Vanguard supports sharing the benefits of professional development opportunities with the broader community. You can do this by hosting some kind of workshop, or by writing a blog post.
Select a Topic
You may want to write a blog post about what you learned during your professional development activity, like this one. However, you can also get more creative and include content that may help our community improve our teaching in some other way that may not obviously directly relate to the conference you attended, for example.
Let’s say that one of our nursing faculty attends a conference directly related to her profession, but is concerned that its discipline-specific content may not benefit the larger community. She might choose to give some advice to faculty about how to prepare for an academic conference rather than writing about content that is specific to nursing.
You may even want to browse this curated post about academic conferences from The Chronicle of Higher Education for other post ideas.
Write for the Web
Most people skim when reading on the web, so you can call attention to important parts of your content by using headings and subheadings. This article makes use of the headings of:
- Select a Topic
- Write for the Web
- Include a Photo
This allows people to skip to the portion of the article that most relates to the information they’re seeking. It also tends to help the writing process proceed more quickly, since you know what content you’re aiming to articulate further.
Note that paragraphs on the web tend to be considerably shorter than those in academic papers or books. There’s no precise limit, but often even one or two sentences can stand alone in a paragraph to make the post even more readable.
Include a Photo
If you took any pictures during your professional development activity, they can grab readers’ attention more strongly than a post with only text might. If you want to include pictures, send them as attachments to your email, versus placing them inside a Word document, where the image quality will be degraded.
Consider the Length of Your Post
There are exceptions to this general guideline, but the most well-read blog posts on the web are around 800 words. The website, LongForm, broke all those rules, though, and is a very popular site for longer-form written pieces. If you have more you want to include on your post, please don’t let the 800-word guideline restrict you.
Thank you for taking the time to consider how the benefits of receiving professional development funds might be extended throughout our faculty community. We look forward to reading your blog post and learning through your experience.