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Summary of the 4th Project Managers ODE

 

The fourth and last project managers Online Discussion Event will take place in the period 11th-13th November 2012 and will be moderated by Marisa Hernández. During the three day event the participating project managers are invited to express their opinion on the Reach Out Toolkit developed within the DESIRE project. This Toolkit proposes recommendations to ease managers and researchers in STEM education projects the diffusion and exploitation of their outcomes to stakeholders.

 

This Online Discussion Event aims to present the results of the research carried out within the DESIRE project to understand how STEM education projects’ outcomes are currently disseminated and how they could be better communicated to different stakeholders. The outcomes of the research are briefly presented in a practical guide called Reach Out Toolkit based on the results of a survey and several discussion events were data from the main target groups (project managers, researchers, teachers, policy-makers, science communicators, science event organisers) active in STEM education were collected in the context of the DESIRE project.  

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

Marisa Hernandez

Marisa 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: STISSIKUITSEMaterials ScienceTRACES andECB/inGenious.

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A Toolkit on specific needs for dissemination and recommendations
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The research carried out within the DESIRE project identified the following needs for dissemination, as expressed by several target groups (project managers, researchers, teachers, policy makers, science communicators and science event organisers):

1. Time constraints
2. Resource constraints (e.g. funding, technology, human)
3. Lack of active involvement of the target audience
4. Underuse of already existing resources or networks
5. Low reach of the target audience (i.e. number or variety)
6. Language barriers
7. Barriers related to the style of dissemination channels
8. Lack of support from partners in the project
9. Lack of support from colleagues in one’s own context

The DESIRE Reach Out Toolkit includes recommendations based on the aforementioned needs. These recommendations constitue a synthesis of the suggestions coming from the different consulted target groups. Examples of these recommendations are the following:

1. Projects devoted to produce outcomes might be followed by projects specifically addressed to disseminate and exploit those results
2. Incentives (e.g. remuneration, recognition, training, equipment for school) should be provided to teachers and other stakeholders so that they engage in reaching and using projects’ outcomes
3. Stakeholders should be involved as intermediaries, ambassadors or members of an steering committee from the beginning of a project to act as multipliers at a regional/national level
4. Strong contact and cooperation should be established with local teacher training institutions and programmes, reference centres, databases (e.g. Scientix), and networks addressed to similar topics (e.g. ProCoNet). New teachers’ networks should be potentiated after the end of a project for scaling up
5. Mass media (e.g. newspapers) and social networks (e.g. local and international) should be used more often in order to have a larger impact among teachers. Conferences, seminars and workshops are one of the best ways to gain new knowledge and inform teachers and policy makers about projects.
6. Dissemination materials should be provided in other languages than English and more dissemination initiatives (e.g. conferences) should be organised at a local or regional level
7. Projects should document experiences and present them in a flexible way (e.g. case studies, scripts for teachers, movies of educational activities, evidence-based books for teachers) in order to spread good practice and generate adaptive processes so that stakeholders can learn from past experiences. Brief and concise messages may facilitate the communication between researchers and other stakeholders. The usability of some dissemination channels (e.g. websites) should be improved so that people do not get lost
8. Guidelines and support should be provided to stakeholders so that they can use what has been disseminated. These guidelines should take account of the curriculum, school organization, teachers’ current practices, etc.
9. Local consulting commissions should be developed involving teachers, researchers, students’ families, school principals and administrators, and other relevant actors

Do you consider they are applicable? Tell us your experience implementing any of these dissemination and exploitation strategies.
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RE: A Toolkit on specific needs for dissemination and recommendations
13/11/13 14:20 as a reply to Marisa Hernandez.
Marisa Hernandez:

1. Projects devoted to produce outcomes might be followed by projects specifically addressed to disseminate and exploit those results


This is nice idea indeed; however, it is always a bit frustrating to build a whole project proposal just for disseminating the last one... Another great mechanism would be that some successful projects receive extra-funding at the end for dissemination, and for sharing the successful experience with other project managers.
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RE: Research outcomes of the DESIRE project
14/11/13 14:58
A collaboration with project managers would be great for me personally that would help you can implement various projects financed with EU funds .
RE: Research outcomes of the DESIRE project
RE: A Toolkit on specific needs for dissemination and recommendations
RE: Research outcomes of the DESIRE project