Many thanks to Jelena Brankovic and Melina Aarnikoivu, editors of the ECHER Blog, for their helpful feedback that shaped the post, which appeared first here

An icy road, a metaphor for Earl Career Researchers’ uncertainty in pursuing an academic career
An icy road, a metaphor for Earl Career Researchers’ uncertainty in pursuing an academic career
A metaphor for Early Career Researchers’ academic career prospects — a long and potentially difficult road to navigate

These opening sentences in a British Educational Research Association blog post caught my eye. The piece offered 20 tips to early-career researchers (ECRs) regarding their career development, which covered topics such as publishing, writing, communicating, networking and training. …


A realistic look at Participatory and Inclusive Design approaches

Image for post
Image for post

Antelope Canyon, Arizona, USA
Antelope Canyon, Arizona, USA
Antelope Canyon, Arizona, USA
  1. What in your experience are the most common mistakes scholars (junior and senior alike) make when it comes to article writing?

2. If you were asked to give one to three short pieces of advice to an early-career researcher submitting their first article to a journal, what would it be?


Let’s agree that 2020 is mostly a year to forget and hope for a big improvement in the coming years as a reward. However, reflecting on the year and looking back at photos I took, there were some good moments too.

I had never been to Scotland (even though it is a hop and skip over the Irish sea) up to August 2019. In that month i went to Glasgow for the IASSIDD conference, i went to Dumfries for a job interview in October and back to Glasgow for a job interview in January of this year.

Church in Glasgow
Church in Glasgow
Church in Glasgow

When the lockdown started in mid/late March, having a back garden was an oasis, made beautiful by my brother’s green fingers. It looked even better during the summer, but i appear to have deleted those photos!! …


A hammer I made
A hammer I made

During the 1st semester of my Physics degree we had a lab in metallurgy. We were given the raw material, an instruction manual and the machinery we would need to make a hammer. This was my creation, 25 years ago, which my parents have been using occasionally since then. I was so proud of it despite all its flaws. I created something useful that had (minimal) impact on lives of others.

For the next 15 years I was involved in teaching and research at different levels, but I would struggle to see where I had any meaningful impact.

Then I got involved with research in the field of Higher Education, exploring topics related to the academic profession and how it has evolved since the 1990, the new roles and duties thrust upon academics and how that has affected teaching and research functions. Controversial themes are those around the role and usefulness of University Rankings and Publishing in high Impact Factor journals. …


It was a matter of a few weeks ago that i was teaching on a module on Supervision of Undergraduate Dissertations and Projects that the topic of Academic Writing and Feedback was addressed. The way i was trying to sum up my advice for Feedback was to conjure a picture of how NOT to do it. I didn’t have an appropriate image to show the participants then, but i came across one just this morning.

Excessive feedback on a piece of Academic Writing
Excessive feedback on a piece of Academic Writing

That type of feedback could break the spirit of an academic, let alone an Undergraduate student. It is unreasonable to expect Undergraduate students to be accomplished writers. Some just need general guidance and others may need more granular attention. …


Stages of the Marie Curie project
Stages of the Marie Curie project

My Marie Curie project is part of the ASSISTID programme and co-funded by RESPECT and the European Commission. It is entitled Virtual Learning for people with ASD (VL4ASD). I came up with this title and my proposal in mid 2015, when i was not yet aware of the Neurodiversity paradigm and thus i now feel uncomfortable with the title! I could have used the term Autism Spectrum Condition or even better, on the Autism Spectrum or of course preferably, autistic people (VL4AP). But, hindsight etc etc…

The project developed training on conversation skills for people in the moderate/mild end of the autism spectrum, which was delivered with a 9-week Multiple Baseline Design through a Virtual World. During the exploratory phase of the Virtual World, he became aware of the Participatory Design approaches to technology development, which he since then has embraced. Therefore, the development of the Virtual World had involvement by autistic young adults (18–25 year-olds) or people with expertise/experience of autism at every phase of the project (from inception of idea to delivery), so that the final outcome better met the needs and preferences of the population. For the analysis of the results, i worked with a team that developed and validated a new assessment tool that is an adaptation of the Conversation Skills Rating Scale. The validated tool, Conversation skills Assessment Tool (ChAT), we hope will prove useful to speech pathologists, special education teachers and other disability experts. …

About

Dr Yurgos Politis

A good teacher does not teach facts, (they) teach enthusiasm, open-mindedness and values— Gian-Carlo Rota/ https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Yurgos_Politis

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