Project managers Project managers

The discussion is closed now. However, if you think something should have been said during the ODE,  you are welcome to add it to one the discussion threads.

 

Welcome to the first DESIRE Online Discussion Event for project managers. The discussion is open from 17 to 19 September 2012 and is moderated by Marisa Hernandez from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain.

The themes to be discussed during the events:

Day 1
The first day will focus on the various communication channels project managers usually use to find out about results from science education projects.

Day 2
On the second day, participants will discuss their experience in communication and disseminating results of their projects.

Day 3
The third day will aim at identifying best practices in disseminating STEM project results to target audiences.

Document Library Document Library

Folder # of Folders # of Documents  
documents
Subfolders: Publications
1 43
Showing 1 result.

Meet the expert - Marisa Hernández Meet the expert - Marisa Hernández

Marisa HernandezMarisa Hernandez is a research assistant and member of the Executive Board of the Centre for Research in Science and Mathematics Education (CRECIM) of the Universitat Autònoma of Barcelona, Spain. She  has a BA in Physics and PhD in Science Education.

With a staff of 9 full-time employees, 5 part-time secondary school teachers, and 3 PhD students, CRECIM manages a number of national projects and local initiatives on science and technology education. They cover a broad range of topics, from digital classrooms in science lessons (ADIGIC) and technology enhanced science learning for children in hospital (TEACH); to school-university (REVIR) and school-industry (Prat de la Riba) collaboration.

On the European scene, CRECIM has been actively involved in the management of several EU-funded projects: STISS, IKUITSE, Materials Science, TRACES and ECB/inGenious.

 

Categories (Project managers) Categories (Project managers)
Combination View Flat View Tree View
Threads [ Previous | Next ]
Your best and worst experience about dissemination
toggle
What has been your best experience disseminating the results of a project?
What is your worst experience of communicating project results? Why?
Flag Flag
RE: Your best and worst experience about dissemination
18/09/12 11:59 as a reply to Marisa Hernandez.
From our experience at European Schoolnet, one of the best ways to raise awareness of teachers is word of mouth. For example in the Nanoyou project, the Pilot schools have communicated the project to their peers, local media, and authorities. They have organised information days to explain to other schools the outcomes of Nanoyou as well as Nanodays where other students see what a nanoyou class has learned during the year.
The effect of this “peer to peer” dissemination has showed its effect in different ways:
• The interest to take part in Nanoyou has dramatically increased (from 87 applicants in 2009 to 350 applicants in 2010)
• Schools from the regions of the pilot schools are very actively applying to be part of the project.
• European Schoolnet was receiving daily inquiries from teachers interested in being part of the project.
Flag Flag
RE: Your best and worst experience about dissemination
18/09/12 12:38 as a reply to Maite Debry.
We had similar experience in Nanochannels . The teachers/schools involved in the projects served as a kind of 'Ambassadors' of the project in their country and communicated the activities and results of the project to their colleagues and media in the language of their country.

The teachers knew who to contact and what channels to use to get the message across, however there seems to be no 'general blueprint': what works in one country, may turn out it be quite inefficient in another. The local knowledge is the key...
Flag Flag
RE: Your best and worst experience about dissemination
18/09/12 12:44 as a reply to Maite Debry.
Maite Debry:
From our experience at European Schoolnet, one of the best ways to raise awareness of teachers is word of mouth. For example in the Nanoyou project, the Pilot schools have communicated the project to their peers, local media, and authorities. They have organised information days to explain to other schools the outcomes of Nanoyou as well as Nanodays where other students see what a nanoyou class has learned during the year.
The effect of this “peer to peer” dissemination has showed its effect in different ways:
• The interest to take part in Nanoyou has dramatically increased (from 87 applicants in 2009 to 350 applicants in 2010)
• Schools from the regions of the pilot schools are very actively applying to be part of the project.
• European Schoolnet was receiving daily inquiries from teachers interested in being part of the project.


