Abstract: Anti-intellectualism is growing. As scholars, we must accept responsibility to share our work beyond academic circles by mobilizing knowledge. However, despite the powerful role knowledge mobilization can play in developing a relevant and impactful research agenda, how to mobilize knowledge is rarely discussed. In this presentation, the Talking About Design (TAD) group, a micro-community of like-minded scholars interested in design and education, will tell the story about how a graduate class project evolved into a community of practice focused on promoting dialogue about education and design. The group, supported by faculty but primarily driven by graduate students, not only developed theory around design and education, but explored the relevance of the theory through public scholarship. The group launched a website, produced a webinar series, presented at conferences, published multiple papers, and won small grants. In this presentation, we will dispense practical advice concerning mobilizing knowledge through public scholarship: blogging, communicating with guest speakers, finding funding, managing multiple projects, and lastly, sustaining engagement despite competing interests and busy schedules. We will also explore how the university created a space for the TAD group to form and how the faculty mentor supported its development.
Attendees should leave with an understanding of:
• How the project developed and evolved
• Our processes, including how often we meet and how we structure effective meetings amidst busy schedules
• How our community has supported the development of impactful and relevant theory and communicated this theory to the public
We will also demonstrate the tools we use: WordPress, Google Team Drive, Slack, Zoom with YouTube Streaming, and Google Analytics
The session will combine storytelling with practical tutorials. It will discuss the key questions that we faced and the decisions that we made:
1. How do we get started? (Introduction)
2. How do we develop a scholarly agenda and theoretical framework? (Exploring the theory)
3. Who do we want to reach? (Our initial book idea)
4. What is the best way to reach our audience? (From a book to a blog)
5. How do we actually do this? (Finding website help)
6. How do we organize the workflow? (Learning to manage ourselves)
7. Mini-tutorial: Google team drives
8. Mini-tutorial: Slack
9. How do we ensure quality? (Preparing for launch)
10. Mini-tutorial: WordPress
11. How do we stay relevant? (Sustaining enthusiasm)
12. How do we continue to revise our theoretical framework? (Updating our theory to be more relevant and actionable)
13. Who reads our work and why? (Learning to market)
14. Mini-tutorial: Google Analytics
15. Mini-tutorial: Writing blog posts that work
16. What else can we do? (Hosting design salons)
17. Mini-tutorial: Webinars
18. Where do we go from here? (Conclusion)
Interest in public scholarship and amplifying your research
The Talking About Design team created a website (talkingaboutdesign.com), blog, and webinar series that discusses design and education.
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