Why is dissemination important?

Dissemination is a critical part of a project often overlooked. If you start your project by thinking about dissemination you won't forget to collect the baseline data.

Dissemination doesn't necessarily mean publication in a peer-reviewed journal. You can start with conferences (even internal ones, such as departmental presentations) and, if you are comfortable with social media (as will soon be a requirement of the job), blogs and web sites. Many educational journals in HE (but definitely not all) have a "light-touch" and supportive peer review regime. For publications in print or on line it is no longer sufficient to describe your project and evaluate it with a "happy sheet" but nor do you have to abandon your disciplinary career for that of a full-time educational research to achieve visibility. Some setting of your intervention within current practice or theory plus some evidence of achievement of goals (or reasons if not) and lessons learnt is often all that is needed.

Useful links:

The website wikiCFP (a Call for Papers wiki) has been set up listing all of the deadlines for papers to be submitted for conferences. Despite being targeted more towards conferences in the Science and Technology fields, it does also have a section on Education. it appears to be updated relatively regularly, so it may be worth keeping an eye on if you are aiming to disseminate your research externally.

If you do need extra funding to go to external educational conferences, the Staff Learning and Teaching Conference Travel Fund can offer funding between £50-£500 as long as the conference is aiding in learning and teaching dissemination.

The University of Leicester has launched a new journal: Journal of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (1st Edition 2017). This new journal replaces JETL (Journal for Excellence in Teaching and Learning) which is no longer supported.

The Higher Education Academy (HEA) often has a call for case studies and papers for conferences which run at multiple points throughout the year.

The Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) is involved in creating a community around promoting innovation and good practice in higher education. Like the HEA, SEDA holds conferences, and puts out a call for papers, though it also holds a number of publications, including the SEDA journal, Innovations in Education and Teaching International (IETI). Additionally, there is potential to get funded through SEDA to carry out staff and educational development (though please check the SEDA website for for more details on requirements and deadlines for this).

Academic Communities

There are also many different academic communities that you can join to talk about the research you are doing with other like-minded academics across different institutions.

For example, the Researching Advancing and Inspiring Student Engagement (RAISE) network is a network around student engagement. Note: you will need to log in/create an account to join any discussions.

The European First Year Experience Network (EYFEN) is a group of European academics and support staff who have the joint aim to support and improve the student experience as they join higher education. They hold an annual conference in a different city each year (2018 will be held in Utrecht University between 25th-27th June). To see the email discussion lists about this network, click here.

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