Podcast, Professional Development, Training & Development

Pod Save Higher Ed: Resources For Podcasting

This month, I have found myself sharing more and more about how we can think about social, digital tools to tell our stories in higher ed. There are many ways to share our experiences and highlight the amazing things students, staff, and faculty are working on at and beyond our institutions. I have found podcast hosting/producing to be a very rewarding experience to support my own learning and development. There is no shortage of knowledge I have not learned from podcast guests, the research of topics, and the notes for each episode  I have hosted – thanks @BreakDrink & #InVinoFab podcast!

Digital storytelling has the potential to cultivate agile learning and kick start creativity in our college/university pedagogical practices and research projects. With a growing population tuning into podcasts (at least 44% have listened to a podcast, and 26% are monthly listeners in the US in 2018), this storytelling medium is on the rise. Podcast creation and listening has increased for a variety of reasons: access and portability to listen on a variety of devices, a way to fill the daily/work commute, the growth of smart speakers, and the increasing mention of new and interesting fiction and nonfiction series that have reinvigorated podcast listening (thanks, Serial, Season 1).

Podcasts offer both information and entertainment outlets for listeners to tune in anywhere, anytime they want. This on-demand, audio content allows the media to be streamed or downloaded, and offers listeners a way to participate in the slow web movement.  Instead of a quick like, comment, or post we typically experience on social media or online, podcasts provide a longer form, intimate experience and connection with the hosts and ideas shared. This longer media format often offers deeper insights, showcases personality and personal styles, and helps to interpret current projects and experiences from this audio narrative. With a wide variety of creative formats (e.g. interviews, commentary, panels, storytelling, etc.), podcast episodes can vary in time, style, and approach. The audio medium of the podcast lets you decide the frequency, distribution, and how you will produce the topic. Additionally, you can include resources for listeners to access further information through episode details, resources, show notes, and transcripts.

I think MORE of my college and university colleagues should consider exploring podcast creation to share personal stories, thoughts, and reflections on the work we do. For higher ed, the podcast medium allows for hosts/producers to extend knowledge to a campus community, academic discipline, and practitioners who want to engage deeply on specific topics, ideas, trends, and/or issues. To plant the podcast production seed, I thought I’d share a few podcast planning/development resources I’ve been curating from a recent workshop I facilitated, called Pod Save Higher Ed. Here is the podcast planning and brainstorm resource guide to be downloaded (as a PDF file) shared under a Creative Commons license:

https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.7228223.v1

I wish I had a quick “how to,” accessible guide to for higher ed podcast hosting and producing when I first started in 2010 (as Jeff and I lamented about in a past BreakDrink episode). This is a quick OVERVIEW of useful curated podcast resources, tools, tutorials, and suggestions I hope will help you if you are currently podcasting and/or considering to start your own podcast:

http://bit.ly/podsavehighered

There are SO many ways to produce a podcast these days. This open document is a space to SHARE and LEARN about HOW higher education professionals create, make, produce, and host their own podcasts:

http://bit.ly/behindthepodcast

Take a LISTEN to podcasts for and created by higher education professionals who want to share resources, ideas, and aspects about their own work:

http://bit.ly/higheredpodcasts

The time for higher ed professionals, practitioners, graduate students, researchers, instructors, administrators, and more to gain a share of the podcast ear. Higher ed hosts and producers, it’s time to raise our mics and let our tales be told through podcasts. Go ahead and launch the podcast you have always dreamed of creating now! I hope to listen to your pod story soon, @LauraPasquini

p.s. Be sure to share your podcasting story and let others know how/why you started your own podcasts OR how podcasts help you in your professional life in higher ed: #PodSaveHigherEd

Reference:

Pasquini, L. A. (2018). Pod Save Higher Ed: A Resource Guide To Inspire Storytelling & Podcast Making in Higher Education. figshare. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.7228223.v1 and http://bit.ly/podsavehighered

Podcast

Behind the Podcast: How Do you Pod, #HigherEd Hosts/Producers?

There seems to be growing number of higher ed podcasts. These are podcasts produced for, by, and about different aspects of higher education. This might be about the life of a faculty member, academic writing, teaching, scholarship or a particular discipline. There are a number of postsecondary podcasts about student affairs, learner support, technology, marketing, admissions, and general things happening at colleges and universities. I know this as I have been analyzing a few of these lately (here: https://higheredpodcasts.wordpress.com/) and I’m preparing to help others create their own podcasts (i.e. students, staff, and faculty).

Confession time: I may have started podcasting with @BreakDrink in 2010; however, I am really learning how to podcast now. In a recent conversation with Jeff on the last episode of BreakDrink, we had a candid conversation about how we tinkered and cobbled together our past and current podcast episodes … and the things we learned along the way.