The schools were actively sharing their experience on the blog we had set for them. It is still online, you can check it here: Nanoyou Bloghttp://blog.eun.org/nanoyou/
Flag Flag
RE: Your best and worst experience about dissemination
18/09/12 12:49 as a reply to premysl velek.
premysl velek:
The local knowledge is the key...

I agree with Premysl on this point. In ITEC the role of National Coordinators has been key to reach the target audience.
When we had a first group of teachers, peer contact and sharing of experience was what helped us to create a wider network.
National Coordinators use very different methods to reach out to teachers, those that seem most effective and used are Twitter, Facebook and the website of the Ministry of Education in their country.
Flag Flag
RE: Your best and worst experience about dissemination
18/09/12 13:31 as a reply to Patricia Muñoz King.
Thanks for sharing your good experiences disseminating a project!

Within our context, one of the best experiences concerning dissemination consists of organizing workshops for teachers who are taking a training course during the academic year. The seminars that they attend weekly are organized by a (regional) public institution (not the Ministery), which is in charge of continuous professional development. You, as a researcher or project manager, can offer a workshop during one of the sessions. There you present results from your project to a number of active in-service teachers, who can (in some cases) become in turn disseminators of the results (resources, events, etc) to their colleagues.

Of course, the format of these workshops or seminars needs to be mainly in the native language and needs to be appealing and practical enough to them so that they are willing to understand and try to apply some of these results. However, the number of people you reach in these sessions is reduced (20-30 teachers) and most of them come from schools which are near the place where the training takes place.

Communities of practice formed by teachers, researchers, designers of educational materials among others are also one of the best ways to share knowledge and products resulting from a project. However, if they are face-to-face periodic events, as the ones we have been involved in, they involve few people because they demand very active participation.

What about the incentives? How is the effort of these national coordinators or ambassadors about whom you were talking recognized?
Flag Flag
RE: Your best and worst experience about dissemination
18/09/12 13:51 as a reply to Marisa Hernandez.
Marisa Hernandez:
Thanks for sharing your good experiences disseminating a project!

Within our context, one of the best experiences concerning dissemination consists of organizing workshops for teachers who are taking a training course during the academic year. The seminars that they attend weekly are organized by a (regional) public institution (not the Ministery), which is in charge of continuous professional development. You, as a researcher or project manager, can offer a workshop during one of the sessions. There you present results from your project to a number of active in-service teachers, who can (in some cases) become in turn disseminators of the results (resources, events, etc) to their colleagues.

Of course, the format of these workshops or seminars needs to be mainly in the native language and needs to be appealing and practical enough to them so that they are willing to understand and try to apply some of these results. However, the number of people you reach in these sessions is reduced (20-30 teachers) and most of them come from schools which are near the place where the training takes place.

Communities of practice formed by teachers, researchers, designers of educational materials among others are also one of the best ways to share knowledge and products resulting from a project. However, if they are face-to-face periodic events, as the ones we have been involved in, they involve few people because they demand very active participation.

What about the incentives? How is the effort of these national coordinators or ambassadors about whom you were talking recognized?


The workshops you are mentionning seem to be a very good way to communicate your project results to teachers and ensure they actually use them in their teaching. It is also a good way to make sure teachers benefiting from your training activities, then act as ambassador among their peers. It is actually one of the incentive for the National Coordinators we have in our projects: The fact that they benefit from training given by experts and researchers.

Another incentive is the fact that we remunarate the teachers acting as ambassadors/national Coordinators. They also benefit from the fact to be part of a community of teachers sharing their own experience at national level.
Flag Flag
RE: Your best and worst experience about dissemination
18/09/12 14:04 as a reply to Maite Debry.
What about the time these teachers need to carry out these dissemination tasks? Some teachers claim to have some time reduced from teaching so that they can devote some time to these tasks, which are also so necessary. This request also has to do with designating specific people to be in charge of dissemination tasks. In your context, who are usually in charge of carrying out dissemination tasks: you (project managers), teachers involved in the project, experts on communication, ...?

