Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Transparent Worklog

This blog is in disguise because of its content and functionality, not necessarily its structure. This is a Typepad blog, created and maintained by K-State Libraries. I work in the Dow Chemical Multicultural Resource Center (DowMRC) in K-State Libraries and one of my duties is ensuring that the Center runs smoothly. A large part of that job is managing student workers. Before I started working in the DowMRC, the students would fill out daily work logs on paper along with weekly work details. The Center is open 64 hours a week, so there are many hours in which students are working without supervision. Thus work logs are our way of holding the students accountable. However, the paper work logs never worked because students did not consistently use them and the supervisors did not consistently provide consequences for not using them.

Therefore I, along with my colleagues, decided to try out making a blog into a virtual work log with student workers and supervisors as authors. This format is much easier and more enticing for the students to follow (being internet savvy and technologically capable, students often disdain having to use physical paper). For us as supervisors it does many things:
  • All work log information is in one place
  • Transparency, all students and supervisors can see each others posts
  • Communication, supervisors can ask questions of students to hold them accountable
  • Students can ask questions of supervisors
  • Supervisors can keep track of students remotely
Since its inception a few months ago it has been very successful.