From live episodes on BlogTalkRadio  and YouTube Live (formerly Google+ ON AIR LIVE hangouts) to thinking about audio, editing, and then some now,  we break down what’s behind our podcasting curtain in episode #30. Jeff and I also reflect about the process of thinking about WHAT you want to talk about and the WHY would you podcast — because recording and EDITING takes some effort to make it sound quality. These are some of the MANY things I have been thinking of for this form of digital storytelling… and there is more to come.

So much has changed in podcasting. There are so many MORE podcasts, different types, and others flooding into the audio market of narratives, interviews, panels, and promotion on the streams. There is SO much available to make a podcast that Podcasting for Dummies is on it’s THIRD edition (I know this, as I am studying and preparing my lessons with this text now!) and ways to share, host, and subscribe. There is NO shortage of “learn how to podcast” blog posts and websites that are a mix of hype, promise, and expensive equipment funded by search engine optimization, click ads, and empty promises to encourage you to buy into the hosts book, materials, etc. Some of this is good, and much of this is crap — as there are easier ways to start a podcast and play with this medium, if you are interested.

So… that being said, I thought I’d reach out to my own community to aggregate information from actual podcasts that I listen to in higher ed. I am doing this to share with campus stakeholders I’ll be working with over the next couple of months to share the work you do, how you do it, and, of course, promote YOUR podcast. My hope is to aggregate resources, promote your pods, and create a cohesive Creative Commons resource to share with my learners and YOU! This effort is to go “behind the podcast” (I miss you VH1) to understand how higher ed friends create and make their podcasts. I hope you can share resources, advice, and ideas for current/future pod producers, hosts, and makers. If you podcast or know someone who does in postsecondary education, please contribute to offer insights to peers about your technical troubleshooting and  audio experiments in the land of the pod here:

http://bit.ly/behindthepodcast

Here is the basic information I am hoping to aggregate in this open doc. It would be great to learn about the how, where, and what you podcast for your own higher ed pod AND feel free to add what you want based on these prompts:

  • Podcast (name):
  • Host(s):
  • Website or Where it Streams:
  • Social Media:
  • Describe your pod (brief description about the type of podcast/format):
  • Hardware (mic, earphones, etc.):
  • Software (recording, editing, etc.):
  • How do you host/produce your pod (in-person, Skype, etc.):
  • Where do you record (describe and/or post a photo) – share your #podcaststudio:
  • Hosting Services (Libsyn, Buzzsprout, SoundCloud, etc.):
  • Resources, reads and/or advice for podcast hosts/producers (things you’ve learned):

Thanks pod friends! I appreciate your help. #PodSaveHigherEd

#3Wedu, Podcast, wine, women, WomenWhoWine.edu

Sharing Women’s Stories in Higher Ed with the NEW @3Wedu Podcast #3Wedu

The Women Who Wine, or #3Wedu podcast has been a cherished space for a small group of us (Patrice, Tanya, Jess, Nori & moi) to pour a glass of wine and chat about issues women face in higher education. As life evolves, so does the #3wedu podcast. With an interest in sharing and amplifying other women’s stories in higher ed, Patrice (@Profpatrice) and I have decided to create an audio-only podcast in a similar vain, called — In Vino Fabulum – which translates to In Wine, Story [Podcast Trailer]:

The #3Wedu podcast will continue the conversation and hopefully open up the pod-waves to bring new voices, ideas, issues, and movements. You might see the same hashtag, #3wedu; however this pod will be in audio format (no more Google+ hangouts) and invites guests to share their story and have a bit of a chat/laugh. We welcome members of the higher education community to join the #3Wedu conversation to discuss issues and share what’s firing them up, specifically their interests, causes, work, movements, challenges, and more. We know there is a greater spectrum of voices among women, and we want to share these narratives.

The option to go audio only for this podcast is intentional. We think podcasting is an intimate space where fragile stories and perhaps sensitive topics could be shared. We recognize that some of our guests and their stories may want to remain anonymous on the web. We get and respect that — and we want to welcome others who want to share a public story openly or perhaps a private tale anonymously. Besides the longer format stories/interviews, you can expect to see some shorter episodes (5-15 minutes) we hope to put out in the coming months. These short stories, or vignettes, will include bits and pieces from the news, current events, relevant issues, and, perhaps, things we’re reading/watching/listening to. Of course, it would be wrong for us not to include a random fact or two about wine, right?

