Student Volunteers Support the YAC
YAC-HQ frequently hosts students on their work placements. In return, we get some great support and fresh perspectives. Our most recent student, Rachel, has been working to help us create a plan to enhance the YAC website. Below she discusses what she has done and how it has helped her on her university course.
‘Hello, my name is Rachel, and I’m a postgraduate student in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York. I am studying Cultural Heritage Management which is a very varied course covering aspects of how we can present heritage and archaeology to the public and to get people involved in history.
As part of a work experience placement I was asked by YAC-HQ to carry out a digital review of the YAC website, identifying areas which require evaluation, offer recommendations for improvements and, where possible, prepare new content to add to the site. This aim compliments the current Council for British Archaeology's strategic objective of “Archaeology for all”, which intends to ensure everyone will know how they can enjoy, understand and care for the historic environment and why it matters by making the YAC website accessible, useful and entertaining to all who use it.
In order to review the website, I looked at each page, for example, the ‘What’s New’ page, and described its purpose. I then thought about ways it could be improved and listed my ideas as recommendations. I also used information from the annual census to understand what members and leaders think about the site and YAC in general and used these opinions to add further recommendations that would help meet any issues raised.
YAC-HQ will use this report to ensure that ideas for future improvements to the site are recorded and organised in advance of receiving funding so that it can be utilised in the most efficient way. For example, I compiled a list of all the ‘Join Us’ pages where individual branches put the information that relates directly to their group. Some clubs put lots of information on their sites, such as agendas for the year and lots of pictures of the fun things YAC members get up to. Others have simple sites that contain contact information and a little description about what to expect. YAC HQ can use this information to create a new template for the page, which includes all the useful information as well as being interesting and exciting to look at.
Finally, carrying out an audit of the YAC website and providing my recommendations has allowed me to put some of the things I have been learning on my course into practice. Involving the community in archaeology and helping them better understand their heritage is vital to protecting their history and an important step in this process is making sure the information is accessible and engaging. I hope to use the skills I have learned completing this project when designing websites and exhibits in future.’
If you are a YAC leader or assistant and you would like help with adding/refreshing the content on your branch page, please email us. We would also love to hear your feedback on the YAC website as well. Let us know what you have found useful, anything you would like us to add and any issues you have faced accessing the current resources on offer. Email email@example.com