The “Guide of Guides” Series for Knowledge Translation

This blog post was written by Anneliese Poetz, KT Manager for KBHN. It was originally published as a guest post on the ResearchImpact blog (Source: The “Guide of Guides” Series for Knowledge Translation) it is reposted here with permission.

Kids Brain Health Network (formerly NeuroDevNet) is a Network of Centres of Excellence funded by the Federal government of Canada. There are three discovery programs focused on the early diagnosis and treatment of: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Cerebral Palsy. Three Cores serve the researchers and trainees within the Network as well as the other Cores: Neuroethics, Neuroinformatics, and Knowledge Translation (KT). The KT Core is hosted by York University’s award winning Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) Unit and provides 7 services within the Network:

1- Knowledge Brokering
2- Support for KT Events
3- Support for KT Products
4- KT Capacity Building
5- Evaluating KT
6- Support KT Planning
7- Stakeholder Engagement

A couple of years ago, one of our researchers asked us for guidance for using social media for KT. We realized while searching for what was ‘already out there’ that there are a lot of guides for social media, but not all of them are targeted towards use by researchers. In collaboration with York University’s KMb Unit, we produced our first “Guide of Guides” that is a compilation of carefully selected and vetted guides for social media that are relevant. The “Guide of Guides” format resembles an annotated bibliography, where the reference information is provided for each guide along with a summary paragraph about the tool, how it can be used and why you may wish to use it. The “Social Media Guide of Guides” became the start of a series. This post serves as a “guide” to the “Guide of Guides” series.


Soon after, we produced the “KT Planning Guide of Guides”.

We were doing a search for existing KT planning guides because another project we were working on was to provide KT planning support for 4 key projects within the Network and we wanted to see if there was a tool out there that we could use. What we ended up doing was creating our own, that was specific to our own needs (the Hybrid KT Planning and Project Management tool). However, we had conducted an exhaustive search of existing KT Planning tools so we reviewed and vetted them for quality and relevance, and created a similar “Guide of Guides” for KT Planning.

We received several requests from researchers for support and resources for creating infographics. After searching for existing guides, we realized that surprisingly there weren’t any guides for researchers about infographics, only blog posts. So, we vetted the blog posts, searched the literature and wrote a comprehensive evidence-based guide, followed by an annotated list of what we deemed were the best blog posts on infographics. Some blog posts pointed to examples of infographics, while others explained step by step how to create an infographic and what tools were available (usually free, online) for creating your own. While the content wasn’t really a “Guide of Guides” per se, we titled this product the “Infographic Guide of Guides”. We were fortunate to have one project team pilot test a draft of this guide and provide feedback before it was finalized and posted. This is the first guide that included an appendix with form-fillable fields to help research teams work through the process of creating an infographic.

Finally, we produced a “Stakeholder Engagement Guide of Guides”. There are many guides for doing stakeholder engagement, and it is becoming more important for KBHN to do stakeholder engagement in a more formalized way. After searching, reviewing, and vetting guides available online, we created a similarly formatted “Guide of Guides” for stakeholder engagement that also included a form-fillable appendix to help facilitate planning. Since there are many different reasons (goals/objectives) for engaging with stakeholders and many different formats for doing so, we created a summary table at the beginning of the guide that separates the types of engagement into three tables: mostly sharing information with stakeholders, sharing and listening, and mostly listening. The list of specific formats within each category was visually coded so that the user can easily find the corresponding guide for detailed information.

The KT Core may produce one more “Guide of Guides” on evaluation methods for KT.

What do the acronyms TEDx, ASD and iKT have in common?

TedX

Source: What do the acronyms TEDx, ASD and iKT have in common?

