I think the biggest thing coming out of ChallengeCPD for me is about toolkits, guides and Do It Yourself CPD. It's clear from our work so far that CPD is about so much more than the intervention itself. Good CPD interventions help individuals understand their existing skills, are timely, responsive and facilitate the realisation of new knowledge and understanding. There is more though so we are going to look back through the feedback from our training (as well as more general feedback about the work of the Public Engagement Unit) to see if we can identify some of the characteristics of our work that mean our approaches are valued. Watch this space for a summary.
The reason I'm thinking about toolkits, guides and DIY CPD is multifold. On a deeply pragmatic level, the Public Engagement Unit has to streamline what it does. We simply don't have the capacity to deliver CPD in the manner in which we have over the last 5.5 years. But I'm also interested in exploring how we can deliver CPD differently to meet the needs of the colleagues we work with and still maintain that quality. Can toolkits etc still facilitate high quality CPD?
We're going to take a look at existing toolkits and guides that exist, as well as create and pilot our own, to explore the potential for this approach. We've done this once already with a workshop and 'train the trainer' package which seems to be going well.
A handful of guides that have been published recently are here:
- Imperial College has published Ellen Dowell's guide to running Pop Up Shops for Public Engagement
- Christian Aid and the Open University guide for Rethinking Research Partnerships
- Sense About Science have produced a guide for Involving the Public when Communicating About Your Research
- Biochemical Society has recently shared its Scientific Scissors guide for running hands-on activities around Genome Editing
- The Open University created a snakes and ladders game to prompt discussion and reflection about the use of social media for engagement
There are lots (hundreds!) more. But do they work? How do people use them? Are they a useful summary that people can use after a workshop? Are they something to read before you go and speak with someone? Can you use them with colleagues to help with your shared professional development? Can they be used and not lose those key qualities that participants value such as being responsive?
What was a key moment of self-directed learning that you remember? Doesn't have to be public engagement.
If you've come across a great resource that's helped you make sense of public engagement, I'd love to hear about it.