Daniel Pitti

L-85: Publishing EAD Finding Aids
12-16 June 2006


1)   How useful were the pre-course readings?

1: The readings were very good. They gave me a good start on the class. 2: Very useful to get a general familiarity with the language. Even more so was the instructor’s asterisk emphasizing readings students should focus particular attention to completing. 3: The readings were helpful, particularly the intro readings. The advanced readings will be more helpful and meaningful in the future. 4: Useful, but difficult to understand everything. Probably will be much more comprehensible after taking the course. 5: They were useful but slightly difficult to comprehend until we began working with the software on the stylesheets. 6: Very helpful in giving a good overview. 7: The readings were challenging. I plan to revisit them now that I have a much better sense of how XSLT works. 8: Very useful.


2)   Were the course syllabus and other materials distributed in class useful (or will they be so in the future, after you return home)?

1: The course materials included exercises that are helpful to be able to review. 2: Yes. Knowing there will be a large file replicating much of the software and documents used and created in class is even more helpful. 3: Yes, very. 4: Yes. 5: Yes, all of the materials will be valuable references when I begin working on my own stylesheets. 6: Yes. The handouts will definitely come in handy at home. Also, the software and files will be put to use. 7: Yes. Every time I look at the readings I understand them more. The articles chosen were clear, but not overly simplistic. I plan to refer to them again. 8: Yes.


3)   What aspects of the course content were of the greatest interest or relevance for your purposes? Was the intellectual level of the course appropriate?

1: I was very interested in the x query and F. O. Sections. 2: Creating and implementing XSLT transformation documents and X Query/ X Path expressions. 3: I appreciated that there was a mix of introductory theory, application, and hands-on work (and problem solving). 4: All of it was of great interest and relevance. Intellectual level was appropriate. 5: The entire course was relevant. The intellectual level was appropriate. There were several times when the topic discussed was complex, but DP always offered additional explanations to make sure everyone understood the topic. 6: All aspects were interesting and will be useful when I return home. The course was challenging, but not too much so. I learned a lot, and feel like I actually absorbed most of it -- didn’t hit “overload” point. 7: At my institution, I will be tasked with creating stylesheets to display our EAD finding aids, so this was most useful. The course material was difficult at times, but the instructor made sure that everyone in the class grasped the material. 8: I enjoyed the hands-on nature of the course. General discussions on the topic would not have been nearly as instructive.


5)   What did you like best about the course?

1: The wit and humor of the instructor. Excellent pace of instruction during the week. 2: Feeling like I’ve learned a lot after one week. 3: I liked the comfortable environment fostered by an excellent instructor. The pace and content of the class were just right, too. 4: Instructor. 5: The hands-on approach. All of the examples we worked on and stylesheets we created were valuable references. We stared with basic encoding and built upon the same documents so we could trace our progress. 6: DP is a great instructor. He’s very engaging and extremely helpful. I also enjoyed the help of the other students. Because the class was somewhat informal, we were able to help each other with projects whenever DP was working with another student. 7: DP is knowledgeable about the subject matter and a very good instructor. He balanced the class well between theory and concrete examples, making sure that everyone understood, but still making efficient use of class time. 8: A very knowledgeable instructor and a friendly, upbeat group attending the class.


6)   How could the course have been improved?

1: FYI, the space bar on ALD 410-502 sticks. 2: If the class was extended one more week to be able to bring a finding aid from our institution and create a full XSLT document to transform it into HTML and PDF. 3: No improvements! It’s well-balanced and thorough as is! 4: More time. 5: Allow students to raise any question they may have relevant to stylesheets at their institution. 6: N/A. 7: I can’t think of anything. 8: I don’t know, other than extending its length another day or two. Some additional quizzing on concepts might also have been useful.


8)   If you attended the Sunday and/or Monday night lectures, were they worth attending?

3: Yes -- although for those traveling long distances, dinner on Sunday was not satisfactory. It would be helpful to know up front that it would be a light supper only so we could eat ahead if hungry. 4: Yes. 5-7: N/A. 8: Monday was quite good, but Sunday might have been a little better.


10) Did you get your money’s worth? Any final thoughts?

1: Yes, this is an excellent class. The information will be very beneficial in publishing EAD. 2: Yes. Try and finish as much of the reading as possible. Personally, I found it hard to get through without any context, but it really helps once you sit down in front of the computer. 3: Yes. It was a great experience, and I think it was priced appropriately. Suggestion. If possible, it might be nice to have coffee break or receptions outside when the weather permits. IT was sometimes hard to decide between coffee and sunshine at break! :) 4: Yes, it was worth the money. The daily schedule was really well done, with sufficient time for breaks and lunch. These were much needed, as the course itself was somewhat intense. For future students -- come well rested! 5: Absolutely! This has been one of the most useful and informative courses I have taken. 6: Definitely. Don’t be discouraged from taking this course if you don’t have a very strong technical background. Basic knowledge of EAD and HTML are all that you need. Beyond that, the class is conducted in a way that allows you to learn the details as you go -- it’s a building process, and the instructor completely understands that! 7: Absolutely! I would definitely consider taking other courses from this instructor. 8: Definitely worth it. I will be recommending the program and looking for other applicable classes.

Number of respondents: 8


Leave                       Tuition                    Housing                   Travel

Institution                 Institution                 Institution                 Institution

gave me leave            paid tuition               paid housing              paid travel

100%                          100%                          100%                          100%

I took vaca-                I paid tui-                  I paid for my              I paid my own

tion time                    tion myself                 own housing              travel

0%                              0%                              0%                              0%

N/A: self-                   N/A: Self-                   N/A: stayed                N/A: lived

employed, re-             employed,                  with friends               nearby

tired, or had              retired, or                  or lived at

summers off              scholarship                home

0%                              0%                              0%                              0%

There were five archivist/manuscript librarians (63%), and three “others” (37%). Of those marked “other”, one was a digital librarian, one was a part time grad student/part time library paraprofessional, and one was a cataloguer/metadata specialist.