This week’s guest post comes from the ASD Mental Health site, Dr. Jonathan Weiss’ Blog. It was first published on April 13, 2016 and is reposted here with permission. 

by Drs. Jonathan Lai & Jonathan Weiss

On Saturday May 28th, the Chair in ASD Treatment and Care Research[1] will be hosting Spectrum, a TEDxYorkUSalon focussing on concerns relevant to transition-age youth and to adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

When the Chair was first launched, we asked stakeholders (e.g. people with ASD, clinicians, family members, policymakers, and researchers) how they wanted to be engaged with, both in terms of what we’re doing, and what was going on in the Canadian field of autism research. The message was clear: we need more than one approach, for multiple types of audiences, including those we already knew as well as those in the autism community we had not yet reached. So how best to develop a dynamic, accessible, and efficient way of exchanging knowledge about autism across so many different perspectives? This is where TEDx comes in.

Our upcoming event is part of our strategy of innovative knowledge mobilization and stakeholder engagement. Since knowledge translation is a learning process among stakeholders with different perspectives and expertise, we have involved people with ASD, parents, researchers, educators, policy makers, and service providers as presenters. The presenters will give short 8-minute talks which will be placed online following the event and made freely accessible to the public.

The well-known and appreciated TED format is all about developing, refining, and sharing ideas in an entertaining way, both for those present in the physical audience, as well as those in a virtual audience who can access the talks worldwide. It’s a format, and a brand, that has tremendous recognition and a demonstrated ability to break down complex knowledge into a format that can appeal to a wide range of audiences: it’s open to everyone. Since our goal is share the knowledge that’s been generated in the Canadian autism community openly, we are creating broadly appealing content that will be available through the TEDx in-person and online platforms. We believe it will be an effective method to bring multiple perspectives together and listen to one another.

How can you plan your own TEDx event?

tedx notepadA TEDx event is not an easy thing to coordinate or one that can be developed in only a few months time. You will need dedicated personnel; we have one person (JL) who is dedicated to coordinating all aspects of the day over a 12 month period, for about one day a week.  Our timeline was as follows, based on our capacity:

Timeline (# months in advance of event date) Task to be completed
10 months Read TEDx guidelines, craft vision and goals
9 months Find a venue and date, have an budget
8 months Curate speakers, identify sponsors and partners
7 months Construct a program (running order)
6 months Form your teams (A/V, volunteers)
5 months Coach speakers (monthly emails, one-on-one sessions)
5 months Build a website (marketing)
2 month Promote to your audience (marketing)

First, craft your vision and goals (10 months ahead of time). It’s important to think through and articulate your vision (how would you define success?) and then identify how you can evaluate whether and to what extent you achieved your goals. Our vision and goals were to: 1) make topics of ASD research accessible, 2) build enthusiasm about research and 3) expand reach globally to people living with ASD, students and service providers. This shaped the types of questions we asked on our evaluation forms. For example, we hope that the TEDxYorkUSalon event will lead to greater excitement, optimism and familiarity about Canadian research in ASD and with regard to how people view ASD more generally. We ask questions about these topics in an optional questionnaire when they register, and will do so again after the event, to measure individual change.

tedx organizer's manualAs you begin this goal setting and visioning process, read the guidelines to know what goals are feasible. The TEDx Organizer’s Manual had many helpful tips and a step-by-step guide on how to organize an event like this properly. Since this is our first time, we had a steep learning curve. There are various guidelines for the different types of events. TEDx licenses are given to people based on location (e.g. TEDxNewYork, TEDxToyko, TEDxUniversityofLeeds, TEDxYorkU) and there are different guidelines for each event type with respect to: the number of attendees, types of sponsorships, branding of the event etc. We decided to run a Salon event under TEDxYorkU – a smaller event run under approved TEDx license holders because it allows us to explore a more specific topic rather than a general theme. Your vision and goals must align with the type of event – as that determines the structure that enables what you can do.

Ultimately it’s crucial to stick with TED’s strictly prescribed format, which can be difficult for us researchers who are used to having full control over the design and execution of our own events. By choosing to go with the TEDx format, it meant letting go of some of that control. We learned that we had to be flexible – working with a brand with licensing guidelines, we had to adapt each time we were constrained by requirements. For instance, we had to ensure the number of presenters and attendees were approved and that sponsors were not related / perceived to influence/bias talk content. Further, we had to figure out how to brand the event properly – the Event webpage couldn’t be associated with our research brand (Chair website, ASDMentalHealth Blog, or even York University). We would encourage on-going communication within your team and those involved so everyone is on the same page.