Here are a few of the recent episodes we launched off during Women’s History Month:

Our first guest for the 3Wedu: In Vino Fabulum podcast is, Dr. Ali Black (@draliblack) who shared with us her values around the ethics of care, gentle writing, and the importance of deep, thoughtful writing work with The Women Who Write.

Our conversation led us to talking about the women she writes with and how this type of support really empowered and encouraged herself and others in the group to reconsider how they approach their work, research, writing etc. with the systems and structures of our institutions. This women’s collective is one of many we see taking form at our colleges, universities, and within our society. I look forward to talking to more “wise women” and other packs of ladies who are re-writing their own way in postsecondary education. Speaking of packs, we did talk about wolves and what it means it means to be a “wild” women who embraces a wild nature:

“To establish territory. To find one’s pack. To be one’s a body with certainty and pride, regardless of the body’s gifts and limitations. To speak and act on one’s behalf. To be aware, alert. To draw on the enate feminine powers of intuition and sensing. To come into one’s cycles and to find what one belongs to. To rise with dignity and to retain as much consciousness as possible.”

~Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run with the Wolves

If that quote has sparked your interest, you can find the full episode streaming from HERE with a complete set of show notes filled with resources here:

https://3wedu.wordpress.com/2018/03/23/episode-no-2-draliblack/

#3Wedu: In Vino Fabulum Podcast

Do you have something to share with us? Are you working on an interesting project that involves women in higher education and/or wine? Why don’t you share your story with the #3Wedu community? Is there a topic you’d like to learn more about around women, wine, or higher ed? Let us know community:

You can also reach out to us via Twitter (@3Wedu) or send us an email: InVinoFabulum@gmail.com

BreakDrink, Podcast

Happy #InternationalPodcastDay 2017!

Do you listen to any podcasts? You should. Today, September 30th, is International Podcast Day (#InternationalPodcastDay)! The other day, my @BreakDrink podcast co-host, Jeff, and I chatted about this festive holiday for podcasting as we might be fans of podcasts (listen to @BreakDrink episode no. 1). Thanks, fellow podcast hosts @Katie__Linder & @bonni2018, for reminding us about this pod holiday last week!

International Podcast Day™ is September 30th and is an international celebration of the power of podcasts!  The celebration is a great opportunity to connect with fellow podcasters, podcast listeners, podcast enthusiasts, and leaders in the podcasting industry.  Help spread the word by telling your friends, sharing the celebration on your podcasts and social media feeds, and using #InternationalPodcastDay.  There are several ways to get involved and plenty to benefit from by taking part in International Podcast Day.  See our suggestions below.  But first, we must all “Start The Conversation” and share the power of podcasts!

YOU Can TOTALLY Get Involved with #InternationalPodcastDay By:

  • Checking out the #InternationalPodcastDay to learn about podcasts worldwide or share your own!
  • Grab your mic and camera, ask someone about their favourite podcast. Share on social media!
  • Join in numerous events in your region and around the world (Use the Googles).
  • Promote by posting the official banner image on your website.
  • Play the International Podcast Day audio or video promo on your show.
  • Change your social media image to the International Podcast Day logo
  • Explain to someone what a podcast is and get them hooked (it’s harder than you think)
  • Share your favourite podcast with someone (coworker, friend, teammate)
  • Send feedback to your favourite podcasters and tell them to thank you
  • Provide a rating and review in Apple Podcasts or other platforms
  • Subscribe to a new show and talk about it using #InternationalPodcastDay
  • Not a podcaster? Become one! (or think about it)
  • Listen to the recommendations, Jeff & I give on our podcast about it here:

These are our “go to” podcasts we recommend. These are friends of the pod and podcasts we have enjoyed, so we suspect you will as well. Take a listen to these recommendations from the @BreakDrink Team (and of course, you can check out our archives as well: http://breakdrink.com/).

Take a LISTEN to our podcast show recommendations online, streaming, or via your favourite podcast catcher subscription! ENJOY!!  Pod, on my friends! POD ON!

