Your intention in writing your MESHGuide (MG) is to share your evidence and research informed knowledge with others. We presume that you have this knowledge ‘at your fingertips’ and that it is arranging it into a MESHGuide format that is the current challenge. This is what you do.
Step 1: Submit your idea here. The editorial board will be back to you within two weeks. Make sure the editorial team has agreed your proposal before following the instructions below as we do not publish duplicates.
Step 2: Submit your MESHGuide (MG)to email@example.com . Feel free to contact the editorial team while you are writing if you have queries. Submissions to the editorial team email address are automatically placed on the weekly editorial team meeting agenda.
Step 3: You will be allocated an editorwith expertise in your subject area. When they have agreed your guide with you, the guide will be passed to the Central Editorial Board for final checks who then pass your guide on for publishing. You will be notified when the guide is published so that you can tell others who are interested. Authors from member organisations have access to data which shows where the guide is being accessed.
Creating your guide
Use WORD to create your document.What you will submit is a word document which a reader may wish to print off. It will include a table giving the headings to be used in the MESH structure. In the document each heading will have a paragraph that is part of your MG information. The headings in your document match the headings in the boxes but the sequencing may be different.
|Column 1||Column 2||Column 3||Column 4||Column 5|
|1.1 Box heading||2.1 Box heading||3.1||4.1||5.1|
|1.2 Box heading||1.2 Box heading||3.2||4.2||5.2|
If you find this constraining, we suggest you write the word document first and then fill in the table. You may find the template provided at the end of this document useful. Your structure will vary according to the information which you have in your submission.
The writing style to adopt is one which enables educators to test out your advice. The tone should be professional with the focus on demonstrating how findings from research can be put to practical use in order to improve learning outcomes.
The starting point is deciding what you want to others to know about the area of knowledge you are trying to share. From here you will be able to format the structure of the MG. You may find it useful to use other MGs to assist you. You may want to try mapping out your MG on a large piece of paper using mind mapping techniques, or to use a post-it-note and white board think-tank. Ultimately you will need to transfer the actual text into a document that our web-builder can understand and use to build the MESH Guide on the web.
Experience has shown us that inthe development stagepassing the text between people can become quite complex therefore we have found that creating a single document in Google Docs to collect the complete text and make it accessible to your development team (and also ultimately our editorial team and web-builder), helps to reduce the confusion of multiple copies of documents and renaming them. It also allows multiple users to amend the document in real time. Once the MG document has been submitted to editors then using colour coding for any changes is essential so that other users can identify those changes.
Atthe publishing stage, the MESHGuide itself usually manifests as five columns of boxes and a strip down the right-hand side of the screen which shows the content of the box. Although not cast in stone this format works well on most web browsers and screens.
Clearly mark headings, hyperlinks, images etc that you would expect to see if the box is clicked on, as this will make transfer to the web format simpler.
A common format for the MG is
Column 1 Evidence
Column 2 Definitions, how to diagnose the learning problem or how the issues present in the classrooms in the study
Column 3 Contextual matters which demonstrate how research plays out in practice
Column 4 Pedagogical interventions
Column 5 Case studies where these exist.
Further detail about what might go in each column is below. We suggest you discuss the structure of your MG with an Editor at an early stage.
| Main title: MESHGuide name
short synopsis of your MG and who you expect to use it in particular
|Column 1 title box
short description of the content ofthe column and any advice
|Column 2||Column 3||Column 4||Column 5|
|1.1 Box heading: this appears in the MESH grid
Any text or material that relates to this box. This should include hyperlinks. It will appear in a screen at the side of your MG grid
|2.1 Box heading||3.1||4.1||5.1|
|1.2 Box heading: this appears in the MESH grid
Any text or material that relates to this box. This should include hyperlinks. It will appear in a screen at the side of your MG grid
|further boxes in this column …|
In the actual word document, the content is presented in what is a logical flow for a reader eg the references appear at the end as is traditional.
The actual name of a column may change to suit the content. Please create a short summary describing the column content: this summary will appear when the header box is clicked and will show on the right hand side of the screen.
