ERIC Number: ED422406
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Communicating Educational Research Data to General, Nonresearcher Audiences. ERIC/AE Digest.
MacColl, Gail S.; White, Kathleen D.
This digest describes some of the problems researchers face in communicating educational research data to general, nonresearcher audiences. Accessibility is one problem. Most research on effective educational practices does not filter down to the people who contribute or control funding. Another problem is that of readability. In the rare event that a general reader gains access to materials about educational programs, stylistic characteristics, including organization, terminology, and presentation of statistical data, often make the materials difficult to read. Researchers often have difficulty in reporting on practices that don't work, and this fact affects the amount of educational research that reaches the general public. Most steps that could make research data more useful to more people are relatively easy to accomplish. First, the focus should be on the audience. Findings should be summarized in plain language at the beginning of the report, and information should be presented so that it can be absorbed quickly. Researchers will need to: (1) simplify their language; (2) create simple tabular material; (3) incorporate inviting graphics; (4) enlist the aid of journalists and other communicators; (5) publish on the Internet; and (6) make certain that the research supports the conclusions. (Contains four references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Communication (Thought Transfer), Educational Research, Higher Education, Readability, Research Reports, Researchers, Technical Writing, Writing for Publication
ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation, The Catholic University of America, Shriver Laboratory, College Park, MD 20742; toll-free phone: 800-464-3742 (free).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation, Washington, DC.