In her role at Edge Hill University, Dawne is always seeking for new and innovative ways to share effective interventions that lead to real improvements in Learning and Teaching. As part of Dawne’s research communication efforts, she is an advocate for and creates research posters to share ideas and display at conferences. “For those who are new to research, a poster is a powerful way of sharing your work,” said Dawne. “It can be quite daunting to stand in front of a large audience to present your concepts and ideas, so especially for those just starting on their research journeys poster presentations allow meaningful, one-on-one conversations between colleagues in a non-pressurised way.”
“The discourse you can have when presenting in this way often leads to positive feedback from someone who is interested in your research, and I have found it’s a brilliant way to get insightful ideas that can help you to further develop and shape your thinking,” said Dawne. “The same is true when you share your work on Figshare — people can respond to your work when you share it publicly.”
Dawne has uploaded one of her poster presentations onto figshare.edgehill.ac.uk with tips on how to design and present your research in poster format. For Dawne, Figshare has proven to be an invaluable way of sharing her visual research outputs online, and as she explains: “the system enables you to upload non-traditional research outputs in almost any format and Figshare allows the generation of a citable DOI for your work which allows others to give you credit for the content you have created.”
The Centre for Learning and Teaching at Edge Hill University hosts the International SOLSTICE/CLT Conference annually but, due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was postponed this year. Undeterred and determined to ensure the conference could take place virtually if not physically, Dawne and Liam used Figshare to created a public-facing platform to host a series of online lectures by Edge Hill University’s Visiting Professors and Visiting Fellows, uploading global research and resources including presentations, videos and posters.
Building upon the success of using Figshare to host the SOLSTICE Conference presentations Liam says, “I saw that Figshare was reaching out to the academic community and colleagues were accessing the conference materials online, so I suggested to Dawne that perhaps we could capture what we could for the conference and replicate it for the University Learning and Teaching Day.”
So, working with the Figshare team, Liam and Dawne created a new space where colleagues could access presentations on their own time. While the physical aspect of social networking was lost, the online work had other advantages. A key benefit is the ability to measure engagement as Dawne explains: “Figshare enables us to see how many individuals have accessed each presentation, and we can track views, downloads, citations, and Altmetric scores. In terms of measuring the impact of outputs it is really very powerful.”
Liam, whose role at Edge Hill University is the technical management of Figshare, is aiming to increase engagement with the platform, and is active in promoting it as a portal for sharing datasets, posters and other research outputs. These two online events saw a spike in interest which has served to grow Figshare’s visibility:
“The analytics show we had a lot more visitors to Edge Hill’s Figshare thanks to these events. I really think we managed to spread the word around the University. Hopefully, we’ll see more data, posters, software, code and artefacts appearing as a result!” added Liam.
One of the current initiatives Dawne and Liam are working on is The National Teaching Repository: a UK-wide project in affiliation with Advance HE to share and disseminate exemplars of learning and teaching practice. Practitioners from universities and professional organisations with a learning and teaching focus share their practice across areas — including digital education, assessment and feedback, and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) — and review and enhance submissions from across the nation. Examples of recent submissions include an infographic guide for creating screencasts, using Blackboard to support international dissertation students, and assessment which promotes learning post coronavirus.
Dr. Dawne Irving-Bell is a Senior Learning and Teaching Fellow working within the Centre for Learning and Teaching at Edge Hill University. To see more of Dawne’s research on Edge Hill’s Figshare, visit https://figshare.edgehill.ac.uk/authors/Dawne_Irving-Bell/7900877.
Liam Bullingham is the Research Support Librarian at Edge Hill University. Liam’s outputs are available at https://figshare.edgehill.ac.uk/authors/Liam_Bullingham/7469021.