In building your text the web-publisher needs you to clearly indicate what content belongs in which box so the headings in the table need to match the headings in the word document.
- Think of an easily understood main title for your guide.
Create a summary/abstract of 200-250 words which explains clearly your purpose and intention – how the user will benefit from using the guide. The text will be used ‘behind’ the title box of your MESHGuide. It helps when we create the Newsletter and any marketing information as we can quickly access brief descriptions of your MG to tell people about.
You might like to add a box in the evidence column entitled ‘How to Use this MESHGuide’ in order to draw the reader explicitly to the your rationale for development and use of your Guide.
eg The Acoustics – listening and learning
This MESH Guide has been designed to cover a wide range of issues associated with classroom acoustics in schools and the impact the quality of speech intelligibility has on deaf children’s learning. It aims to provide all those interested in classroom acoustics with the most up-to-date research presented in an easily accessible way so allowing all readers to understand the topic, discover the key characteristics of the issues surrounding the topic and, where appropriate to determine policy and practice in schools. It is intended to stimulate improvements in classroom acoustics where necessary as a result of increased understanding in the importance of providing excellent acoustics so that all deaf children and young people will be able to enjoy the best possible quality sound reception.
We hope the content of this MESH Guide will stimulate Teachers of the Deaf to feed in their own classroom experience in the form of case studies that both exemplify and challenge the findings of the research contained in the Guide so continually expanding the body of knowledge in this area. This MESH Guide will only have achieved its aims if it is embraced by all those interested in classroom acoustics as a living, dynamic repository of current knowledge and best practice and as a place to share their own case study findings.
The Guide is set out in a way to allow you, the reader, access to the areas of most immediate interest to you, providing links to some of the key publications and research where you can explore the topic in as much depth as you wish. It includes information on children’s hearing and learning, the characteristics of the transmission of the voice, what counts as excellent acoustics and speech intelligibility, the impact the quality of acoustics has on teaching and learning, the interventions available to improve acoustics and speech intelligibility and sample case studies exemplifying the research presented in the Guide.
The authors of this Guide will work to continually develop and improve its content and actively welcome comment from all readers on how improvements might be achieved.
- Pull together the evidence base for this title. This will form the first column of your guide.
This column may contain references and web links in an internationally accepted format. You divide your evidence into themed sections with each having a separate cell in the table.
- Your MG second column may be background, specialist definitions, fundamental questions relating to the field or characteristics which need to be explained to the reader.
Again create a title with a short summary and use a new cell in your Google Doc for this. Each box in the second column will have its own cell.
- The third MG column may contextualize the evidence you are presenting for the reader. For example, perhaps your evidence base looks at the use of iPod touch devices to support assessment however contextually, your research base is taken from a study of particular age groups or there may be gender issues. This information is useful to your reader so they can identify at a glance which information is likely to be applicable to their context.
Again create a title with a short summary and use a new cell in your Google Doc for this. Each box in the third column will have its own cell.
- Your fourth column may cover interventions or links to resources so the reader can explore the area further. For example, your MESHGuide may be around how to develop singing in primary schools. Further resources would include links to websites such as the ‘SingUp’ initiative, links to further academic and practitioner-based articles as well as specialist organisations in the field of your MESHGuide such as ‘The Voices Foundation’ in this particular case. Try not to link to ‘ephemeral’ articles such as those appearing in Newsletters which often only appear for a short while, seek a more permanent edition of the article such as a download or a tabbed permanent web page.
Again create a title with a short summary and use a new cell in your Google Doc for this. Each box in the fourth column will have its own cell.
- The fifth (final) column may include examples and case studies which you have access to or which are submitted by users in response to the MESHGuide.
Again create a title with a short summary and use a new cell in your Google Doc for this. Each box in the fifth column will have its own cell.
Once you have created the text-based version of your MESHGuide, you are finally ready to submit it to the relevant subject or strand editorial board ready for a peer-review and recommendations on drafts before the final MESHGuide is processed and uploaded onto the website. You may have been assigned a contact to provide support as you move through the process or need to change things on the draft MESHGuide web page.