@ WORK Website
Teaching in Higher Ed http://teachinginhighered.com/episodes/
Radical Candor https://www.radicalcandor.com/blog/tag/podcast/
Research In Action http://ecampus.oregonstate.edu/research/podcast/
You’ve Got This http://ygtpodcast.com/
The Contrafabulists http://podcast.contrafabulists.com/
Higher Ed Live http://higheredlive.com/
Code Switch http://www.npr.org/podcasts/510312/codeswitch
CBC Spark http://www.cbc.ca/radio/spark
TOPcast https://cdl.ucf.edu/category/topcast/
The Anatomy of a Book https://acdigidbook.katielinder.work/podcast/
Note To Self http://www.wnyc.org/shows/notetoself
How I Built This http://www.npr.org/podcasts/510313/how-i-built-this
@ HOME Website
Crimetown https://gimletmedia.com/crimetown/
Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me http://www.npr.org/programs/wait-wait-dont-tell-me/
Hackable https://hackablepodcast.com/
What’s Good? http://www.npr.org/podcasts/510323/whats-good-with-stretch-and-bobbito
Radiolab http://www.radiolab.org/series/podcasts/
Two Dope Queens http://www.wnyc.org/shows/dopequeens
Politically Reactive https://www.politicallyreactive.com/
My Dad Wrote a Porno http://www.mydadwroteaporno.com/
It’s Been a Minute http://www.npr.org/podcasts/510317/its-been-a-minute-with-sam-sanders
Homecoming https://gimletmedia.com/homecoming/
This American Life https://www.thisamericanlife.org/podcast
On the Media http://www.wnyc.org/shows/otm/
@ SCHOOL Website
.future http://creative.gimletmedia.com/shows/future/
99% Invisible http://99percentinvisible.org/
Freakonomics http://freakonomics.com/archive/
Hidden Brain http://www.npr.org/series/423302056/hidden-brain
Reply All https://gimletmedia.com/reply-all/
Revisionist History http://revisionisthistory.com/
IRL Podcast https://irlpodcast.org/
Undone https://gimletmedia.com/undone/
TED Radio Hour http://www.npr.org/programs/ted-radio-hour/
Rough Translation http://www.npr.org/podcasts/510324/rough-translation
On The Media http://www.wnyc.org/series/media-podcast
Pod Save America https://getcrookedmedia.com/here-have-a-podcast-78ee56b5a323
Planet Money http://www.npr.org/sections/money/127413729/podcast/
Sincerely, X https://www.ted.com/read/ted-podcasts/sincerely-x

Do you listen to a podcast in #highered OR other? Tell us about it: https://bit.ly/higheredpodcasts

More about our podcast project here: https://higheredpodcasts.wordpress.com/

Podcast, Professional Development, Research

The Higher Ed Podcast Project

Podcasts. This mobile, audio medium has been circling the Internet since 2004. Podcasting has evolved so much since its birth. Over the last few years, there’s been a growth of fantastic of podcasts to listen to and enjoy. If you have not heard someone talk about podcasts in the past few years, I would be very surprised. There are LOADS OF PODCASTS!!! Earlier this year, NPR podcasters spread the pod love via the #trypod campaign. The goal was to share what podcasts you listen to via the #trypod  hashtag. For just over a decade, I have enjoyed listening to a variety of podcasts on my commute, while running, on vacation, or just strolling with my pup. These portable stories, events, and news pieces have entertained and educated me on the go — it was like radio on-demand! My pod streams are filled with amazing content to enhance my personal and professional development and offer new insights about the world around me. I have learned so much from listening to podcasts – new ideas, book recommendations, or introductions to new people – there are so many takeaways pouring into my earbuds.  So many podcasts have contributed to my learning, teaching, research and practice in higher education … and I am not surprised to learn others subscribe to podcasts for their professional learning and development as well.

A growing number of higher education students, staff, and faculty are listening AND learning from podcasts. The wealth of information shared on a video/audio podcasts allows listeners to learn about resources, ideas, and information to enhance the work we do at our institutions. These mobile-friendly, portable PD resources are not only consumed, but they are also being created and produced by higher education colleagues and organizations. So what is the state of podcasting in higher ed?

To learn more about this and explore what is happing in post-secondary podcast land, let me introduce you to the Higher Ed Podcast Project.  We want to CURATE and SHARE podcasts impacting professional learning and development for higher ed peers, specifically to answer the following questions:

  • What video/audio podcasts are higher education professionals (graduate students, faculty, and staff) listening to for learning and development?

  • What podcasts are being produced/created for and in higher education (non-lecture/classroom-based)?

  • How has podcast consumption impacted or influenced the work (teaching, research, or service) you do in higher education?

Definition & Focus for Project

We are interested in exploring podcasts in higher education for professional learning and development; however, we want YOU to understand how we are defining a “podcast” as this medium has taken a number of shapes and forms over the years. For our research purposes, we are defining a podcast and our research focus as:

  • the podcast content is created and shared to support professional development, learning, and/or information distribution
  • the podcast has a target audience might include graduate learners (e.g. masters or doctoral researchers), professional school students (e.g. social work, medicine, etc.), staff/administration, and/or faculty in higher education
  • the podcast is in an audio and/or video format that can be subscribed, downloaded, and/or streamed from an electronic device (e.g. computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile)
  • the podcast is a program, show, broadcast, and/or episodes with a specific purpose or topic focussed on the higher education domain
  • the podcast includes original content development intention: it was designed for a podcast, e.g. we are not including a recorded college/university lecture, conference panel/presentation, professional learning webinars, recorded meeting, etc. (unless it was edited to fit into a podcast)
  • the podcast can be active or inactive

What podcasts are YOU listening to, Higher Ed?

