On the 22nd January, the IBL cafe was facilitated by Sarah, Neil, Donna, Ellis and myself (the journal team). The topic was the launch of the 2nd edition of the student journal and we used the opportunity to present our journal and to gain ideas, impressions and feedback in order to ensure that the 3rd edition is even better! Before we opened discussion, we outlined:
1) the process of accumulating the submissions (and discussed the success of this method)
2) the process of editing the submissions (and associated problems)
3) the skills we developed as a result of working on the journal (technical, IBL-related and social)
The general consensus was that the 2nd edition has been a success and that we managed to acquire, edit and publish some interesting and varied articles. We discussed the use of the journal and agreed that with IBL being so difficult to explain, our journal could act as a great aid to demonstrate what IBL is all about. This could be particularly beneficial to first years during a study skills week.
We got a lot of constructive feedback, particularly with regards to the layout of the journal and the ease of reading the articles. Suggestions were made that the articles should be broken down and introductory texts should be added in order to ‘entice’ the reader.
The discussion also centered on the use of multimedia. We took a look at the careers website and viewed some great podcasts and multimedia clips, which we will definitely consider implementing in order to make the jounal page look a bit more ‘snazzy’! It was suggested that the reader should also be given the chance to comment on the article in a message-board format. Theoretically, this would be a fantastic way to involve the reader and also to maintain the involvement of the contributor (as they could reply to further questions about their article etc). In reality, we understand that this would need to be moderated and could hence prove difficult.
All of the points mentioned in the cafe were much appreciated so thank you to those of you who came along for all of your ideas (and to CILASS for the biscuits!)