Practicing New Skills and New Vocabularies: Reflections on Student Training in Knowledge Mobilization: Part 1 / Nouvelles habiletés et nouveaux vocabulaires en pratique : réflexions sur la formation des étudiants en mobilisation des connaissances (1re partie)

Rachel Salt, Brianne Brady, and Anne Bergen, Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship, University of Guelph, www.theresearchshop.ca

Knowledge mobilization is an emerging field of practice, and there are currently relatively few explicit knowledge mobilization training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. However, this perceived gap is due, in part, to a naming problem – although relatively few students are aware of jargon related to KTT and KMb, students engage in KTT and KMb activities relatively often. At the Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship at the University of Guelph, we are trying to overlay the vocabularies associated with KMb and KTT on student work related to curating, sharing, and exchanging information. In some cases, this takes the form of social media accounts, but this can also relate to logistics surrounding intra-organizational KMb – in this case, our in-house updates to graduate student interns. We present here two reflections on both beginning KMb work and labeling that work as KMb. This week we hear from Rachel Salt and next week we will hear from Brianne Brady.

La mobilisation des connaissances (MdC) est un domaine qui émerge à peine dans le champ universitaire, et il existe à l’heure actuelle assez peu de possibilités de formation destinées aux étudiants des universités qui lui soient explicitement consacrées. Cependant, cette perception d’un manque est attribuable en partie à un problème de dénomination : bien que le jargon de la mobilisation, de la transmission ou de l’application des connaissances ne soit familier qu’à un nombre relativement restreint d’étudiants, ceux-ci mènent pourtant assez souvent des activités qui relèvent de ces domaines. À l’Université de Guelph, l’Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship s’efforce donc de recouper le vocabulaire de la mobilisation et de la transmission des connaissances avec celui de travaux d’étudiants qui portent sur l’organisation, la diffusion et l’échange d’information. Dans certains cas, cela prend la forme de comptes rendus dans les médias sociaux. Mais cela peut concerner également la logistique de la MdC au sein d’une même organisation, et prendre la forme, comme c’est le cas ici, des mises à jour que nous préparons à l’interne pour nos stagiaires des cycles supérieurs. Les deux commentaires que nous présentons abordent à la fois les premières étapes d’un travail de MdC et la reconnaissance de ce travail en tant que mobilisation des connaissances. Nous accueillons cette semaine Rachel Salt, et la semaine prochaine, Brianne Brady.

Social Media and Knowledge Mobilization: A Graduate Student’s Perspective – Rachel Salt

When I was offered a position to manage two professional twitter accounts I was very grateful and excited; but I was also intensely fearful and a bit of a skeptic.  Before I jump into my experience as a Social Media Manager, some background on the programs I tweeted for:

University of GuelphAs a graduate student at the University of Guelph (and former undergraduate student) I wanted to find ways to help give back to the city that had given so much to me, so I began interning at the Research Shop.  The Research Shop acts as a portal between community and university research needs, where interns work with community partners to identify and address problems, which range from sustainable food to transforming social systems.  The Research Shop operates under the Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship (ICES).  ICES builds capacity for community-engaged scholarship by strengthening faculty and student engagement with local, national and international communities of interest, addressing faculty reward and development, and training faculty and students in knowledge mobilization.

After a year of interning, I was offered a position to manage the accounts for the Research Shop (@Researchshop) and ICES (@ICESGuelph).  I was so excited by the opportunity, but nervous as well.  I had never sent a tweet in my life!  What was the purpose of hashtags?  What did RT and MT mean?  I was also nervous about the position because I was honestly a bit skeptical about Twitter itself – wasn’t that just a place for celebrities to pick fights with one another, or a place for people to broadcast the restaurant they were eating at?

