Quick & dirty outline of an intro to business research

Here is a draft outline I just created for a professor teaching an entrepreneurship class for Fine Arts students. Caveat being that these students are not business majors, so we have to spend more time explaining why each resource is useful and how to incorporate these sources in their assignments. Also, the bit about copyright is because they are Fine Arts students and the professor wanted me to cover this as well.
–> Please make sure students bring their devices or borrow laptops from the circulation desk to LB-322 <–
->Total duration: 150 minutes, which leaves room for a 15 minute break <-
1. Basic business & industry information
(20 min)
– Browse NAICS codes related to Fine Arts, enable students to discover their codes by engaging them to state their line of business
– Show the IBIS World system and present a sample report (uses NAICS codes)
– Show the SME Benchmarking system and a sample report (uses NAICS codes)
ACTIVITY: have students retrieve the IBIS World & SME Benchmarking reports. Troubleshoot NAICS codes & interface issues.
(15 minutes)
2. Basic market information
(15 minutes)
– Passport GMID
ACTIVITY: Can you identify one trend or statistic that can impact your project from either source?
(10 minutes)
3. Stats Can
(15 minutes)
– Census: know your neighbours!
– CANSIM: Household spending & more
– Mention SimplyMap but do not show it
ACTIVITY: What is the average household spending for your product? How do you define your market (geography, demographics, etc.)?
(10 minutes)
4. Articles (trends, major players…)
(20 minutes)
– ProQuest
– Business Source Complete
ACTIVITY: Locate one article (news, trade or academic) which relates to your project.
(15 minutes)
5. Copyright
(10 minutes)
– What does copyright mean for you?
– Using copyrighted content as part of your work
ACTIVITY: Read the terms of use of Facebook with the class. Engage in conversation with them about what this means. Focus on when they post their own content on FB & when they post content from others (without their consent). Orient the conversation to the distinction between professional work versus academic or personal projects (ethics, values, rules).
(20 minutes)

Preferences toward screencasting

Here is an the abstract of an interesting article looking at student prefeferences between lecture capture versus screencasting published in the International Journal of E-Learning and Distance Education:

Students’ Preferences for Types of Video Lectures: Lecture Capture vs. Screencasting RecordingsAlaa Sadik
The use of online videos as a supplement to traditional lectures or as a way to reach students at remote sites has become increasingly popular in higher education. Faculty and university technology centers have focused on approaches to recording and distributing online video lectures over the last ten years. Regardless of learning outcomes, the purpose of this study was to investigate students’ preferences for lecture capture and screencasting recordings as a supplement to classroom lectures. A questionnaire about video lecture format preferences was used to collect data about students’ preferences in two courses over a three-year period. The overall findings indicated that the majority of students rated screencasting recordings as better than lecture capture recordings in many aspects of video quality and usefulness. Factors affecting students’ preferences for screencasting and the implications of this preference have been reported.

Cheap and cheerful instructional videos

I have been trying out and testing different models to create instructional tutorials for the past few years. I provided an account of my last iteration in a post on this blog, called “Anatomy of a YouTube Tutorial” and “My gear to record a session“. I think I may have figured out a better way to do this, essentially optimizing the production cycle of the videos.

The gist of my most recent idea is still to use QuickTime on my Mac, an ancient MacBook Pro, but with a twist. Remember that QuickTime allows you to record the screen as well as make a video directly from your Mac using the on board camera and mic (I bought a self standing USB mic because the on broad mic sucks).

In that sense, I launch QuickTime and select File > New video. A window opens where I see myself in front of my Mac. I place this window in the corner of my screen and position my browser on the left and I fill the gap on the top right corner with a text file where I can place information (such as the outline of the talk).

The idea is to then launch File > New Screen Recording and the screen recording catches the “mirror image” of the video on the corner of my screen (I never actually record the video of my face, I just use the image of it in the corner).

Here is what the screen looks like:

The point here is that I can generate one simple video file with 3 screens on it: a browser (or any other document), a text file (or any other filler information (actually, this could be a PPT, a script or anything really) and my face.

The only issue is that the table I use is not super stable and my laptop screen tends to wobble if I am not delicate in typing or putting my hands on the table. But this seems like a way to generate tutorials with minimal editing required..

DIY User feedback kit for the Indie games licensing for libraries project

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Follow the evolution of this project here:

Last year’s Arcade 11 brought an interesting mix of librarians, indie games developers as well as games scholars. Through conversations and exchanges of views, it quickly emerged that libraries required alternative models to make independent games available through their digital collections.

Purchasing born-digital copyrighted materials is a strong and emerging trend in libraries worldwide, but “general public” methods of dissemination do not offer the licensing and technological terms libraries require (Libraries cannot acquire born-digital materials from iTunes, Google Play or Amazon as it contradicts the licensing terms of these systems).

In that sense, the TAG team have set out to devise various prototyping models for the licensing and circulation of independent video games at libraries. The Knight Foundation (thank you so much!!!) has funded the creation of a video game console, which the prototype will be devised using over-the-counter inexpensive micro-computer components (with assistance from District 3). We will tap into the pool of graduate studens to build a seed collection of games for libraries as well as articulate some key knowledge points all librarians should know about digital games. Finally, we expect to test whether libraries are open to the idea of having these consoles circulate to users of their library system.

One of our team members thought of getting on-the-fly feedback from parents & kids visiting Arcade 11, our TAG (games) research center open house today & tomorrow… This week is reading week in the Province of Québec, and most k-12 kids are on vacation, so parents scramble to find cool activities to do with their kids. This is the perfect opportunity to great feedback from people visiting our space at Concordia Univerisity in Montréal!

Here is the kit I scrambled together by raiding the supply cabinet…
DIY user feedback kit
Also a pic of our concept prototype (version 0.1 or pre-pre-pre alpha) …
(Indie games licensing for libraries project)
Prototype o.1 or version pre-pre-pre alpha
… some folks playing at Concordia U’s Arcade 11
Folks playing a great game at Arcade 11 at Concordia University

Aussi en français:
Follow the evolution of this project here: