Does your organisation carry out research? How can you maximise the impact of your findings? Read on to see how we created a research communication course to help researchers create accessible and engaging material.
Leonie Phillips, Director of Thought Leadership at CPA Ontario, was looking for tools that would enable chartered professional accountants to disseminate their findings more effectively. She wanted to provide them with training that would allow them to bring their research to life.
We had previously collaborated with CPA Ontario to create visual summaries of their research. As a result, Leonie approached us to create a bespoke video course titled “Reaching your audience: How to make research visual and impactful” and aimed at accounting researchers.
Creating an accounting research communication video course was a new experience for us, and we enjoyed every step of the way. In this blog, we share our journey with you.
About the collaboration
CPA Ontario develops accounting national standards and programmes that are used as examples around the world. The professional development of its members is important to the CPA Ontario community. They help accounting professionals and researchers to communicate their findings to the academic community, businesses and the general public.
In our previous collaboration with CPA Ontario, we created five research-based visual summaries. You can find them on the insights page of the institution. This was the catalyst for the creation of the bespoke research communication course. After discussing the purpose and content of the course, we decided to create a short and interactive video course tailored to the accounting discipline. Thanks to our experience providing online sessions we were able to tailor the material in our research communication workshops to meet the needs of the CPA Ontario community.
Producing the research communication course with an international team
The production of the research communication course was jointly made in the UK and in Canada. The five lessons of the research communication course were hosted by our founder and director of Research Retold, Mihaela Gruia. We partnered up with a local and talented team for filming and editing the videos. We also had special guests from CPA Ontario and their partner universities to enrich the content. They provided examples of the benefits and challenges of research communication in the accounting industry. The Canadian team filmed the interviews and our team integrated these into the course.
The research communication course – five lessons
The research communication course for the accounting discipline consisted of 5 short lessons and a workbook that included practical exercises for participants to complete at their own pace. We have observed in our workshops this is very effective to allow participants to digest the content and think about their own research in a different way.
The first lesson explored the importance of communicating research beyond academia and its benefits. For example, staying in control of the narrative, maximising the impact of the findings and supporting evidence-based decision making.
At Research Retold we consider that defining the audience when planning to communicate research is crucial to creating effective material. So in the second lesson, we focused on setting a goal and defining the audience. We always encourage researchers to think about what the people they want to reach would find interesting and useful rather than what researchers find compelling.
In this lesson, we provided guidance for researchers to craft their central research message. This is crucial when engaging with non-expert audiences. We presented attendees with tools that can help them write their message in a simple way, which in turn makes the dissemination material accessible.
In lesson four, we focused on different dissemination formats for accounting research. We provided accounting-specific examples of blog posts, white papers and visual summaries, among other formats, to inspire participants to explore different options and decide which one best fits their goals and audience. When deciding the format, it is important to consider the channels of distribution for the produced material; preferably use the channels your audience uses most frequently.
Finally, we delved into how to structure the content of the research communication material. We shared our suggested structure for a visual summary and offered ideas for visual elements and designing tools that could bring their research to life.
“Research Retold helped us develop a 5-part interactive video training course on research communication. The team did a fabulous job, handling the entire production process between the UK and Canada. We were impressed by the quality of production, from creating the script, filming and editing the videos, and producing the supporting training materials. Throughout the process, their team has been collaborative, as well as prompt and efficient in implementing feedback. I would recommend Research Retold to any research-focused organisation looking for innovative ways to make their work impactful and accessible for broader audiences.”
Director, Research and Thought Leadership, CPA Ontario
Does a video course sound like something that could help researchers in your organisation? If you are interested in a bespoke workshop or video course on research communication for your organisation contact us! Write to [email protected]
Many thanks to our Research Communicator, Phebe Bonilla, for writing this blog post.