Information for students, faculty and staff regarding COVID-19. (Updated: 21 October 2020)
In this PhD level course students will learn about the common skills that all effective science communicators have: identifying and characterising the target audience, distilling the relevant information to be communicated, effective ways to deliver and receive information, and the variety of techniques and media by which scientific information is communicated. The final outcome of the course will consist of students presenting their video elevator pitches at the KBC DAYS 2020.
If you are a PhD student or Postdoc, we encourage you to present your project during the KBC DAYS 2020, November 3-4, in a form of a short video research pitch and a break-out room discussion. Your pre-recorded videos will be available on the conference homepage during the KBC DAYS. In your personal break-out room, you will discuss your video presentation and your project with the KBC DAYS participants. You will be the moderator of your break-out room discussion. Feel free to prepare your discussion as you like (e.g., prepare some background information that you can show during the discussion).
To help you to present yourself and your project in the best way, we offer you to participate in the course "Science Communication: Video Research Pitch (1 ECTS)". As a part of this course, you will produce a video research pitch.
Note! The course is now open for all PhD students and Postdocs, but midterm PhD students will be given priority for the course participation. The number of course places is limited (first come, first served)!
Credits: 1 ECTS credits
Syllabus valid from: 2020-09-15
Main field of study: General science
Grading system: G pass, U Fail
Level of Education: Doctoral course
Dates: 20, 21, and 23 October 2020
Admitted PhD students
After completing the course, students shall be able to:
Knowledge and understanding
Competence and skills
Judgement and approach
Day 1: 20 October 2020 – in person
8:15-12:00: Why and where do we communicate science? Elevator pitch exercise.
13:00-16:30: Homework: Message Box
Day 2: 21 October 2020 – via Zoom
8:15-12:00: Developing a communication toolkit. Message box feedback and elevator pitch practice.
13:00-16:30: Homework: filming first version of video and writing of introductory text.
Day 3: 23 October 2020 – via Zoom
8:15-12:00: Creating video presentations. Feedback exercises.
In an increasingly linked and networked world, scientists need to be effective communicators to many different audiences, from grant agencies to scientific peers, public audiences and the media. To communicate science well does not always come naturally, but just like other aspects of scientific work, science communication is a skill that can be learnt and developed. In this PhD level course students will learn about the common skills that all effective science communicators have: identifying and characterizing the target audience, distilling the relevant information to be communicated, effective ways to deliver and receive information, and the variety of techniques and media by which scientific information is communicated.
The course will be hosted by a science communication professional. The two and a half-day course will cover the following topics
1. Why communicate science?
2. The media ecosystem – how people encounter science in their everyday lives (radio, TV, newspapers, blogs, podcasts, social media, websites).
3. Elevator talks – how to distill information down to the essential points.
4. Creating a video elevator talk.
The nature of this subject will require active participation, interaction and creativity. Students will be required to communicate with each other during the course to practice and develop these skills. The activities that participants will undertake include:
• Story boarding and the Message Box tool
• Writing a short introductory text about yourself and your research (2-3 sentences)
• Creating a video ‘elevator talk’ about your own research (3-5 minutes)
This course consists of 3 half-day sessions with short introductions to course topics, and hands-on exercises and feedback sessions with the instructor, and in small groups. 2 half-days are also provided for individual work to create and refine the course outcome, the video elevator pitch.
Practical exercises will occur in small groups, e.g. one-on-one between two students with instruction, guidance and support from the course instructor. Students will offer feedback for each other’s communications efforts, e.g. elevator talk, switch roles and then form new one-on-one groups. After small group activities, students will then present their communication effort to the larger group for feedback.
The final outcome of the course will consist of students presenting their video elevator pitches at the KBC days. These videos and the presentation of the videos will inform their final evaluation at the end of the course. The course instructor will provide written feedback on these videos after KBC days. In addition, the short text produced in the course will be used on the KBC days conference website to introduce the students and their videos.
The grade will be determined by the level of participation and quality in the daily practical activities and the video elevator pitch. Student participation requires actively developing communication tools and providing critical feedback to other students throughout the course.
Academic credit transfers are always reviewed individually according to the University’s set of rules and academic credit transfer regulations.
Some excerpts from the book above and any other course materials used will be available online through the course’s Cambro website, or given out during the course.
There is a lot of practical, hands-on work during the course such as crafting your message and making a video. You will need internet connectivity, a laptop, something to record video on (e.g. laptop, smart phones, tablet computer, and digital cameras with a video function) and you will need to know how to transfer your video to a common computer.
Based on current COVID-19 restrictions, this course will be conducted partially through a virtual conferencing platform, such as Zoom. The first day we will meet in person, and the rest of the time virtually.