Module 5: Dissemination and Sharing Strategies


While academic research has an important global audience of other researchers, its applicability and impact beyond scholarly peers is an important part of contributing to ethical and responsible futures. Design ethnography is valuable in this regard, because projects often seek to address real-world shared questions, and the findings it can reach can be readily translated for wider audiences. It is also an approach used outside academic research, because its insights can directly support changes in design, systems and processes of many kinds.

Bringing research outcomes to external audiences, however, requires ways of sharing research findings that stretch beyond conventional academic writing. It can also mean collaborating with external partners who have their own distinct aims and priorities. In this Module, students will consider who the audiences might be for design ethnographic research and how to ensure their scholarship is accessible to those audiences. We will consider examples of collaborations with external partners by Lab members, and discuss forms of research dissemination that proved most useful.

In doing so, we will explore examples of innovative materials that Lab members have created and used to communicate with industry partners, such as ‘key findings cards’, industry reports, videos and documentary film.

The videos discuss:

  • Research impact beyond academic audiences, drawing on Assoc Prof Yolande Strengers’ extensive experience in researching household energy consumption with industry partners.
  • Prof Naomi Stead’s commitment to non-traditional research outputs (NTROs) including exhibitions, hybrid forms of writing and other creative forms of expression.

These are augmented by examples of industry reports, findings cards, and academic publications in the reading list that discuss or exemplify the use of novel forms of research dissemination.

Learning outcomes

  • Students will learn how design ethnographic research can be best developed in collaboration with external partners.
  • They will also learn how different forms of disseminating research findings suit different audiences, and what to consider in sharing their own scholarship.

Research impact beyond academic audiences

Non-traditional research outputs

Reading list