To help this higher ed podcast project, we want to openly curate a LIST OF AUDIO and VIDEO PODCASTS dedicated to higher education professionals. This OPEN call for podcasts will help us understand and SHARE the current state of podcasting in higher education. This is where you come in. Please ADD to the higher education podcast list (and other podcasts on the second tab) to let us know what YOU listen to for your professional learning and development: 

http://bit.ly/higheredpodcasts

Want to learn more? Check out our research site: https://higheredpodcasts.wordpress.com/

Podcast, Research Methods

Research, Interviews, and Asking Good Questions

I have been thinking about interviews and how to ask better questions/interview for a while. Research questions unpack what is going on with the world around us. As an early career scholar, I want to unpack experiences, thoughts, and situations people are dealing with in the workplace (e.g.  networked professional lives, open online learning, mentoring relationships) to learn more about a particular phenomenon. I know good research comes from solid research preparation.

Last summer  I spent a couple of months, with my co-investigator Paul, digging into the empirical literature, academic findings, theoretical frameworks and debates around concepts and issues we want to unpack in our study. I appreciate his willingness to work and put the time up-front to prepare for our research interviews.

“Research designs begins with questions researchers and their partners want to answer about a particular problem, population, process, project, or topic they want to explore” (LeCompte & Schensul, 2010, p. 130).

We framed our research questions around issues addressed in other academic papers — you know, building on the shoulders of giants — and to unpack what is happening in the online and offline realm for higher education professionals. For our semi-structured interviews, we have a set of structured questions to guide open-ended discussions on relevant topics related to the themes, issues, and concepts we want to discuss (Kvale, 2007). By using the intensive interview techniques shared in Charmaz’s (2014) constructing grounded theory text, most of our questions are open-ended. This method was designed to encourage participants to reflect and share experiences, by starting questions with: “Tell me about…”, “Could you describe… or “Can you walk me through…”  Asking research questions to solicit for a comprehensive and an open response is everything.

This research design thinking not only developed our interview protocols, research questions, and data management plan, it also allows us to be fully immersed in our conversations while we conduct the interview now.  I think conducting a quality research interview is a skill. A skill that gets developed, honed and enhanced as you go. I always learn how to improve upon this each time I talk with a research participant. While being immersed in the interviews, I have kept this sage advice George (thanks!) offered when we were conducting interviews with a large number of open, online learners:

  • Give wait time to think before answering and tell them that you are doing that.

  • Listen to their replies and ask probing questions that aren’t listed below but go toward the issues we are trying to explore.

Now that we’re 60+ interviews deep with our project, I continue to think about this advice and understand what we are learning so far. I am also thinking about what we are asking, how we are approaching topics, and identifying where we might need to go as our questions reach a certain saturation point. If you have already graciously volunteered your time and shared for our study: THANK YOU SO MUCH!  If you are a higher education professional who would like to contribute and be interviewed for our research, we are still accepting participants for our study here: http://bit.ly/networkedself

UPDATED: Friday, August 11, 2017

R.I.P. #Turnaroundpod — it’s sad to hear that your podcast series is coming to a close. THANKS SO MUCH for producing The Turnaround Podcast, Jesse. It will be sad to see you go! Want to read more about this? Check out the Ask Me Anything (AMA) of Jesse Thorn on Reddit.

Recently, I started listening to Jesse Thorn’s  The Turnaround podcast (that partners with the Columbia Journalism Review -thanks for the transcripts!) This podcast flips the script and interviews people who typically interview others.

the-turnaround-cover_6

Image c/o The Turnaround! a Maximum Fun Production

These interviews unpack the art form of an interview and how to best investigate a story. Thorn asks how to best interview and also demonstrates how to summarize ideas and follow with an open-ended question for a response. Although most of these interviewers are producing interviews for public consumption and listening, there are some great takeaways from this 1:1 series about interviewing:

In addition to listening to podcasts or reading scholarly books about interviews, I thank and credit the @BreakDrink podcast production for providing me with the skills to conduct effective research. My “study” in podcasting (and research interviews) began just over 7 years when I received a DM from Jeff Jackson to see if I’d like to co-host a podcast. Although I was just starting my Ph.D. program, I think some of my early lessons for qualitative research actually came from the episodes where we invited brilliant people onto the Campus Tech Connection (#CTCX) podcast for an interview. Both my experience with podcast production and research interviews, have offered me a few insights for being a more effective interviewer:

  • Pre-Interview survey: Ask your podcast guest or interview participant a few questions about the topic in advance. For podcasts, we would have them complete a brief bio and see a few of the questions we might ask ahead of time. For interviews, we might have a pre-questionnaire or interview sign-up with requests for demographic information, topics about the research, or their role for the study research.
  • Organize and prepare: Do you work in advance! Create a shared doc (if on a collaborative team) or prep notes for each show production or segment of your research interviews. This would include the potential protocols, research questions, interview topics/issues, and information you would need for each recording. Review the pre-interview survey data and see how they might relate to your research questions.
  • Play with the technology to figure out what works for you: Technical tools have changed over the past 7 years of my podcasting/researching. I continue to learn as I go and as I collaborate with others. I now record with Audio Hijack+Skype/web conference/phone, edit in GarageBand/Audacity by splicing clips either for public consumption or to minimize for transcription costs, and find a secure cloud storage space for your audio files and notes.
  • Speaking of notes… ALWAYS TAKE NOTES: Besides recording the audio, I often scribe notes during a conversation or interview. These notes could include a quote, key point, idea, or issue. For the podcast, this might include a URLs and resources we would share with the show notes with the episode. For research, this ensured I was listening and noting what participants were saying and often it would spark a follow-up question or explore another aspect of our study I wanted to know about.  Pro-Tip: I use “analog” journals to write my research notes with pen and paper. I often return to my notes to make an annotation, highlight a concept, find another research question, and to review how the series of interviews are progressing.
  • Make time for reflection: After each episode of the podcast, I often would have a follow-up blog post with information and ideas shared. This practice I still do when I conduct a research interview, but often it’s a private act scribed in my journal or shared with my co-collaborators on a project.  This habit has me process what I am exploring, learning, and sorting out in my head.
  • Manage and archive your files: Be sure you create a system to label and itemize your digital files and notes. I am meticulous for organizing my life and projects (as I live in the digital) in particular ways. Set your own system so you can track where items are and code how these files/interviews are relevant to your project (or podcast). This will help you later when you go to code transcripts or you are interested in a particular issue/trend in your study.

References:

Charmaz, K. (2014). Constructing grounded theory.Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Kvale, S. (2007). Doing interviews. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

LeCompte, M. D., & Schensul, J. J. (1999). Designing and conducting ethnographic research (Vol. 1), 2nd Edition. Plymouth, UK: Altamira Press.

#AcWri, BreakDrink, Conference, Podcast, publication, Research

The Scholar-Practitioner Paradox for Academic Writing [@BreakDrink Episode No. 8]

I have been thinking about the needs and challenges higher education and student affairs professionals have with regards to evidence-based practices. In higher education, there is no shortage of topics and ideas to explore. I have been fortunate to collaborate with both scholars and practitioners in education to study a number of issues, including scaled-open learning, digital learning strategies, social media policies/guidance, mentoring programs, and networked experiences, just to name a few.  Beyond this short list, there are a number of practitioners who have reached out and we’re in the process of establishing research plans for professional development, mapping competencies to training, and leveraging technology in networked communities. My work partnering and collaborating with scholar-practitioner better informs my research methods and in explaining the findings/implications.

Scholar-practitioners generate new knowledge to improve practice, yet how they prioritize and go about their work varies with where they are on this scholar-practitioner continuum (Wasserman & Kram, 2009). The challenge with this work is there is VERY LITTLE TIME professionals in higher ed have to do scholarly work. When you are working in an educational service role for a 12-month contract, it is a challenge to move through the research process. Wasserman and Kram (2009) observed how competencies, needs, and values align with the competing roles of the scholar-practitioner to match either the work or research interests. Scholarly habits and the writing process requires deep concentration and focus on thinking critically to endure through a research project — from the study design, methodological planning, recruitment of participants, to publication and dissemination of findings.

Although higher education administrators and staff are in the best position to analyze programs, student populations, and services — there is not enough scholarship produced from professionals IN the field.

