Monday, December 8, 2014

Taxonomy Courses

I have been teaching workshops on how to create taxonomies for over seven years. Coming up in the winter and spring of 2015 I am offering more kinds of workshops and learning options than ever before. I had offered customized corporate onsite workshops in the past, but since I don’t have the time for that any more, it makes sense to accept opportunities to offer general training in taxonomies. I don’t intend to offer directly competing course offerings, so this blog post aims to outline the differences between these various taxonomy courses.

The differences are primarily in learning approach (online or in-person, synchronous or asynchronous), the depth of instruction, cost, and convenience. The audience focus of each is not substantially different. The level in most cases is primarily “advanced beginner.” Prior exposure or use of taxonomies, general training in library/information science, and/or work in related fields such as information architecture, metadata, records management, indexing, content management, digital asset management, etc., is highly beneficial. No such background, however, does not preclude participation, but may make it a little more challenging. Prior experience in creating or editing taxonomies, on the other hand, does not necessarily make you too advance for the classes, as your experience may be limited to just one kind of taxonomy. The only difference is the SLA full-day course, which is aimed more directly at beginners. The workshops are also suitable for both practitioners and managers.

Simmons College School of Library and Information Science continuing education workshop

5-week online workshop with next available session in March 2015, and likely another two or three times later in the year.  Description, Registration
Benefits:
- Individual feedback on submitted assignments.
- Simmons College certificate and record of completion
- Access to free trial of taxonomy management software which you could not get on your own (in - additional to others, which you could get a 30-day trial on your own)
- Opportunity to email questions and get answers
- Greater learning opportunity through assignments and feedback and more material to read
Disadvantages:
- Limited space, usually filling up a month or more in advance (January 2015 session filled)
- A greater total time commitment and over a specific period of time
- Inability to easily save formatted lessons. While you can copy lesson content for your own purposes, the Moodle platform does not offer an easy way to save lessons in the original formatting.

American Society for Indexing Online Learning: “Practical Taxonomy Creation”

Three weekly one-hour sessions, January 14, 21, and 28, 2015, and/or recordings, Description, Registration
Benefits:
- Live phone Q&A
- Unlimited capacity. Sign up at the last minute and still get in. Or register after the live session for access to the recording.
- Limited time commitment
- Option to attend some live and some as recording, if not all sessions fit in your schedule.
- Access to the presentation and recording for unlimited repeated viewings/listening
Disadvantages:
- No individualized assignment feedback
- Topics that are not core not covered due to limited time
- Less learning time (excluding webinar replays)
- Limited time for questions

American Society for Indexing conference 3-hour workshop: “Topics in Taxonomy Creation”

Either April 30 or May 1 (TBD) in Seattle, WA, Description, Registration
Benefits:
- In-person learning experience
- Personal connection with me the instructor and other participants for better networking
- May interrupt the presentation with questions (unlike the webinar in which you must wait for the Q&A time)
- Live demos of taxonomy management software
- Copy of the slides and handouts to keep
Disadvantages:
- Travel time and costs to Seattle
- Required registration for conference (no separate workshop registration)
- Limited instruction time and content

SLA conference full-day (8 hours) conference continuing education workshop: “Introduction to Taxonomy”

Saturday, June 13, 2013, Boston, MA, Description, Registration
Benefits:
- Appropriate for complete beginners
- In-person learning experience
- Personal connection with me the instructor and other participants for better networking
- May interrupt the presentation with questions (unlike the webinar in which you must wait for the Q&A time)
- Live demos of taxonomy management software
- Copy of the slides and handouts to keep
- Ample live Q&A time
- Discounted student and retired SLA member pricing
Disadvantages:
- Travel time and costs to Boston
- A lot of material to digest if a short period of time

Why learn about taxonomies? It is a key tool/method/component of knowledge management and information management.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for this really helpful post. Your course in November at Simmons is full and I'd love to get started with my taxonomy education sooner than February. Do you have experience with the AIIM course, and if so, any feedback?
    http://www.aiim.org/Training/Certificate-Courses/Taxonomy-and-Metadata
    Thanks!

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  2. I don't have experience with the AIIM course to offer feedback on it. I do know that the course has had different instructors in the past, so a participant's experience may vary depending on who the instructor was. At this time it appears to be offered only as downloadable course, not live or interactive.

    Meanwhile, my 3-part webinar series, offered through the American Society for Indexing: "Practical Taxonomy Creation," remains available for purchase as a video-recording.http://www.asindexing.org/online-learning/taxonomy-hedden/
    You would have unlimited repeat access to it, unlike the AIIM course, which permits repeat access for only up to 6 months.

    Heather

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  3. Simmons College discontinued its continuing education program after June 2016, and there is no planned date for its return. In the meantime, I am offering the course as 5 web-based lessons independently through Hedden Information Management. http://www.hedden-information.com/taxonomy-workshop-online.htm

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