|Researching Digital Identity||Recognising My DI||HE students||Workshop|
|Workshop comprising three parts:
|3 hours (can also work in 1.5 hours, if a set of guidelines on how to search for someone are provided)|
|This workshop was run with 2nd year IT students at our university. We described a scenario, in which the students were ‘spies’ who had to find information on a ‘target’ without the help of their HQ (which had a ‘mole’ and had to be considered as compromised).In the first part of the workshop, they had to go through a theoretical problem solving process and come up with a plan of how they would find information on someone using existing web tools. They had to write down the steps they would take, in the form of an algorithm or ‘recipe’. To help them consider some of the issues involved with finding information, they were given an example person to try to find information about. Shirley Williams described the scenario as “John Smith came to visit us here at the university recently – you need to develop the process by which you can build a dossier on him”.There are two key elements in this scenario description which bear some explanation. John Smith is a very common name, and just searching for the name itself will not provide focussed results. Most students realised the problem and were asking for further hints, whilst some appeared to think that it was OK to build a dossier based on results about anyone called John Smith! After a reasonable time had elapsed, giving the students time to come up with potential solutions to the problem, they were given the additional hint that they would probably benefit from using the context of the question (Shirley Williams said John Smith came to visit us recently at the university).
In the second part, the students were given the two workshop facilitators to build dossiers on. In this case, this meant building a dossier on Pat Parslow and Shirley Williams. The main difference between these two test cases is that searches for “Shirley Williams” need to have contextual information (e.g. University of Reading) to return useful results, whereas searches for “Pat Parslow” are almost all about the relevant individual (with 2 main exceptions).
|Some students managed to find a lot of online resources to help them with their searches. In some cases, the availability of information (particularly if you are willing to make a small payment for access to some data) was a cause for concern for them. Generally, participants showed an increasing awareness of: