Although knowledge mobilization is often used in a research context, it can be applied to many different fields and sectors of employment. Engaging in knowledge mobilization requires applying a wide variety of skills such as stakeholder engagement, clear language writing skills, communications, design, social media engagement, event planning and facilitation, and evaluation. While these skills are often in-demand for job candidates, students don’t usually receive training for them in school. Therefore, to better prepare students for job searching and employment, it is important to provide them with opportunities to learn about and develop these skills.
The University of Guelph launched an 8-session workshop series that provided targeted skills building sessions in knowledge mobilization related topics for faculty, staff, and students on campus. These hands-on sessions were facilitated by knowledge mobilization experts; participants learned how to successfully plan, execute, and evaluate knowledge mobilization activities. As well, throughout the sessions, participants were invited to apply the workshops’ content to their own research contexts and goals and bring real examples to work on. The goals of the workshops were to be highly participatory and provide practical knowledge, skills, and tools to its participants.
The 8 sessions included:
1) Planning for Research Impact
2) Stakeholder Engagement
3) Clear Language Writing
4) Design Principles: Designing for your Audience
5) Website Design and Digital Accessibility
6) Social Media Engagement
7) Event Planning and Facilitation
8) Evaluating KTT Activities
The workshops were well received on campus; for almost all sessions, registrations were at capacity. As well, many participants attended more than one workshop. Post-workshop evaluations indicated that participants felt that their knowledge and skill level on the topic areas increased. Overall, the workshops were considered a success. The University of Guelph is offering these workshop sessions online again in 2021! To learn more and register, click here!
In addition, the University of Guelph used funding from the Future Skills Centre to collaborate on four other initiatives that aimed at building skills and capacity in knowledge mobilization. These initiatives included:
• Guelph/KW Knowledge Translation Community of Practice
• Certificate in Knowledge Mobilization
• Facilitation Workshop
• The Improve Life Challenge
University of Guelph also used the Future Skills Centre funding to collaborate on five separate initiatives (one of which was the skills workshop series). To learn more about them, read the full report here.
The above report was created in partnership between Research Impact Canada and the University of Guelph.
This work was funded by The Conference Board of Canada through the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Future Skills Centre, its funder, or its partners.
Future Skills Centre is a partnership of Ryerson University, The Conference Board of Canada, and Blueprint.