11 October 2016 9 Comments
Dr Angela Dobele is an academic at RMIT University in Melbourne. Her teaching and research practices seek to make vital contributions to resolving the social, environmental and wicked problems of our times.
In her scholarly practice, Angela aims to be grounded in real-world problems, critical in theoretical and marketing orientation, and andragogical in her approach to student performance.
Her thesis topic and subsequent research considers word-of-mouth (at the intersection of relationship marketing and communication theories), both online (viral) and traditional referrals. Her other research topics concern academic workloads and research on student performance. Angela can be found on Twitter at @AngelaDobele.
An Organiser’s Perspective of Writing Groups: Dr Angela Dobele (@AngelaDobele)
It’s really hard in a crowded academic life to make time for your own research writing and spend time with your colleagues.
To create a great foundation for doing both, I introduced a writing program at my institution that aims to help staff and research higher degree students with the twin goals of improving writing skills and ramping up writing productivity. The program is currently in its fourth consecutive semester and gradually increasing in popularity.
I conduct two writing groups each semester. In the program, we use the metaphor of ‘landing planes’ (a phrase coined by one of my first participants, Professor Lisa Farrell) with each aeroplane representing the achievement of a specific writing goal, such as submission of a journal manuscript or book chapter.
Over the three previous semesters that the program has run, participants have successfully landed 102 planes. Landed planes include 27 papers submitted to top flight journals, 18 grant applications (including four ARC expressions of interest and an ARC Linkage expression of interest), and 10 journal re-submissions.
The program is having an impact because it:
- Socialises a task that is traditionally lonely (writing);
- Incorporates gamification in the development of new writing habits (specifically, habitual writing practice);
- Develops skills that make a favourable impact on research performance (research outputs and quality of outputs).