Designing a Research Exchange

April 5, 2013

Image will this thing fly?

The Wright Brothers finally designed something that could fly, so maybe we could too.

We want to create an exchange, or a collaboration, that would more closely knit research conducted in our School of Education with the teachers and organizations that could feed into it and benefit from it.

After two years of fact finding and data gathering we called our inaugural planning meeting. We invited representatives from faculty, staff, statewide organizations, and school districts. A professional facilitator guided our 4-hour discussion so that we could take notes and participate.

We have examined similar research exchanges operating at other universities and have sifted through to extract what might work in our own context, with our resources and challenges. We came up with the following, to be addressed at subsequent meetings:

Facilitate a place or space for practitioners and researchers to ask questions and get answers

Put system in place that serves not just large districts but all

Must have broad faculty interest and investment

Image the design team meets

Create a repository of information

A collaboration of groups & network of organizations

Build a prototype

Offer mutual incentives for practitioners and researchers, parity in access

A place for simple info sharing, match making, and collaborative research

Funds needed for meetings of collaborators, to hire a full time staff person

Use resources of allied organizations

Ask the University and the School to provides seed/startup funds

Sustain with help from grants

Image our facilitator takes notes

Next steps: Interview faculty researchers to create detailed descriptions of their current work and their future interests

Pursue funding/resources

Define metrics for success

Do 1 or 2 things well, maintain a focus

Discover the important, shared challenges facing practitioners , districts, and statewide entities

Create timeline including school districts and issues of need.

The immediate task is to create a summary and proposal document to present to the Dean.