Before I started to write tweets I did some preliminary research.  I quickly discovered how my constricted assumptions about what Twitter is were way off.  There are social media ethics, strategies, proper tone, how often to tweet, what to tweet, and when to tweet.  Twitter is serious business.

twitter birdMy first few tweets took an embarrassingly long amount of time to construct.   I had so much I wanted to say and so little space to say it.  However, the learning curve was not too steep and I soon began to get the hang of it.  My boss and knowledge mobilization guru, Dr. Anne Bergen, set me up on HootSuite a social media management site.  For me, this made tweeting a lot easier.  I liked being able to schedule when my tweets went out, for example, if I found an interesting article on community engaged scholarship Sunday night I could schedule a tweet to go out at a higher traffic time on Monday morning (I learned that the best times to send academic tweets are between 10-11AM and 2-3PM – which happens to coincide with a lot of people’s coffee break!). Using HootSuite I was able to track the mention of relevant hashtags on twitter, such as #KMb, #CES, or #KTT.  I also liked that I could attach pdf’s and word documents.  I stopped thinking about tweets being only 140 characters of information and started thinking of them as 140 character bylines leading readers to find out more.  Before this experience I was unfamiliar with the terms ‘knowledge mobilization’ and ‘knowledge translation’.  Through this experience I have gained a much better grasp of what this is (via ‘following’ professionals in the field and reading the articles they share), and I’ve also realized what an effective knowledge mobilization tool social media can be.

This experience taught me so many different things.  I became more aware of events and activities going on in my community and started to hear about conferences, people, and organizations from around the world, which in the past I had not known existed.  Twitter is also an excellent format to share grey literature and update people on how a project is progressing.  In my personal life I find myself using twitter as my first source for news updates.  I’ve even started my own semi-professional personal twitter account, which I use to follow people I admire, look for work, and share information about projects I am involved in.  As a recent graduate and on the hunt for full-time work, I’ve been shocked at how many positions require professional experience in social media.  This speaks volumes about how important an effective social media presence is, and how former skeptics like me can no longer ignore this powerful tool.

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Confessions of a tweeter / Confessions d’une twitteuse

Cathy Malcolm Edwards, RIR – Carleton

Cathy Malcolm Edwards, Research Facilitator, Institutional Initiatives at Carleton University and member of RIR, talks about her introduction to social media and the twitterverse. 

Cathy Malcolm Edwards, coordonnatrice de recherches au Service des projets universitaires de la Carleton University et membre du RIR, raconte son initiation aux médias sociaux et au monde du twitter.

Cathy Malcolm Edwards“Hi, my name is Cathy Malcolm Edwards and I am an introvert.” This thought often circles through my mind when I am in group settings or facing a long day of back-to-back meetings. At the start of my journey into the world of knowledge mobilizing (I am a relative newbie, entering the world in May 2013), I thought this truth might be a barrier to being truly effective in this role. Then one day, my colleague, Kyla Reid, introduced me to social media, specifically the twitterverse.

You might be thinking to yourself “Cathy, it is 2013! Where the heck have you been living? Myspace has been around since 2003 and Facebook since 2004?” Well, while the rest of the planet was jumping in to the virtual world of social media, I was proudly in my cocoon rejecting every “You’ve been invited” email that came my way. At the time, I didn’t see the benefits of social media. It was just one more social event – another thing that I would have to get done and keep updated. I was a hipster, too cool to engage in the platforms of popularity. Oh, how wrong I was.

I am not saying I am a full convert per se and I still do have my hipster attitude about a lot of things (including Facebook), but I am also not too proud to admit that I am enjoying my time spent on twitter in particular. I love taking a few minutes each day to read posts and connect with the community. I often come across something that encourages me towards introspection or gives me an “aha!” moment. My introvert is quite satisfied. I can socialize in my own way, on my own time, and in digestible chunks. I have discovered that social media can be my friend, not my enemy. It allows me to connect and converse with the amazing community around me while nurturing my curiosity and quest for knowledge. I invite you to join me on this journey of discovery @mobilizethat.

2013 York KMb Learning Events / Les activités d’apprentissage offertes par York MdC en 2013

York KMb is offering sessions for researchers, staff and graduate students to help make their research relevant to professional practice and policy development.

York MdC offre des séances de formation à l’attention des professeurs, du personnel et des étudiants gradués afin de les aider à accroître la pertinence de leurs recherches sur le plan de la pratique professionnelle et du développement de politiques.