Tedx audienceLooking for an appropriate venue, we kept in mind not only costs but accessibility for families – as well as technical requirements for our event (e.g. lighting, staging). With the depth and breadth of enthusiastic, passionate Canadian researchers, advocates and parents available, we had no difficulty finding individuals who could fit the TED requirements. Our speakers are up for the challenge, currently being coached to chiselling their passion, knowledge and experience into a tight 8 minutes. Similarly, finding partners and sponsors for the event was not a big challenge. Many organizations that shared the same vision of KT and gladly supported us, including the Faculty of Health at York University, NeuroDevNet, Kerry’s Place, Geneva Centre for Autism, Sinneave Family Foundation, and the Ontario Brain Institute.

We worked with an expert at York University who has successfully run TEDxYorkU over the last few years (Thanks Ross!), building on his success and his wisdom about what’s required in terms of advising speakers, creating an exciting schedule, space and technological issues. NeuroDevNet’s KT Core will be in attendance to engage with stakeholders and capture this engagement on video. Video taping of individual speakers is also being arranged through York University’s Learning Technology Services video team, who have had experience working with TEDxYorkU in the past and were familiar with TEDx guidelines.

Overall, familiarity with TEDx guidelines, building a team (e.g. with sponsors, speakers, technical support) and having consistent communication with those involved within is important to create a successful event. The exchange of ideas and having different perspectives (not just researchers) is, after all, the point of doing iKT!

For more information about this event, and how to register, please visit: http://www.tedxyorkusalon.org/ or contact Dr. Jonathan Weiss (jonweiss@yorku.ca) or Dr. Jonathan Lai (jonlai@yorku.ca) for details.


[1] The Chair in Autism Spectrum Disorder Treatment and Care Research is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in partnership with Autism Speaks Canada, the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance, Health Canada, NeuroDevNet and the Sinneave Family Foundation. Additional support from York University and ORION’s O3 Collaboration.

Clear Language That Packs a KT Punch

This week’s blog is written by Stacie Ross, KT Assistant for the KT Core of NeuroDevNet.

NeuroDevNet’s KT Core has been producing our ResearchSnapshot clear language research summaries since 2014. We have 39 ResearchSnapshots posted on the NeuroDevNet site neurodevnet.ca. Responding to feedback from our researchers, we revised our process for clear language writing to take advantage of the expertise of our trainees who are close to the research being summarized.

How We Made a Change

Listening to our researchers allowed us to implement a new process that streamlined and simplified the writing process while at the same time created a ResearchSnapshot that more accurately reflected the original research being summarized. The result will be a more succinct and easy-to-understand review, and trainee writers who have developed clear writing as a new skill and produced clear language research summaries can place these non-academic publications on their CVs. Trainees are encouraged to review our process and think about whether they would like to work with the KT Core, to create a clear language summary of either their own peer-reviewed publication or one from their supervisor.

Revised Process Flow Chart for ResearchSnapshots

Revised Process Created Through Trainee Feedback

The detailed process was designed through a few meetings, incorporating feedback, and testing logistics. The umbrella process without all of the details is really four simple steps for us.

  1. Create an instructional webinar on how to write clear language summaries.
  2. Invite our NeuroDevNet trainees to the webinar/to view it online afterwards.
  3. Put out a network-wide call for papers.
  4. Send regular reminders to the network to submit papers.

On August 14th, 2015, we held a webinar to inform NeuroDevNet trainees about clear language summaries and how to write a ResearchSnapshot. Michael Johnny, Manager of Knowledge Mobilization at York University and Anneliese Poetz, Manager, Knowledge Translation (KT Core) outlined just how important design and clear language are for the reader to be able to understand the science behind the ResearchSnapshot. The webinar was a success with great comments received through an online survey afterwards.

