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ROER4D Research Communications 15 Oct 2014 final


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Developing a research communications strategy for the Research in Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) in the Global South project.

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ROER4D Research Communications 15 Oct 2014 final

  1. 1. Developing a research communications strategy Sukaina Walji ROER4D Communications Adviser 15 October 2014 Audience analysis findings
  2. 2. Research on OER for Development  In what ways, and under what circumstances can the adoption of OER address the increasing demand for accessible, relevant, high-quality and affordable education and what is its impact in the Global South? in the Global South
  3. 3. ROER4D Objectives 1. Build an empirical knowledge base on the use and impact of OER in education 2. Develop the capacity of OER researchers 3. Build a network of OER scholars 4. Curate and communicate research to inform education policy and practice
  4. 4. ROER4D Communication and Evaluation supported by DECI-2 Ricardo Ramirez Dal Brodhead Wendy Quarry (IDRC DECI-2 Project) Julius Nyangaga (Kenya) Charles Dhewa (Zimbabwe) Sarah Goodier (Evaluation) Sukaina Walji (Communication) (South Africa)
  5. 5. DECI-2 Website http://evaluationandcommunicationin An IDRC funded research project to build and mentor Communication and Evaluation for IDRC flagship projects
  6. 6. Steps in the DECI-2 Research Communications process
  7. 7. Progress towards fine-tuning communications ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ In progress ✓ In progress The steps are iterative, not linear
  8. 8. ROER4D Process of developing communications strategy  Developing a communications strategy with DECI-2 team at Feb 2014 workshop
  9. 9. ROER4D Defining purposes, objectives, methods and media already using Purpose Media
  10. 10. ROER4D Clarifying audiences and matching purpose and media Media Audience Purpose
  11. 11. Continue to connect with DECI-2 team virtually to discuss progress
  12. 12. Four key Purposes for ROER4D Communications established at initial Communications workshop 1. Visibility for project 2. Knowledge generation 3. Networking 4. Research capacity development These have informed our communications activities
  13. 13. ROER4D Communications overview Internal communications External communications Resources Project events SlideShare Blog Twitter Facebook Page CMS (Vula) Website Email Virtual meetings (Skype, Adobe Connect) Conferences
  14. 14. ROER4D Website
  15. 15. Connect with researchers online to discuss and develop Question Harmonisation
  16. 16. Project resources on Vula
  17. 17. ROER4D website – blog
  18. 18. ROER4D website – resources
  19. 19. ROER4D SlideShare
  20. 20. ROER4D Twitter
  21. 21. ROER4D Facebook group
  22. 22. ROER4D
  23. 23. ROER4D in the news universityworldnews. com/article.php?story= 20140917111818454
  24. 24. ROER4D in a MOOC
  25. 25. Progress so far ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Just completed one iteration
  26. 26. Audience analysis activity August-September 2014  Objective: gain a better understanding of communications experience and needs of researchers in the ROER4D network, to not only inform our communications strategy going forward but also to develop an understanding of how the sub-projects are planning their own research communications  Method: 45min–1hour Skype interviews focusing on three main areas as prompts for discussion:  What was working well  What could be improved or enhanced  What the sub-projects’ plans were for their own project communications and research communications.  Findings: gave insight and direction for ROER4D communications going forward
  27. 27. High-level findings #1: what is working well  The ROER4D Website ( is seen as important, credible and attractive and at centre of the project’s communications. Researchers seem happy to refer others to it.  Different sub-projects are using and plan to use the website for their communications in different ways - some to host their own communications on their own page and others to use their page to link to their own websites and other communications channels.  The website is fulfilling its purpose for the first stage of the project "what the project is about".  Researchers consider that ROER4D should pursue its social media strategy (Twitter, SlideShare and Facebook) as that is where our audiences are.  Sub-projects feel generally connected to the central hub and feel part of the project. Those who participated in QH live sessions feel more connected and know what is going on.  Personal connections especially with Tess Cartmill, the project manager, and with Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams and Henry Trotter via Question Harmonisation has helped make people feel part of the network.
  28. 28. High-level findings #2: what can be improved  Some researchers want more content and sharing on the website than is currently available e.g. QH process and resources, other resources, sharing of research processes.  There is an appetite for regular monthly news bulletins of project level news - at least three researchers suggested a newsletter or email of project roundup independently of each other.  Social media is not used extensively by many researchers with a few notable exceptions so need other ways of alerting our researchers to network news, links, etc.  Researchers are responsive to the network team helping with a research communications strategy or feeding into it.  Appetite for regular live sessions using Adobe Connect or Hangouts for other topics and to open these out to outside of the network.  Vula is used/seen more as a repository rather than a communication channel. One researcher felt it is not user friendly.
  29. 29. High-level findings #3: plans for own research communications  Smaller teams have fewer resources for communications activities than larger research teams.  Projects who started later than others feel a bit behind or not ready to communicate  A few projects feel 'different' from the others and feel less part of the network but would like to communicate/participate more if they can find a way  Some sub-projects have clearly identified stakeholders while others have broad roles and types but not specific people, groups or networks. The NGOs and Advocacy types are more active and strategic here.  Most sub-projects plan to produce papers, conference presentations and reports. Some indicate e-books and the sub-projects working together willing to produce joint publications  One sub-project plans to introduce a tool for interrogating data by country on a website  Some sub-projects want to include or give opportunity for their research participants to disseminate research.
  30. 30. Recommendations and next steps  Review and enhance website to include new or revised sections whereby users can a) get an update on the current status of sub-projects in one glance b) highlight access to resources and make them more findable c) update individual sub-project pages with summary of where they are.  Set up an email newsletter: This will comprise updates and news that includes contributions from sub-projects and curate what is produced on blogs, events and Twitter feed.  Showcase what is happening in sub-projects on our blogs and events pages.  Develop systems for more regular contact with contact people in sub-projects in communications (including a regular schedule of webinars).  Plan ahead for types of conferences, events for presentation of findings and research and/or identification of journals (open access being a requirement).  Investigate setting up a private area for the sub-projects on the ROER4D website to share more internally focused resources.  [Possible] Organise a November/December online conference/symposium to invite project teams to give updates on their projects as a pre-prep for Banff.
  31. 31. Links and license This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.