For Winter 2013, the KMb Unit at York will be offering the following learning sessions:

LearnSocial Media 101 – This lunch hour session will provide an overview of social media tools and their relevance to collaborative research projects.  January 16th 12:00-1:00 York Lanes 280A; March 4th 12:00-1:00 York Lanes 280A

Social Media 201 – This session will provide more detailed information on the strategies and tools for social media tools and their relevance to collaborative research projects, such as analytics and partnering strategies.   March 13th 1:30-4:00 York Lanes 280A

Social Media Strategy Building – Want to start using social media tools but don’t want to fall victim to “shiny object syndrome”? This hands on session will focus on getting a plan together and planning steps to implement it.  February 20th 9:30-12:00 York Lanes 280A; April 18th 9:30-12:00 York Lanes 280A

Twitter – A 2.5 hour hands-on session where Twitter is introduced within a research context. Participants can set up an account and learn about practical applications for their research. February 12th 1:30-4:00 York Research Tower 519

O3 – O3 is an online collaborative tool for available free to researchers, which can facilitate effective and efficient collaboration (without flooding your email inbox!)  April 25th 9:30-12:00 York Lanes 280A

WordPress – Blogging is emerging as a popular medium to share information and express ideas. Researchers are finding interesting uses for blogs to complement their scholarship. Join us and learn what blogging can do to enhance your KMb efforts. January 28th 9:30-12:00 York Lanes 280A; March 26th 1:30-4:00 York Lanes 280A

Effective Community Engagement – What are successful practices in engaging community around research?  What needs to be considered to effectively engage, build relationships and strong partnerships outside of the university?  This 2.5 hour workshop will introduce values, examples of good practices and allow for dialogue to enhance your engagement efforts. April 2nd 1:30-4:00 York Lanes 280A

Good Practices in KMb – Learn from examples at York U and across Canada.  What practices seem to work effectively?  How can we determine effectiveness?  How can I connect need to practice?  This 2.5 hour workshop will engage participants in the context of their own research projects. April 24th 9:30-12:00 York Lanes 280A

KMb and Communications – What are the intersections and where do these two diverge?  This 2.5 hour session will introduce you to knowledge mobilization; explore the relationships between the two and share examples on how they can complement one another and how they are unique.  February 7th 9:30-12:00 York Research Tower 519

KMb Strategy Building – Granting councils are asking more and more for research teams to identify their KMb strategy. In this hands on session, learn about strategic elements, create a draft strategy for your project, and tips on how to present your strategy. April 30th 1:30-4:00 York Lanes 280A

Clear Language Writing and Design – Sessions designed to introduce the principles and practical tips on writing for the reader, including diverse audiences.  May 13th 1:00-4:00 York Lanes 280A

 

To register for any of the sessions, please visit http://bit.ly/KMbYorkLearning or contact Krista Jensen, KMb Officer, at kejensen@yorku.ca or ext 88847

Upcoming KMb Learning Events at York

The Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) Unit at York will be providing the following learning sessions for York University researchers, staff and graduate students to help make their research relevant to professional practice and policy development throughout 2012:

Social Media 101 – a lunch hour session to provide an overview of social media tools and their relevance to collaborative research projects.

Twitter – a 2.5 hour hands-on session where Twitter is introduced within a research context. Participants can set up an account and learn about practical applications for their research.

O3 – O3 is an online collaborative tool for available free to researchers, which can facilitate effective and efficient collaboration (without flooding your email inbox!)

WordPress – Blogging is emerging as a popular medium to share information and express ideas. Researchers are finding interesting uses for blogs to complement their scholarship. Join us and learn what blogging can do to enhance your KMb efforts.

KMb 101 – Maybe you’re familiar with the term, or maybe you’re not. This lunch hour session will introduce you to knowledge mobilization and how services are delivered here at York.

KMb Strategy Building – Granting councils are asking more and more for research teams to identify their KMb strategy. In this hands on session, learn about strategic elements, create a draft strategy for your project, and tips on how to present your strategy.

