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Abstract Title: Using blogs to make peer-reviewed research more accessible
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Abstract: Discipline-based education researchers produce knowledge that is aimed at helping instructors improve student learning and educational outcomes. Yet, the information produced may not even reach the educators it is intended to influence. Prior work has found that instructors often face barriers to implementing practices in peer-reviewed literature. Some of these barriers are related to accessing the knowledge in the first place such as difficulty finding and understanding research and a lack of time to do so. To lower these barriers, we created an online blog, [blinded], that summarizes recent discipline-based education research in short posts that use plain language. Having covered nearly 100 papers to date, we conducted a survey to see if we were addressing the need we had originally set out to address. We posted a 23-item survey on our website and received 24 usable responses. The results suggested that readers do generally agree that we are meeting our original goals. Readers reported that our articles were easier to understand and used more plain language than a typical discipline-based education research (DBER) journal article. At the same time, readers thought that all the important information was still included. Finally, readers said that this approach helped them keep up with DBER studies and read papers they otherwise wouldn't have. However, most readers did not indicate they changed their teaching and research practice as a result of reading our blog. Our results suggest that alternative methods of sharing research (e.g., non-peer reviewed publications or conference talks) can be an effective method of connecting research with practitioners, and future work should consider how we as a community might build on these efforts to ensure education research can make meaningful changes in the classroom.
Session Time: Poster Session 3
Poster Number: III-9
Contributed Paper Record: Contributed Paper Information
Contributed Paper Download: Download Contributed Paper

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Nicholas T. Young
Center for Academic Innovation, University of Michigan
and Co-Presenter(s)
Briley L. Lewis (she/her/hers), Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California Los Angeles

Emily Kerr (she/her/hers), Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University

Prasanth Nair (he/him/his), PERbites.org

Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster