The Discovery Research K-12 (DR K-12) Program of the National Science Foundation (NSF) supports research and development (R&D) on innovative resources, models, and tools for use by students, teachers, administrators, and policy makers. Although the program embraces the aim of supporting use of the knowledge it produces, project teams may lack the know-how, incentives, or time to engage in the concerted efforts that are likely to lead to knowledge use, especially use outside the research community.
To foster knowledge use among policy makers or practitioners requires a substantial effort that invests in sustained interaction and enlists a range of supports for the prospective knowledge users. Described here are some options for more effective dissemination efforts that could lead to knowledge use. In brief, they are:
■ Interact with the intended users—and many of them—early and often
■ Use information channels that potential knowledge users already know and trust
■ If the use of knowledge or resources from the project involves a nontrivial change in beliefs or actions, arrange supports for use
■ Balance fidelity with adaptation
■ Consider studying knowledge use as part of the investigation
Read the full paper for a description of these options.