Interns – Management and Mentorship

[This blog post is part of a series written for the Edinburgh Teaching Award (EdTA) to achieve accreditation as a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. ]

Open Content Curator Interns

Over the past three years the Open Education Service has taken on an Open Content Curator intern to work with us over the summer months. Taking on the role of supervisor, line manager, and mentor, guiding our interns through their internship, I found that my line management and supervising style is quite collegiate. With a focus on ensuring that our interns had opportunity and access to training and development opportunities, and that we were able to work together to foster professional development along the lines of their individual interests.

Martin Tasker – 2016

Martin was a third year physics student with an interest in open education after discovering MIT’s OpenCourseWare which he credits with providing him access to be able to progress into Physics at University level:

“Sitting in lecture halls taking notes was no different to the many hours I had spent watching the professors at MIT and Yale…I can honestly say that without these open education resources, not only would I have had a far trickier time when I came to university, I may not even be here studying physics at all.”

Martin Tasker, A Student’s Perspective on Open Education

As Martin’s day to day supervisor we worked closely to set up standards that would go on to be used for OER Summer Intern projects in consecutive years. I encouraged his enthusiasm and supported approaching his own teaching staff and seek out OER in his School. Martin returned after his internship to co-run a training workshop with me for the next year of Geoscience Outreach students and was interested in pursuing a career as a physics teacher to pass on his passion for education in the subject.

My Time as an Open Content Curator Intern, Martin Tasker, EDE Blog

Tomas Slater (Sanders) – 2017

Tomas was a third year history student who hadn’t come across OERs prior to applying for the internship. As Tomas’s supervisor, I mentored and trained him in copyright, licensing and our approach to OER. When he proposed a mini-project to to learn more about how teaching staff used and understood OER, we sat down together and set aside time in his schedule to visit and talk to teaching staff across  the campuses. The results of those discussions can be read in his  post on the EDE blog: Inspiration. Perspiration. Education?

Tomas also showed interest in Wikipedia, so we set aside time for him to attend Wikipedia editathons, which led to him running his own Wikipedia editathon with his History society after the internship had ended.

Cecily Plascott – 2018

Another  third year history student, Cecily joined our team with an interest in opening up access to education.  In addition to being Cecily’s supervisor I also took on the role of line manager for the internship. Cecily and I worked together to identify what it was she wanted to learn and gain from her time working with us, and we set aside time for her to attend training sessions on information security, participate in the 23 Things for Digital Knowledge course  and attend Wikipedia editathons to improve her digital skills.

Cecily proposed creating a blog to document her own and the experience of her co-interns and provide information for future interns.  We connected with colleagues in ISG who could help make this happen and set aside time in her schedule. Cecily and another intern, Lila Pitcher, then designed and managed the blog, cajoling and encouraging their peers to write and publish posts about their summer.

Cecily’s own post on the blog can be read here: Cecily Plascott: A Mammoth Achievement

Lecture Recording Intern – Karoline Nanfeldt

During my time creating and running training and workshops on accessibility and media use for the rollout of the new Media Hopper Replay I was privileged to  work quite closely with  Karoline Nanfeldt, a 4th year Psychology student and intern on the Lecture Recording programme. I worked closely with Karoline, mentoring and training her up in an understanding of accessibility, copyright, creative commons licences, and how to present information sessions and webinars to staff in Higher education.

I had her shadow and provide back-up support for the initial sessions run by me and then as she grew more confident with the subject material we moved to co-running the sessions. After two months of this she was confident enough to coordinate and run the sessions on her own and did an absolutely fantastic job of it too.

Video – Interview of Karoline Nanfeldt about her time as an Intern for ISG.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s