23 Things Overview

What is 23 Things?

23 Things is a self-directed course that is facilitated by the Researcher Development Programme at the University of Surrey. It aims to expose you to a range of digital tools that could help you in your professional development as a researcher, but also in your personal development as an employable individual.

The aim is for you to spend a little time each week building up and expanding your online skills. We will give you plenty of information on how to do this.

Each week, we’ll talk about a couple of different online tools or resources, and we’ll encourage you to try them out and reflect on the exercise. If you plan your time well, you should be spending just a few hours a week for 10 weeks. When you finish, you’ll have a working knowledge of the most useful and relevant online tools for professionals and researchers, be running a successful blog, and have a new online network of peers and professionals.

You will also receive a certificate of completion from the Researcher Development Programme, and be invited to attend a small party for yourself and your fellow bloggers.

23 Things for Research at Surrey is an updated version of 23 Things for Research at Oxford, which is inspired by the first 23 Things Oxford and based on the original 23 Things program which ran at the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County in the USA in 2006.


Who is it for?

The programme is open to all researchers at the University of Surrey, regardless of their position or status (staff, student, full time, part time, etc.). If you are not a member of the University, you are very welcome to participate in the programme, but you may not be eligible for support.

If you’re already an experienced social media and digital tool user, don’t worry! The ‘things’ cater for different levels of engagement, so you may find ways to take your digital communications even further.


How does it work?

To take part, you’ll need to set up your own blog (don’t worry – we’ll cover that right in the first week). You can then register your blog with us (we’ll explain that too) and use it to post reflections on the Things and your participation. If you already have a blog, you’re welcome to use that to participate instead.

We’ll add the URL of your blog to the site so that others can engage with you (and vice versa).


Do I have to set up a blog? What happens to it after the programme?

Reflective, open blogging is a core part of the programme. It is the medium for your involvement, and for creating the community of participants. It is also used to verify that you have completed the course.

You might be worried about privacy of your personal data, or of your online professional persona. You can use a pseudonym for your blog (and many of the other tools you register for) if you wish to remain publicly anonymous.

You are not required to keep your blog after the programme, although we encourage you to continue blogging as a medium for your personal impact and development, particularly your writing and communication skills.


How long do I have to complete the programme?

The programme is 10 weeks long and will be cycled several times a year (see the RDP website to find out when it starts). We encourage you to participate even if you need a bit more time, or need to start later than that. You are also welcome to work ahead if you like.


What if I need help?

Please ask! We’ll try to give clear instructions on each thing, but feel free to leave comments on the blog posts with questions, email us rdp@surrey.ac.uk or tweet us (@RDP_Surrey with the hashtag #23ThingsSurrey) and we’ll try to help. Since this programme is self-directed and we hope that researchers across all the University faculties will participate, we encourage you to look at what fellow participants are doing and ask them questions too!


Will there be any training classes offered to show people how to do this?

The 23 Things programme is self-directed, however our existing programme of workshops may help you to fit this course in with your schedule of research, for example our Time and Project Management workshop. See the RDP website for our current schedule of workshops.


Some content on the 23 Things for Research blog has been adapted from 23 Things for Research Oxford, 23 Things Oxford, 23 Things for Professional Development and DH23Things under their Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, as well as from the 23 Things for the Digital Professional Blog with the permission of Emma Crag and Mark Carrigan.



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