Dissemination strategies can be designed to express different levels of student autonomy over the communication of their work and varying levels of adeptness in effectively communicating scholarly findings to narrow or broad audiences. What follows are examples of dissemination methods you can consider when designing the final components of your URE.
Dissemination Methods (Spronken-Smith et al, 2013):
- Journal Clubs
This activity asks students to present their critical perspectives of journal articles published by other scholars. While they are presenting the work of other authors, students are also being tasked with presenting their unique thoughts on the work. This activity can be done in pairs or teams with the instructor reviewing the articles students submit for critical analysis to ensure variety.
- Poster sessions
Inviting students to present their findings from a small scale research project through a poster either to their classmates or broader audiences like other students in the discipline, instructors from the field, or in a gallery open to the campus community affords an opportunity to scaffold dissemination towards broader audiences. These enable students to refine their oral presentation skills and practice distilling complex disciplinary concepts into lay terms.
Undergraduate specific research conferences provide a professionally accurate but educationally safe environment for students to disseminate their research findings and open up their work to broader scrutiny. These conferences can be department wide, institution wide, or national. All levels afford students experience in disseminating their work to greater exposure with high levels of student autonomy. Conferences are also an effective environment for practicing networking skills.
Undergraduate research journals invite students to communicate their research in professionally realistic ways that afford opportunities to refine their scholarly writing skills. This method of dissemination also provides students with experience on the publication process. There are a variety of journal types with different levels of peer-reviewed rigour that instructors can choose from based on subject matter, student skill and experience, and desired level of exposure.
- Product Launches
Disciplines amenable to project-based work and product development such as engineering and business can consider product launches in which students are invited to introduce broad audiences to their final product and invite scrutiny based on professional standards. These can also be designed as a competition with standards based on professional realistic criteria that can be assessed by industry experts. This method of dissemination fosters high levels of student autonomy and provides authentic experiences pertinent to students' future careers.
Alternative Dissemination Methods
Alternative dissemination methods refer to more creative, less academically or professional authentic means of knowledge dissemination that challenge students to creatively distill their scholarly work in more unconventional ways.
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