In their book, A Guide to Becoming a Scholarly Practitioner in Student Affairs, I think Hatfield and Wise (2015, p. 6-8) touch on a few reasons why practitioners do not often contribute to academic writing and publications:

  • Not enough reading – that is, not as knowledgeable of current research in (and out of) the field, theories, and evidence-based practices from academic outlets
  • Not expected of positions and not valued – undervalued and underutilized research skills; some of these skills may have been minimal based on training, education, experience, etc. as it is not required in administrative positions
  • Second-class citizen syndrome – some might not have a terminal degree (Ph.D., Ed.D., etc.) or if they do, little academic scholarship has been completed beyond their dissertation work; also feel on a different level of the faculty at their institution (and often treated that way).
  • Inadequate academic preparation – research, evaluation and assessment training from each graduate program varies and many question skills and competency for research and publishing
  • Silos on campus – little interaction between departments, divisions, functions, and academic departments exist although we are trying to support the whole student.
  • Lack of motivation – when was the last time you saw “scholarship and research” in a practitioner’s job description or expectation to participate in scholarly conferences and publishing?

 

Many of the above items, I think, are describing student service/affairs professionals in the United States — as I have a number of higher ed colleagues who are required to produce research in their staff role. There is no shortage of op-ed pieces often shared among higher education social networks, blogs, podcasts, videos, and more. The issue is we rarely see published conference proceedings, journal articles, or academic outlets producing PEER-REVIEWED pieces from and about practice contributing evidence and understanding from the field.

Over the past few weeks, I have been talking with Jeff Jackson (via our @BreakDrink podcast) about this challenge and what we are witnessing among practitioner peers. The first installment “on academic writing and scholarship” Jeff and I dig into academic writing/scholarship for BreakDrink Episode No. 8, where we discuss the differences of Academic vs. Practitioner Conferences. From the book by Hatfield and Wise (2015), chapter three talks about presenting at professional conferences; however, none of the associations shared offer any published conference proceeding for presentations shared and are not the same as submitting a paper or academic poster for another association that is more scholarly in nature. I think Hatfield and Wise (205) offer a decent introduction to scholarly writing for the novice student affairs professional  — but I think it is lacking in a few areas (as detailed in the podcast and notes below). If you are interested, feel free to read this book review (Delgado & McGill, 2016) and listen to our thoughts via the podcast here:

@BreakDrink Episode No. 8 – Academic vs. Practitioner Conferences [SHOW NOTES]:

Episode No. 8,  might be part 1 of a few series on this topic about “being an academic” or “scholarly work.” Jeff and I have recorded a few meanderings as we think/share on this topic. If you have questions or want to know more about the following items, let us know: mentoring for #AcWri, how to put together a manuscript, proposing a conference paper, data management, or starting a peer-review journal OR being part of an editorial board. Let us know! 

Conferences Run Down in 2017: Scholar vs. Academic Conference

American Educational Research Association (AERA) hosts a research/scholarly conference annually and this year #aera17 conference was in San Antonio, TX with Jeff in attendance. This professional association is HUGE, but thankfully it is broken down into Divisions and  Special Interest Groups (a.k.a. SIGs). Division I is Jeff’s Jam: Education in the Professions as he also attends the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and perhaps Division J may be where some of the doctoral/graduate scholars hang out. Related to this association you will find THE journal, Educational Researcher, that is well-regarded by scholars; however AERA also has AERA Open and other publication outlets.

We just wish we saw more of this at practitioner conferences. Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) also held their annual conference at the same convention center in San Antonio, TX back in March. Both Jeff and I were there, and we attended a session on publishing in the NASPA journals from this association [Sadly the new Technology in Higher Education: Emerging Practice was not represented in this session this year.] It’s not as though sessions at Student Affairs or Practitioner conferences do have a poster session, and I have seen “Research Papers” presented at ACPA Convention and NACADA has offered Research Symposiums at regional conferences.  The conferences mentioned in Chapter 3 of Hatfield and Wise’s (2015) book: ACPA, NACA, NACADA, NASPA, ACUHO-I, NODA, & NIRSA

Academic Conferences We Have Also Attended to Note:

 

Conference Proceedings 101

Conference proceedings are scholarly papers a number of academics/researchers include on their vitae for the tenure and promotion. This is the “carrot” as to why faculty or scholars would attend a conference and allow doctoral researchers grants to travel, beyond the value of networking and discussions with peers. A proceeding could be a short (or long) paper presented at a conference, and sometimes there are even print proceedings published for your conference abstracts/papers (e.g. #SMsociety15 proceedings). All papers typically have a specific format (e.g. AECT’s manuscript requirements) and are submitted for a formal (typically blinded) peer-review process before they are accepted. Typically these are shorter papers or a conference abstract (not a beginning of a journal article abstract format), where you present your completed research projects. A number of social sciences and education conferences have specific formats beyond the APA Style 6th Edition, but that is a good start. If accepted, you will typically present your paper at the conference in a condensed format, such as 10-25 minutes, with a set of other papers in a single session. Each presentation is directed to showcase research by describing a brief literature overview, research methods (data collection, analysis) and findings/implications. This might be moderated by a discussant, moderator, or not at all with a brief (2-5 minutes) for Q&A at the end of your presentation/session time slot.

