There has been a lot of talk lately about how academics can use social media to share their emerging research and make more direct recommendations to the practitioners who might benefit from knowing their results.* Too much important research is buried in academic journals that practitioners cannot access (and written in language that isn’t relatable), so it’s quite useful for experts to gather their work together in one place and make it more accessible.
I’ve recently been looking more closely at how academics share their research agendas and results with a wider audience. Here are a few examples of how this can be accomplished. These give me lots of inspiration for sharing my own work along with great insight into important topics that are of interest to me.
Retrieval Practice, by Dr. Pooja K. Agarwal. This site provides clear guidance on what retrieval practice is and why it’s important. It’s a great example of translating research for practice, making recommendations freely available. The information is based on Dr. Agarwal’s research, but she also links to articles and books by other writers who have helpful material on the topic as well.
The Community of Inquiry site, compiled by Dr. Randy Garrison, Dr. Marti Cleveland-Innes, and Dr. Norm Vaughan. This site overviews the community of inquiry framework, a widely-cited model that helps people to conceptualize how to facilitate engaging educational experiences. I applaud the sheer scope of this site, which ranges from overview materials to exhaustive lists of research papers and articles on the subject.
Dr. Herminia Ibarra. Dr. Ibarra is a researcher from INSEAD whose is an expert on professional and leadership development, and she’s written a few of my favorite books. (I especially related to Working Identity.) Professor Ibarra is listed on Thinkers 50 as one of the most influential business gurus in the world. Her site certainly serves to promote her books, but it also brings together articles and videos that are freely accessible. This site has a very modern look and feel. I am grateful for the way that it allows you to filter the material according to the aspect of Dr. Ibarra’s work that is of most interest to you.
I recognize that it takes work to put these kinds of sites together. However, in some instances, a single web page with a solid synthesis of findings and recommendations along with links to the original research would be just as useful to practitioners. To be most impactful, these kinds of sites need to be more than a listing of all relevant research studies; the plain-English recommendations for practice that come out of a research agenda is what practitioners crave.
As a strong advocate for scholarly practice, I am always on the lookout for great material that gives practitioners well-grounded advice and that makes research on a topic easier to find and access. I am sure there are many other such examples, and I’d be happy to hear of additional researcher’s sites through comments.
* For a discussion of academic social media, see Mark Corrigan’s work as an example.