Backward design can help you plan your research

Research is more than simply collecting data and writing up results. Particularly if you’re a pre-tenure assistant professor looking to establish your research agenda, research is also about planning and arranging your publications. Without a sufficient guide, you can miss opportunities or fall short of your institution’s research expectations for tenure and beyond. In today’s post, I want to share how backward design can help you plan your research activities.

backward design can help you plan your research

Photo credit: Paul Albertella

Backward design is an approach to curriculum development that calls for creating learning goals and then working backward from those goals to determine instructional methods and assessments.

The goal with backward design is to teach toward specific goals which helps to focus and organization a course. Backward design provides a roadmap to guide the instructor.

Similarly, backward design can help you develop a roadmap for your research activities. 

Tips for publishing with students

Graduate and undergraduate students can be tremendous assets to your research endeavors and can serve as the embodiment of a merger between your teaching and research activity. For all the benefits of working with students, some concerns and challenges exist. In today’s post, I want to share some tips for publishing with students that you can use to make sure that your publishing relationships with students go well for everyone involved.

tips for publishing with students

Photo credit: Alan Levine

What are the types of academic publications?

Academic publishing represents one of the most significant aspects of the work of faculty members as well as graduate students. One’s success in academic publishing fundamentally determines one’s success in higher education. Publishing is vital for getting a faculty position and critical in the tenure decision. Unlike other aspects of faculty work such as teaching or service, the high stakes world of academic publishing is fraught with complications. What counts? How is one type of publication weighted compared to another? These questions are quite context-specific depending on your discipline, institution, and department. In today’s post, I want to help unpack academic publishing and research by exploring the question of what are the different types of academic publications.

Photo credit: Sam Churchill

Like the broader publishing world, academic publishing has changed dramatically in recent years. Universities have closed academic presses and the need to turn a profit, while always present, has grown exponentially more relevant to publishing decisions.

The ratcheting up of tenure expectations with institutional aspirations has led to journals and presses being inundated with mediocre manuscripts.

How to create a reverse outline

Writing a manuscript of any length is hard, but writing a longer piece presents special challenges. Whether you’re like me and have been writing for a while or a graduate student just getting started, writing longer manuscripts present special challenges. In particular, I believe longer manuscripts present challenges in staying focused, having a strong logical flow, and keeping your reader engaged.  In today’s post, I want to describe how to create a reverse outline to improve your writing.

Typically, we think of outlines as something to be completed prior to beginning the writing process.

Reverse outlines are completed after the first draft of a piece of writing.

How to measure writing progress

There can be few things more deflating than working hard watching what you eat only to find that you gained 2 pounds. Writing and dieting have much in common. As I work with faculty, I often find myself giving advice for writing similar to dieting advice. In today’s post, I will share tips on how to measure your writing progress. As with dieting and many other areas of life, what we measure is what we improve.

Photo credit: eflon