What is your experience in each case?
Flag Flag
RE: Your best and worst experience about dissemination
18/09/12 14:42 as a reply to Marisa Hernandez.
Best experienec is a podcast on a website.It prompted a lot of enquiries about the project.
Denise
Flag Flag
RE: Your best and worst experience about dissemination
18/09/12 14:49 as a reply to Denise Whitelock.
Nice strategy. I am curious about it. How did you disseminate the website so that the target audience was aware of it?
Could you tell us more about the content of these podcasts that prompted enquiries about the project?
Flag Flag
RE: Your best and worst experience about dissemination
18/09/12 17:24 as a reply to Marisa Hernandez.
I am coming to the discussion a bit late but I wanted to give my two cents on dissemination events.
We have tried workshops in schools and found that. albeit rewarding were very time consuming, i.e., it didn't work as a one off thing, no surprises here. Having said that, this is a kind of format that I suspect will not work for all projects. You really need to talk to the teachers' interests.
Flag Flag
RE: Your best and worst experience about dissemination
18/09/12 19:18 as a reply to Jaume Ametller.
Jaume Ametller:
We have tried workshops in schools and found that. albeit rewarding were very time consuming, i.e., it didn't work as a one off thing, no surprises here. Having said that, this is a kind of format that I suspect will not work for all projects. You really need to talk to the teachers' interests.


I completely agree with you, Jaume. Although all projects are based on a problem that it is intended to be solved or on a gap which is intended to be bridged, not all the stakeholders see the problem or the gap from the same perspective or have the same priorities. Then, I wonder whether an important part of a dissemination plan should consist of involving potential stakeholders from the beginning to try to reconcile points of view from all parts, to understand the needs of practitioners and to agree how to approach the problem or need. I really like the idea of taking into account the contributions of a panel of stakeholders. I have many questions about it, though:
- How do you select them?
- What is the channel for interacting with this panel of stakeholders?
- What are the requirements and incentives for these stakeholders?
Flag Flag
RE: Your best and worst experience about dissemination
19/09/12 22:59 as a reply to Marisa Hernandez.
Having come to this late, I find it very interesting to see that the most posts are against this thread - 107 posts? I think it is good illustration of the strength of the title or tag line, to create people's interest. The best and worst, is similar to 'lists', which are also very popular. The top 10 of this, etc. So I think it shows the title is all important in catching people's interest in successful dissemination.
Flag Flag
Latest discussions Latest discussions
RE: What to disseminate?
19/09/12 17:15
I also consider that we should choose carefully the channel and the format to disseminate our project results to different stakeholders.

I recall now attending a conference about knowledge transfer, where there was a policy-maker from the European Commission. She told the audience, mainly constituted by researchers and project managers, that one common mistake concerning dissemination of results is to send them (policy-makers) large reports and mainly at the end of the project instead of policy briefings or similar documents which have been revised and agreed with policy-makers during the lifetime of the project.

Regarding teachers, I agree with Maite that teachers are interested in knowing ways to effectively implement in class the products (e.g. educational materials) resulting from a project. However, if the resulting products have been pilot tested in class and there exist research results about how the products work in real settings and how to use them quite efficiently, then I wonder what it is a good format to disseminate these products to other teachers. You need to include specific materials that have been developed within the project accompanied by recommendations on how to use them, possible difficulties that teachers may encounter, the aims of these materials, etc. Are there formats that work well for you to communicate your results to teachers?
RE: What to disseminate?
19/09/12 16:03
When communicating your project to teachers, I believe it is important to explain concretely the contributions he/she can give and how the tools/resources/method can practically be impemented in class for example (incl. time needed, target age group, ...)

An important information to provide is also the link that can be done with the curriculum.
RE: What to disseminate?