Hello October! Another three months has gone by in the Data Literacy Program (DLP) here at the Alexandria Archive Institute (AAI). And you know that means it’s time to update y’all on our progress.
This quarter, our efforts centered on three goals. These were: writing a second data story, testing the first data story, and coordinating cool course collaborations during the fall semester.
We, of course, did more than that. We continued to post articles to the AAI News and presenting at the Teaching and Learning in Archaeology and Heritage Conference . And Meghan made the awesome background, seen below, we used in online meetings. Mostly, it was just cool to accomplish our goals.
While y’all might be tired of cows at this point, we aren’t! We herded our data story through multiple rounds of testing this quarter. This was a great chance to see how well our Evaluation Preparation Plan worked….and then realized that it didn’t.
While alpha testing gave us great feedback, like the fact that sometimes anti-virus software did not play well with PDFs, beta testing was a mooooot point. We only got one full response. However, it made us wonder what we need to do to make this evaluation process successful.
We kept those issues in mind as we started working on our next data story, Gabbing about Gabii. This data story looks at going from notes to data and then from data to narrative. And during this quarter we took the story from concept all the way through alpha testing!
For this round of alpha testing, we changed our data capture style in response to the limited engagement with the survey during the beta testing phase of Cow-culating. That way, when we went from alpha to beta testing, we didn’t change the collection pattern. Specifically, we altered the instructions so that testers go through the materials while taking the survey rather than a pre and post survey questionnaire.
If you’ve been following our work, it may seem like we moseyed along with the cows while we galloped towards Gabii. Well, the main reason for that is because we wanted to meet our last goal for this quarter, collaborations with folks outside of the AAI.
We knew that Cow-culating would be a fun tutorial, but what other stories and skills did we want to teach? Specifically, which ones are necessary for building data literacy? An important one, which rarely gets formal training in archaeology, is about converting notes into data. So, we pitched this idea to a few collaborators and they liked it.
Great! And they wanted it for their fall classes. Also, great! This meant that we had a deadline if we wanted to work with those collaborators. So we worked hard to guide Gabbing about Gabii towards being usable for others to use and it is!
So, with our goals accomplished and more in the works, we are happy with the progress that the DLP made in these few months. And we’re looking forward to closing out the year with a tidy crop of data stories and steps towards improving data literacy in archaeology.