Remember that this is an organic process and the guides will adapt as new evidence and research emerges and people submit updates. Suggested updates will normally be decided by you and agreed with the relevant editorial board.
You will be asked on a regular basis to review the MESHGuide you have created and any changes should be noted in the Google Doc and marked with a distinctive colour. You will then be able to inform the web-builder of appropriate changes which will be clear and easily referenced.
MESH Editorial Management Group 23 September 2015
Ann Underwood, Naomi Flynn, Richard Procter, Linda Devlin, Marilyn Leask, Jon Audain.
MESHGuide Author spotlight
Dr. Naomi Flynn, University of Winchester
Q. Can you tell us a little bit about the MESHGuide you are producing?
A. I’m writing a MESHGuide to support teachers with their classroom practice for EAL learners.
Q. How far are you in creating your MESHGuide?
A. I’m deciding which are the most useful parts of my own research to use that will have resonance for all teachers.
Q. What has been the easiest part about creating the guide?
A. A MESHGuide can be based on subject you are passionate and in which you already have a research-basis.
Q. What has been the most challenging part about creating the guide?
A. Choosing how to organize the information in way that is accessible, meaningful and useful for a wide ranging audience.
Q. What advice would you give to anyone thinking of creating a MESHGuide?
A. Think small. Choose a key a focus from your research rather than trying to map an entire doctorate.
How to get involved?
Are you a researcher?
- Have you completed a Masters level or doctoral dissertation? Your masters degree programme prepares you to become knowledgeable about educational research and to be able to access and critique research as well as carry out educational research on a small scale. These research tools should help you in evaluating your professional practice and that of your institution throughout your career. The writing of a MESH Guide may be appropriate summarising your dissertation. A MESHGuide is designed to help you share the new knowledge your create, which has been built on a review of what has gone before, with others.
The BERA guidelines Good Practice in Research Writing (Bassey, 2000) suggest four levels of publication are applied to research:
– the full study so that others can build on your findings. At Masters and PhD level this is the dissertation.
– an academic paper to share your findings and information about the research with other researchers ie an academic article
– the professional paper to translate your findings into practical applications for research users who include teacher educators, teachers, parents, policy makers, and;
– a press release. Whether your findings merit a press release at this stage is something to discuss with your tutor.
- Are you involved in a project that can form part of the evidence base for a MESHGuide? Why not collaborate within your team so an additional output is also a MESHGuide that links to any reports and guidance you create?
Are you an academic?
- Work with other academic colleagues to produce a MESHGuide based on your expertise.
- Link with subject associations and schools to assimilate the knowledge base for the guide.
- If you run M-level and doctorate programmes consider the writing of a MESHGuide or contribution to an existing MESHGuide as an output for a student assignment.
- Consider how MESHGuides can support REF submissions, demonstrating profession reach as data from Google Analytics concerning each MESHGuide is collected.
- Consider other ways your academic work can be created into a MESHGuide
– a study or report created from research projects you are involved in so that others can build on your findings.
– an academic paper sharing findings and information about your research.
– a professional paper translating your findings into practical applications for research users who include teacher educators, teachers, parents, policy makers.
- Link with other researchers and academics in your field through online or professional communities (such as www.khub.net/mesh-connect) with similar interests and work together to scale up research or develop your dissertation area.
Are you a practitioner in an education setting?
- Link with colleagues, teaching school and research clusters to develop case studies to support theoretical aspects of the MESHGuide.
- Promote MESHGuides to other colleagues. MESHGuides are designed to be useful and informative to the busy practitioner.
- Develop a MESHGuide in collaboration with some school-based research.
- Is there an area of knowledge that is missing from the MESHGuides website and you have that knowledge and expertise? Write the MESHGuide. Why not find other practitioners, researchers and academics in this area through online or professional communities such as www.khub.net/mesh-connect). Join up and search for people under keywords. Send an email and ask if they are interested in working with you. This is how many of the MESHGuides have been generated through different forms of networking and you never know the types of further research that may develop.