KMb Peer to Peer Network – this is an informal network for York staff and researchers who have explicit responsibility for KMb. Come and meet others in similar roles, share and learn from others.

Clear Language Writing and Design – Sessions designed to introduce the principles and practical tips on writing for the reader, including diverse audiences.

For a complete list of dates, please see the poster below. To register for any of the sessions, please visit http://bit.ly/KMbYorkLearning or contact Krista Jensen, KMb Officer, at kejensen@yorku.ca or ext 88847.

post cards from congress – day 4

Day 4 started out with Chad Gaffield, President of SSHRC speaking about Research On the Digital Economy.  Researchimpact-RéseauImpactRecherche actively tweeted his remarks (a portion of which are shown below) throughout his talk which was followed by presentation from a number of the principal investigators of grants from the SSHRC Synthesis in the Digital Economy program.  These researchers presented their findings and recommendations for a Canadian digital economy. Stay tuned to SSHRC for a synthesis of the syntheses and for all the syntheses to be posted.  In the meantime, see the synthesis paper that involved David Phipps of ResearchImpact-York.  The last chapter of this paper reviewed the intersection of digital technologies, knowledge mobilization and the engaged campus.

The afternoon featured a tweet up of some KMb/Congress/RIR tweeps including @jovanevery, @mcshanahan and @qui_oui (left to right in the picture below) with @Kmbeing joining by skype.  Thanks to @qui-oui for organizing this.  Don’t forget the KMb at Congress tweet chat June 1 at noon Eastern.  More information can be found here.

After 42 visits and 24 substantive KMb conversations we headed to the Lobster cook and Kitchen Party.  Good music, good lobster and great company with friends from SSHRC and Johanne Provencal from Simon Fraser University who was co-author of the synthesis paper linked above. Great end to an invigorating day.

KMb Congress TweetChat- June 1 at Noon EST

Please join us for the KMb Congress Tweet Chat event co-hosted by ResearchImpact-Réseau Impact Recherche and the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Date: Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Time:  12 noon to 1:00 pm EST

Topic: Making Social Sciences and Humanities Matter to Canadians

Questions to be covered:

  1. How can we more effectively communicate the value of SSH research to different stakeholders?
  2. How do you measure and communicate impact of SSH research?
  3. How can knowledge mobilization maximize this impact?
  4. Open Q & A

See KMbCongress TweetChat Flyer for more information.

In order to take part in this event you must sign up for a Twitter account. If you don’t have a Twitter account, go to twitter.com and click on the sign up button and follow the instructions to create a profile.

Here are the instructions on how to participate:   Continue reading

A community of 1000 and growing / Une communauté de 1000 membres… en croissance

1000 followers – it’s not a record but Twitter is an important part of connecting to a broader community of knowledge practitioners.

1000 abonnés – Il ne s’agit pas d’un reccord, mais Twitter représente une voie privilégiée pour rejoindre la communauté élargie des “praticiens du savoir”.

Lady Gaga has 7,941,444 twitter followers. Oprah has 5,549,842. CNN has 1,889,096. Charlie Sheen has 3,531,943. Sometime between 11:00 am and 11:45 am on March 26, 2011, @ResearchImpact hit 1000 followers. It took us 22 months to get there.

It’s not a competition and followers are only one measure of the impact of a twitter presence. Charlie Sheen might have 3,500 times the followers of ResearchImpact but I hope that in the world of knowledge mobilization we’re having more of an impact than he is. Impact is an interesting thing on twitter. There are a few services that allow you to measure your impact on twitter.

Klout: we score 52 out of 100

ResearchImpact is a Specialist
You may not be a celebrity, but within your area of expertise your opinion is second to none. Your content is likely focused around a specific topic or industry with a focused, highly-engaged audience.

TwitterGrader: we score 97.4 out of 100 and we rank 233,333 out of 9,157,539

Twitalyzer: we score 1.1 out of 100 which puts us in the 62nd percentile.

I have no idea what any of this means. Scores range from 1.1 to 97.4 out of 100. At the end of the day are we getting re-tweets, comments and mentions by our followers? Yes. And that’s what matters to me.

Continue reading