“I liked that I came into it knowing nothing about the topic and not being really sure what to expect, but found that I now understand the importance and function of research snapshots.”

“The webinar was a great opportunity to learn about [NeuroDevNet] and clear language writing.”

We also received some tips on how to improve our next webinar. One example,

“I would have liked to see an example of a good research snapshot and a research snapshot that is not meeting criteria. That would have allowed us to have a clearer understanding of what to strive for and what to avoid.”

We will seek to address this valuable feedback in future training sessions.

As I am new to NeuroDevNet, I enjoyed being a part of the webinar and getting to know the process and clear writing expectations. View the webinar to learn about the value of clear language. I am looking forward to creating many more ResearchSnapshots and contributing clear language summaries that can speak to diverse stakeholders and provide them with the information they need to make decisions, to be informed, to provide care, to access more information.

Dr. Jarred Garfinkle’s ResearchSnapshot, “How Much of Cerebral Palsy is Caused by Genetics,” will be a clear language summary of Dr. Maryam Oskoui’s publication, “Clinically relevant copy number variations detected in cerebral palsy.” This will be my first ResearchSnapshot that I have coordinated. The draft is in, it’s terrific, and the process has been smooth and simple thus far. With the support of the online webinar, the existing ResearchSnapshots for reference, the knowledge mobilization writing guide, and myself and the entire KT Core, bringing evidence into practice is proving to be efficient and effective and exciting!

If you are a NeuroDevNet researcher or trainee and have a peer-reviewed publication you’d like to translate into a ResearchSnapshot clear language research summary, contact the KT Core.

Research partners, research users and research impact

By: David Phipps, KT Lead, NeuroDevNet

“If you want your research to have an influence on early childhood literacy practice you’d better not be partnering with the fire department”

David Phipps leads discussion during workshop for research administrators in the UK

David Phipps leads discussion during workshop for research administrators in the UK

On April 15 I led a workshop for the UK Association of Research Managers and Administrators. This workshop was for research administrators (university staff managing research applications among other things) who were implementing the Research Excellence Framework. The REF 2014 was a research assessment exercise that assessed both research excellence and the impacts of research. For REF impact was defined as:

“an effect on, change or benefit to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life, beyond academia”

– (see page 26, REF Assessment Framework and Guidance on Submissions)

The REF officers and other research administrators interested in research impact gathered for a one day ARMA workshop to look beyond REF 2014. This included looking towards REF 2020 as well as beyond the narrowly construed REF frameworks including university research expertise (faculty and graduate students) that is engaged beyond the academy.

I used Melanie Barwick’s KT Planning Guide (click the link and enter your e-mail address to get access to the tool) as a tool to help the UK impact officers look beyond REF reporting on past impacts and start to create the conditions to enable future impacts. This planning guide asks researchers to consider 13 elements of a KT framework. Working through those 13 elements provides the raw material to then craft the KT strategy.

Melanie Barwick's KT Planning Tool

Melanie Barwick’s KT Planning Tool

The KT planning guide (elements 1-3) asks the researcher to consider the types and roles of partners in the research. Partners are the individuals/organizations who are along for the ride. They are co-producers of research. They help disseminate research results. They co-supervise students. They provide cash and in-kind (space, data, populations, equipment) resources to the research project.

The KT planning guide also asks the researcher to consider types of research users (element 5). These are individuals/organizations that take up the research evidence and use that evidence to inform decisions about public policy, professional practice and social services. The NCE Secretariat calls them “receptors” or “knowledge users (KUs)”. Both partners and receptors/users are critically important to the research to impact process. The co-produced pathway to impact outlines the pathway from research to impact on the lives of children with neurodevelopmental disorders and their families. Partners collaborate throughout but receptors only become involved after dissemination.

Phipps' Co-Produced Pathway to Impact, the evaluation framework adopted by NeuroDevNet NCE

Phipps’ Co-Produced Pathway to Impact, the evaluation framework adopted by NeuroDevNet NCE

Research partners will likely be research users but research users are not always research partners.

