Because university is about taking safe risks

This is the introductory video I have just posted within my distant learning shared space with fellow students. Lockdown, distant learning, time zones constraints, all reflecting 21st Century challenges and opportunity to experiment in relative safety. In about a minute we were each asked to introduce your why in psychology.

An introductory experiment

Can two messages be offered together, one per mode of communication?

I took a few risks here. One of early transparency in offering more information than people needed to know. But it seemed contextually relevant – this is a psychology course after all.

The next risk was sailing as close to the boundary of the brief as I dared. Video format was required – but I decided that didn’t mean I had to be in it, just the subject of interest.

The final risk was the experiment. A double up of the content in the time frame. Could I sneak two messages into one. From my first MSc, a module on Visualisation of data introduced us to the work Edward Tufte, one of the stalwarts and pioneers of the craft. My professor taught us to be bold and to present as much as can be understood in the space; Tufte taught me that using two modes for one data representation was a waste. Why therefore feel compelled to use visual and sound mediums to convey the same thing? The answer is of course that the density and comparison offered can become confused, and all can be lost. As this was a brief message, and as I suspect all can listen then watch, or watch and then listen, I could leave it to the user to decide if either or neither message could be followed via watching, or listen, and maybe both.

There are no marks awarded for this presentation. So my only real risk is one of reputation, or confusion, or both. All are retrievable, or perhaps rightly earned, so I dared to be different in a control environment in which I immediately feel safe (per the lessons from sociology via Tracy Brower, that I blogged at length about yesterday and the day before).

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About Me

In psychology we are required to look beneath the mask. This blog series is attempting to unmask some hidden parts of projects to engender a more collaborative way.

Find my professional mask here: