Disseminating and exploiting experience
Concrete project results that are categorised as products and methods are fairly straightforward to "sell" to end users. They are tangible, and information can be shared about their benefits relatively easily through traditional dissemination and exploitation methods. This is not the case if the end results are people's or organisations' experiences - these results can often defy categorisation. They are intangible, perhaps subjective, and may not even be long lasting. However, their value should not be underestimated - project teams need to be creative when disseminating and exploiting these types of results.
What is experience?
Experience gained through the work of a project may be unexpected, unpredictable but essentially human in nature. Experience could be:
Passing on informal knowledge
Experience may well be more difficult to disseminate and exploit because it is so intangible. Traditional modes of dissemination, such as printed material, websites, CD-ROMs, e-newsletters may not be the best place to describe what are essentially personal views and perspectives about a project's findings. Experience is often very specific in nature and, hence, its transferability to other contexts may not always be immediately apparent.
However, e-media should not be entirely discounted. The YouTube™ phenomenon shows what can be achieved by posting videos on websites). Project teams should ensure their sites are able to host videos and other audio-visual media. Such platforms offer a great way for people to explain their feelings and experience. Online fora offer an interactive spin on using internet technologies, enabling project teams to discuss their experience while receiving questions and feedback.
Project teams need to think carefully about using events, such as conferences, seminars and workshops. They could think about planning a discussion forum at a conference, which will offer those involved in a project the opportunity to explain what lessons they have learned. This networking task would be a good way to pass on knowledge and provide future project users with the chance to meet key staff on a one-to-one basis.
The "Building Bridges across Boundaries" project aims to improve the dissemination of quality development practices for schools in Southern and Eastern Europe. It is looking at ways of disseminating the experience, findings and approaches that stemmed from a previous project called "Evaluating Quality in School Education".
Bridges is a Socrates accompanying measure and will build on the original project's final report which analysed questions of mutual interest on education policy. The aim is to widen the scope of the report's impact, making the results more accessible and transferable.
A key aspect of the work is to ensure experience is shared. To that end, the project partners have made “critical country friendships”, which involve the schools and provide the opportunity to take part in study visits and cultural exchanges.
More details: Filozofická Fakulta.