Cover Letter: Crash Course Executive Producer

To Whom it May Concern:

I am pleased to apply for the Executive Producer position with Crash Course. I am currently a PhD researcher, in my final year, at the King’s College London (KCL) department of Digital Humanities (DH). I research the sustainability of digital communities in the libraries, archives, and museums sector and the impact that crowdsourcing has on isolation and loneliness.

In my capacity as a Team Coordinator at the National Archives and Records Administration as well as Head of Archives for St Dunstan’s Educational Foundation I have years of experience managing teams, developing and executing projects, and particular expertise with creating teams that execute digital projects. Starting as far back as when I was an Archives Technician, I have always taken the initiative to lead and to make for a collaborative and efficient workforce. Early on, I took the initiative to develop a new training methodology for my team mates which they widely reported as, “less frustrating than before” and brought our error rate down by 30%. This prompted an immediate promotion to Team Coordinator where I was responsible for the training and day to day management of employees working on processing and accessioning of new records as well as disposal of end of life cycle records. My team’s feedback was generally positive, and I received an award for excellent service at the end of my first year. After teaching a new generation of archivists at Stevenson University, I returned to the field as a Head of Archives with a vision for groundbreaking digital projects. In my time with St Dunstan’s I created the physical archive by bringing together loose collections housed on premises, acquiring donations previously made to local archival offices, and re-connecting the alumni association with the educational foundation and processing their deposits. From this foundation I designed a process to recruit and train volunteers who would become responsible for directing the digital strategy of the archive. This unique approach would connect the people most affected by the accessibility of digital assets to the actual process of creating and exhibiting those assets. This required a blend of teaching and team management skills previously attained but also my specific expertise in digital collections management that I started working on in 2010 and will complete my PhD in this year. As of this writing that digital archive has undertaken its largest project completely under the leadership of the volunteers I trained and encouraged to take such bold action.

My area of expertise is online course design for educating non-traditional students, such as mature students, career development or retraining, part-time, and EAL. My teaching has covered history, public history, digital humanities, archives, and research skills. In my role at Stevenson University I designed introductory survey history courses and courses for a certificate in digital archives and research. I designed and taught modules in digital asset management, historic preservation, and critical media analysis. In my twelve years of teaching in higher education I have earned a reputation among students and colleagues as a supportive educator who emphasizes the applicable value of my lessons to real life situations. With such extensive online education experience, I have worked to make my assessment feedback of the utmost quality because it is often the primary point of contact with students. Students report to me that they find my feedback especially valuable because it makes clear where their strengths and areas of improvement are and how to build themselves up in a fulfilling way. In formal feedback, other students have reported that when they reflected on my comments, it gave them a greater sense of self-confidence about their next set of assessments. The quality of my feedback and assessment scaffolding were noted as significant contributions to my receipt of the Fellow status with the Higher Education Academy in 2019. Additionally, I reserve extra time every week to meet with current and former students from to help them balance their academic needs with the pressures of identity, mental health, and disability. I also take strides to be open to and create many opportunities to work across disciplines. This cross disciplinary approach is reflected in my current research with KCL on the impact of crowdsourcing on mental health and welling being. Creating those connections with the NHS and the mental health charity sector is important for making clear the personal value of cultural heritage research.

 

I’m confident that Crash Course would be an ideal environment to grow a multi-faceted community shared between professional experts and an enthusiastic public. I am especially looking forward to creating an environment where a wide range of ideas and people can contribute equitably. Thank you for your consideration and please do contact me if you have any further questions.

 

Sincerely,

Andrew Johnstone