Other formats typically at scholarly conferences we have seen — but this is not an inclusive list:

  • Conference abstract (1000-2500 words) – how to guide and killer abstract writing
  • Full Papers (up to 8000-10.000 words)
  • Notes  or Work/Research In Progress
  • Poster Sessions (also via a device, e.g. laptop, tablet, etc.)
  • Workshops/Hands-on Sessions (e.g. how to use R-Studio for text mining)
  • Competitions or Expos — challenge/solution program feature to showcase work
  • Plenary/Keynotes
  • Doctoral Colloquium
  • Mentoring Programs

Episode F.A.Q.

  • Q: Is it considered a self-plagiarism to reuse (published) abstracts for talks? A: Yes. You want to avoid text recycling and should NOT but publishing the same work to different publication outlets.
  • Q: Is presenting about my program or an assessment of an initiative at my campus research? Does this count? A: Maybe. Did you get IRB approval from your institution before collecting data? Are you following the scholarly practice of your educational/social science peers? If not — this might be an assessment. Still great — but it could not be submitted as peer-reviewed conference proceeding or journal article.
  • Q: What is this Yellowbook that Jeff referred to during the podcast? A: It was known as a “phone book” and it’s directory of names of people and businesses for you to locate their contact information. You might use the Google or another search engine these days for said things. Apparently, Yellowbook as rebranded to “yb” and now has a website: https://www.yellowpages.com/
  • Q: Why is Tony Parker out for the rest of the NBA season? A: He injured his quadriceps tendon on Wednesday, May 2nd. {tear!}
  • Q: What is Fiesta? A: A 10-day annual party celebrating culture, food, fun, and parades in San Antonio, TX that typically falls at the end of April. More about Fiesta. Best tagline: “A party with a purpose” https://www.fiesta-sa.org/

Our Pro-Tips for Attending Academic Conference:

  1. Prepare for the Conference: Review the conference website to see what research is being presented, who will be attending, and who you should meet (new & friends) while you are both at this event. Are you a fan girl/boy of a particular researcher and you want to chat about their work/your work? Are you hoping to collaborate with other scholars? Do your homework and figure out who will be there. Maybe you want to set up a meeting over a meal/coffee/drinks OR find a particular session where you can be introduced to new peers.
  2. Attend the First Time Attendee Session (if they have one): Get the lay of the conference land and get a good overview/guide to what is going on during the event. Is there a mixer with food and/or drinks? Attend and meet a few people. Prepare to be social and have your own “elevator pitch” about what you are currently studying or working on right now. Think about this before you show up to the conference.

Overall, we think higher education professionals could do better with sharing MORE research-based information at our conferences. Many of these sessions are often hidden within the general program sessions and/or found in a poster session — that is often not well-attended. Hatfield and Wise (2015, p. 8) challenge practitioners to research by asking:

If you could give voice to those who were marginalized, if you could change the field of student affairs through your voice, if you could create better collaborations across campus with our academic colleagues, and if you could share your insights with parents, students, and other invested stakeholders so that they will know what we contribute to student learning and development, why wouldn’t you?”

Why are we not encouraging more scholar-practitioner collaborations? And what incentives could you offer early career researchers and senior scholars to attend these conferences? These are ponderings we are thinking about from reading this book (Hatfield & Wise, 2015) on SA scholarship. We think it’s a decent starting guide to getting into academic writing. Sharing evidence-based initiatives are required to be relevant in higher education. This value needs to be showcased more by and with student affairs, student services, and those not on an academic track to offer others insight to the work we are doing.

@BreakDrink Podcast ShoutOuts

 

If you have a thought or two, please share it with us via one of these channels. We’d love to hear from you on any one or all of following the “BreakDrink” podcast channels:

We welcome comments, questions, and more! If you happen to listen to Apple Podcasts a.k.a. iTunes, please consider leaving us a rating and review. Thanks!

References:

Delgado, A., & McGill, C. M. (2016). A Guide to Becoming a Scholarly Practitioner in Student Affairs by Lisa J. Hatfield and Vicki L. Wise (review). Journal of College Student Development57(7), 898-900.

Hatfield, L. J., & Wise, V. L. (2015). A guide to becoming a scholarly practitioner in student affairs. Stylus Publishing, LLC.

Wasserman, I. C., & Kram, K. E. (2009). Enacting the scholar—practitioner role: An exploration of narrativesThe Journal of Applied Behavioral Science45(1), 12-38.