First Issue of Connected Science Learning a Great Success

CSL editor Dennis Schatz discusses the response to our first issue, the journal’s new serialized publication format, and this issue’s theme, professional development.

 

All of us associated with producing Connected Science Learning are delighted with your reception of the journal’s first issue. In just the first week, the journal received more than 3,000 views. It currently receives about 50 views each day, with periodic spikes when a new announcement about the journal is sent.

We thank all of you who provided comments and feedback about the first issue. Kelly Riedinger of Oregon State University, the journal’s evaluator, documented strong ratings from readers regarding their satisfaction with the content. Readers also reported recommending the journal to colleagues and plans to follow the journal as new issues are released. The many testimonials brought the numerical ratings to life:

The articles seem to be more related to my work than articles you typically find in teaching journals.

This is exactly the type of resource/information that I am seeking to help me develop my programs and business.

I really enjoyed the first issue, and could not stop until I read it completely.

There are very few places to publish work that goes across formal and informal science education, and this will be helpful for disseminating findings that bridge these areas.

The suggestions for improvement were primarily technical ones, such as the need to make it easier to email the author(s) of articles. The editorial team has worked to make these improvements for this issue.

Serializing Connected Science Learning

One suggestion that came from a member of our advisory committee—and was strongly supported by the rest of the members—was to take advantage of the web-based nature of Connected Science Learning to issue it in parts over several months. If you are like me, you read a number of journals. When each one arrives, you peruse the table of contents and may read a couple of articles until other tasks demand your time. You put the journal on your “to read” pile, where the journal slowly gets buried as other journals arrive. You rarely get back to the articles you promised you would read, and ultimately shelve the journal in your archives or recycle it.

Serializing Connected Science Learning means that issues will be published over three months, with about one-third of the current issue being posted to the website in the first month. Another third will be posted a month later, and the last articles in the issue will be posted in the third month. Subscribers will receive an e-mail each month alerting them to the new articles. By delivering the journal in this way, it arrives in “bite-size” chunks that will encourage immediate reading. We will, of course, provide you a few “teasers” of what will be in upcoming segments, so you can look forward to upcoming articles.

Our evaluation of reader responses to Connected Science Learning will continue after the delivery of this issue. We look forward to getting your comments on this new way of delivering the journal.

This Issue’s Theme: Professional Development

This issue highlights professional development experiences that enhance collaboration between in-school and out-of-school environments. Contributions in this segment feature a summer program directed toward youth who do not typically pursue STEM careers, plus two museum/school collaborations that improve classroom instruction—one that includes extensive use of tablet technology. Future segments will feature a collaborative among businesses, schools, and a museum to provide research experiences for teachers, plus a program that offers professional development to out-of-school facilitators so they understand effective STEM learning pedagogy and strategies to navigate the formal education structure.

Besides enjoying the content in the current issue, please consider submitting a contribution for future issues. The next deadline is March 31, 2017. More details can be found on the NSTA website.