsive than those from the first time.

Based on the feedback from the previous run, I included a "live" demo on publishing a blog post, inserting pictures from Flickr, and inserting hyperlinks. Unfortunately, the slow Internet connectivity created some awkward pauses. I tried to compensate for that by going to the talk and checking back on the uploading at intervals. Upon hindsight, I should have just skipped the "live" demo if it wasn't working.

One feedback from the previous session was to include more details on how search for blogs. Hence I also updated my slides and included a "live" demo on searching for blogs using This was a gem of a find from the search; the participants had a good laugh from reading it. I thought it was a brilliant example of how the library could find out how customers used the library, what they thought about the collection, and what areas we could improve -- in this instance, perhaps publicity of where the library was located.

As always, for a talk of this nature, the participants came with varied experiences, knowledge, and expectations. As with the previous session, some expected the talk to go in depth on the "ABCs" of creating a blog. Either the course objectives and outline wasn't clear, or they didn't read it before signing up. Maybe the marketing brochure should specify clearly what the talk would not cover.

I hope to get the participants' feedback from Civil Service College (CSC). The CSC folks were kind enough to grant permission to share a summary of the participants' evaluation and feedback from the previous run (23 Feb):


Course Title:
The “W” & “H” of Blogging – Understanding Blogging
Course Code: CSMU-06001
Course Date: 23 Feb 2007
Trainer(s): Ivan Chew
No. of Participants: 95
No. of Respondents: 67
Trainer Overall Mean (TOM)*: 4.26
Performance Overall Mean (POM)*: 4.03
* Out of a possible score of 5

How did you benefit from the course? How would apply it to a) your work b) your personal life?
  • Better understanding
  • Blogging – create may own blog for students’ feedback comment and reflection on lesson conducted
  • Just wanted to find out about blogging and how one can search for blogs.
  • Some knowledge of blogging gained.
  • Create a blog; Connect to my student; leveling up to what my students have been doing.
  • May want to try it out.
  • Able to advise pupil who intend to blog.
  • I know what is blogging all about now.
  • A good intro for me.
  • In the promotion of new media and new media arts in the school, it adds another perspective to what we see.
  • Get to know blogging; Get to know its relevance to personal life.
  • It is useful for me to know about blogging so as to share information.
  • Learnt a bit more than what I already knew about blogging in particular latest blog sites.
  • It gives me motivation to try it out myself.
  • I found out more about RSS. Get a RSS online account@Blogline.
  • Important for keeping up with communication in personal life.
  • Good powerpoint presentation; new terms like RSS feed etc.
  • Will set me thinking to start a blog.
  • Informative.
  • Interesting overview; Good to understand what blogging was all about.
  • Great insight and good knowledge.
  • Good introductory course.
  • Simple intro to creating blog.
  • More knowledgeable on the concept of blogging.
  • Try blogging
  • Better understanding about blogging. Changed some opinions about blogging. Will help me when I blog on my library’s blog.
  • Its importance to us (me) to know the basic training and to know more about ‘news’ and interact to global.
  • I need to know the basic hands-on session on blogging, how to view others’ blog. Don’t understand what is ‘feeds’, ‘RSS’.
  • Thanks for basic understanding.
  • Better understanding; blog as a tool, blogging as means of communication.
  • More blog-savvy now.

Areas done well
  • Speaker has made his presentation simple and easy to understand.
  • Knowledgeable and enthusiastic trainer
  • Good practical examples
  • Practical examples and tips.
  • Printouts of terms and terminologies to me can try out on our own.
  • I like your presentation and the mode.
  • The horse’s mouth.
  • The trainer interacts well with audience and has a friendly way of delivering his content.
  • Training Materials
  • Presentation
  • Clear presentation. Interesting examples.
  • Humorous. Engaging. Presentation notes succinct, short, simple.
  • List of sites/references provided.
  • Good speaker.
  • Speaker – Practitioner.
  • Handouts – good reference list.
  • Comprehensive on “why” and guidelines on blogging.
  • Very impressive powerpoint slides.
  • Slides instruction
  • Good info, good examples, extra tips – books to read.
  • The trainer giving the talk is very appropriate.

Areas not done well
  • Noted insufficient contents.
  • Practical hands-on session – to encourage the participants on blogging; print out powerpoint slides or notes of the slides.
  • Should have taught us how to locate specific blogs.
  • Live-link so that the instructor can create a blog.
  • Internet connection. Training venue should have an online access.
  • Hand-outs.
  • Recording of George Yeo & video too soft.
  • No hands-on.
  • Soft from mic is little soft.
  • The videos was not clearly heard.
  • Not much was mentioned on how to get into a ‘blog’ for a complete stranger on blogging.
  • Audio too soft.

Are there any sessions that should be improved? If so, why?
  • Too general – does not really tell how one can search for particular blog spots.
  • Creation of blog, a hands-on session would have benefited the participants.
  • Improve the volume of the interview and video.
  • More live-video.
  • There should be hands-on so that we can learn how to really blog.
  • Show what bloggers are doing in their blogspots.
  • Include practical session on blog set up.
  • It would have been good if there were live demonstrations.
  • Have hands-on sessions.

Other Comments
  • Ivan ! You Rock !
  • Do you provide talks for schools on blogging ?
  • IRAS has an internal blog for staff.. Since 15 jan 07, we have a set of simple guidelines known as ‘Blog Etiquettes’.
  • The blogging session did not touch on topic of people using blogs to attack each other.


  1. Hey - don't be so hard on yourself. I didn't think the course went so badly. See - proof of it is that I have been inspired to use Technorati and I have found your blog :)Agree that the poor connectivity caused pace to lag - maybe CSC should use another room with better access. Time of course may be a factor for low energy level too - 3.30pm on a weekday means that either people came after an extended lunch orleft the office in a rush bec they were in the middle of something. But I can see how putting it at 2.30 could create other problems as it is quite a short talk. May I suggest 10.30 - 12.00? Energy levels might still be up and people can go off for lunch after that? I don't think the prob was your presentation - I think it was other factors such as people's expectations / venue etc.I learnt stuff abt the library that I did not know so chin up!

  2. Hey Vara. Wow, you found my blog (and now I've found yours!) Thanks for your note of encouragement. I was deliberately hard on myself so as to remind myself there's always things to improve :)

  3. Hi Ivan, from my experience with feedback, this is prettty good. From my observation of your MR presentation, I know you do a good job.

    I think the participants were also quite good about giving feedback, they care enough to write the stuff down.

    Of course Vara's comment was the sort of thing we die for!! Well done!

  4. Anonymous9:00 am

    Hi Ivan,

    I attended your talk on 23 Feb 07 and I think you did a great job!

    The session was both informative and entertaining! =)

    Hey, not every speaker can do that you know? That is without sending you to sleep ........


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