Welcome to a new feature here on the evidencebased.education blog – a fortnightly piece on what we’ve been working on.
We felt that a lot of the project-based work we do goes on in the background, and that this would be an excellent platform to share what exciting stuff we’ve been up to.
It seems appropriate then – given that as I sit here writing this, Stuart is away at the University of Tübingen, teaching a twice-annual course in Research at the Nexus of Policy and Practice at their LEAD Graduate School – to make this the starting point of the feature: the website we’ve been working on for that very department.
LEAD is a fantastic Graduate School (of which Stuart is an International Affiliate, no less), led by some awesome people, and conducting some cutting-edge research in education. Like many, though, they felt a real disconnect in the work they do, and communicating this with the ordinary Joe (or, should I say, Jens) on the street, in the classroom, and in educational policy throughout Germany.
The challenge, then, was to create a welcoming and user-friendly portal into the world of LEAD; it should be one which could be regularly updated with blog content, research findings, events, etc., but it should retain much of the professionalism that so often stifles the readability and navigability of such websites.
For starters, the team stated their “pleasure” at our own website (what can I say, they’ve got good taste!), so we used this as a model and built it up from there.
In close communication with them throughout, we drew up a list of priorities: increasing the number of “Partnerschulen” (schools signing up to participate in LEAD research), for one, and having a bank of really useful, pragmatic and relevant content for teachers to use as a knowledge base and a first port of call for German-language tips on evidence-based education.
Having written and translated this bank of texts, we also added a blogging function for them to publish their research findings, and a short quiz to engage teachers and members of the public, to test their education research knowledge and to funnel them towards resources at the right sort of level.
The result is something which we are proud to put our name to. LEAD Graduate School has been delighted with our work thus far (we will continue to maintain the site on their behalf), and hopefully, it will provide the bridge they were looking for between the four walls of the university building and the general public.
View the site by heading to lead.schule, and let us know what you think. If you’re interested to find out more about what we do here at evidencebased.education, contact us, or head to our homepage for more information.