Clearly, another clear language summer/ Clairement un autre été en langage clair

York’s KMb Unit held its largest ever Clear Language Writing and Design workshop on May 9th. Workshop participants from a number of groups were excited to take away valuable insights they could apply in their daily work.

Le 9 mai, l’Unité de MdC de York a tenu son atelier de rédaction en langage clair, le plus important jamais tenu à ce jour. Les participants à l’atelier, provenant de divers groupes, ont été heureux d’acquérir des compétences dont ils pourront se servir au quotidien dans leur milieu de travail.

On Monday May the 9th, York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit hosted its largest ever Clear Language Writing and Design workshop. The event brought together over 20 participants from a diverse spectrum of groups, all of whom were interested in discovering what clear language is all about and honing their writing skills.  The workshop was facilitated by Matthew Shulman, an adult literacy professional with the Peel Halton Dufferin Adult Learning Network. The event wasattended by the following groups:

  • Summer interns hired through the Knowledge Mobilization for Climate Change Public Outreach project.
  • Summer interns working with the Ontario Literacy Coalition
  • Knowledge Network for Applied Education and Research (KNAER)
  • Summer students from York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit engaged in research summary development
  • Staff from the Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Knowledge Exchange Network(OMHAKEN).

The workshop consisted of 2 parts. In the first part, Matthew gave an overview of clear language principles and provided examples that demonstrated the value of “writing for the reader”. Participants in the workshop considered their different audiences related to their working research projects- stakeholders such as policy makers, adminstrators, practicioners and community members.  An engaging conversation emerged as to how to make research findings more accessible and relevant to meet the needs of each potential knowledge user through clear language practice.

The second part gave participants a chance to apply their newly acquired skills in a group writing exercise.  “[The workshop] was very informative and engaging” said Samuel Towe, a graduate student with York’s Faculty of Education, “[I] really appreciated the group exercise”. [The] participation of teachers was delightfully engaging and thought provoking” said another workshop participant in their evaluation form.  

York was particularly delighted to be joined by KNAER staff and students. York and KNAER, hosted at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, are pleased to announce a collaboration on using ResearchSnapshot research summaries for research performed at Ontario’s 13 Ministries of Education.  KNAER will, in consultation with the Ontario Ministry of Education, engage in a dialogue with groups of practitioners/researchers to facilitate the development and dissemination of advanced knowledge through the application of applied education research to effective practices in class-rooms, schools, school boards and provincially. KNAER will also focus on building, advancing and applying robust evidence of effective practices through conducting research, synthesizing state-of-the-art knowledge from existing bodies of evidence from Ontario, nationally and internationally. “Summarizing and presenting research in accessible formats sch as clear language is critical for the mission of KNAER”, says KNAER Director Ben Levin.  “It is important that education research has a greater influence over education policy in Ontario.  Presenting research in clear language  like the ResearchSnapshot format will help us achieve this mandate”. David Phipps, Director of York’s Office of Research Service which is home to the KMb Unit agrees.  “We are delighted to welcome KNAER and Ontario’s Faculties of Education to the ResearchSnapshot platform.  They will add valuable research content to complement ResearchSnapshot clear language research summaries of research from York University, Royal Roads University and the University of Victoria.”

This summer, the Knowledge Mobilization Unit will have an opportunity to develop a batch of ResearchSnapshots, our clear language research summaries. Each summer term gives us a chance to focus on a broad research theme. In past years, we have touched on a variety of topics, ranging from homelessness to climate change. This year’s theme is social determinants of health. We are excited to highlight the research being done by our faculty in this important area. If you are interested in submitting any research relevant to social determinants of health please contact Michael Johnny, Manager, Knowledge Mobilization at 416-736-2100 x 88876; mjohnny@yorku.ca.  To search any of the ResearchSnapshots please check out the searchable on line database.

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