In the ARMA impact workshop one Impact Officer was convinced that research partners and research users were the same. After I explained the difference she remained unconvinced. That’s when I said, “If you want your research to have an influence on early childhood literacy practice you’d better not be partnering with the fire department”. Research users need to be coherent with research partners because one informs and/or has access to the other.

For NeuroDevNet’s social ABC’s intervention led by Dr. Jessica Brian from Holland Bloorview as part of the Autism Discovery Program, the research partner is Humber College which has two full-time community-based childcare settings. Humber College’s practitioners-in-training will help develop and evaluate the intervention. The knowledge users will be early childhood centres and day care centres across Canada who will put the research evidence into practice by using it to support early childhood learning. The KT Core will work with Dr. Brian and her partners help identify these receptors/KUs and broker collaborations so that Social ABC will be implemented and evaluated beyond the research project setting.

If you want the KT Core to help you find partners and receptors/users to help translate your research into early diagnosis, validated interventions and supports throughout the life span please contact the KT Core.

Knowledge Translation (KT) Best Practices for Networks of Centres of Excellence

By: Anneliese Poetz, KT Manager, NeuroDevNet

It all started in Halifax at the NCE KT Best Practices Symposium, hosted by MEOPAR when the NCE Secretariat co-presented with David Phipps and me on indicators and reporting for Knowledge Translation (otherwise known as KM or Knowledge Mobilization).  Afterwards, we were invited to co-present on the first day of a 2-day meeting that took place in Ottawa on March 30 and 31, 2015 on KT Best Practices for NCEs.

David J. Phipps, Photo by: Hans Posthuma Photography. Manager, Communications - NCE Secretariat

David J. Phipps, Lead, Knowledge Translation (KT) Core, NeuroDevNet. Photo by: Hans Posthuma Photography. Manager, Communications – NCE Secretariat

The day that David and I co-facilitated the meeting in Ottawa on behalf of NeuroDevNet, there were 2 other NCEs (Canadian Water Network, PREVNet) and the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health who also actively participated presenting their tools for KT.  There was a lot of behind the scenes preparation in the months and days leading up to the event.   Each of these 3 organizations provided tools they had created for themselves: CWN and CYMH shared their KT planning tools, while PREVNet’s contribution was an example of an evidence-informed tool for practitioners.

David moderated part 1, which consisted of presentations, panel discussion and Q&A for each of the 3 tools.  Once the audience had a chance to learn what the tools were all about, I facilitated part 2 which was all about applying them.  The KT planning tools were applied to case studies from their respective organizations, and also to the PREVNet anti-bullying guide which was adapted to be a real-life ‘case study’ – in essence, the group would help develop a KT plan for PREVNet to be able to achieve the greatest awareness, dissemination and eventual uptake, implementation and impact of their KT product.

2015 NCE annual best practices sessions 121 cropped

Photo by: Hans Posthuma Photography. Manager, Communications – NCE Secretariat

Representatives from each of these 3 organizations circulated amongst the participants to answer questions and provide guidance if needed.  Overall, the group of over 60 NCE executives took the task seriously and came up with some great ideas!  When the break out groups reported back to the large group, their feedback was typed onto a large screen ‘live’ so everyone could see, and so there would be a record of their ideas – especially for the benefit of PREVNet so they could apply the KT planning ideas suggested by the group.

Sharing tools for KT is important because it helps advance the field of KT, the sense of community among NCEs, and perhaps most importantly maximize the potential for each NCE to achieve the uptake, implementation and impact of their research findings.  Providing attendees the opportunity to learn about and then apply one of the tools in a small group (social learning) was intended to increase the likelihood that they’d use (or adapt) one or more of the tools to their own NCE’s context.

“David and Anneliese facilitated a great hands-on practical session.  Solid KM practices are increasingly recognized as important elements of a network’s strategic plan.  The participants were left with a variety of very useful tools to choose from and apply to their unique needs.”
– Stéphanie Michaud, Deputy Director of the NCE program

The KT Core provides support for KT Events. If you are planning an event that has a KT component, contact the KT Core to find out how we can help.