From knowledge to practice
An important assessment criterion for funding research projects by NRO is the relevance of the research question for practice or policy. Knowledge from education research must benefit educational practice and policy as much as possible. To achieve this, NRO involves partners from policy and practice in all phases of the research.
For example, these partners talk about which themes the research should focus on (programming) and which research proposals are the best (assessment). Educational institutions and policy makers are in many cases also directly involved in the realisation of NRO funded research and in the dissemination of the results. Furthermore, NRO aims to connect professional learning communities with research, and strives to interchange research results with experts in the field.
Generating and disseminating knowledge
Through the continuous interaction between researchers and partners from policy and practice, we ensure that NRO-funded research is never an isolated entity. It is devised, realised and disseminated together with the current and future users of the research so that maximum knowledge utilisation is achieved. NRO supports and advises researchers in this process. One way we do this is through the publication of specific manuals that describe the possibilities a researcher has for knowledge utilisation, how these can be realised and through which channels.
NRO encourages that a wide variety of non-academic end products will be produced and disseminated. NRO also ensures that the results of research it funds are made as widely available as possible. The tools it uses for this are, among others, a regular newsletter, the publication of news releases on its website and through Twitter, and a special knowledge portal for education.
This knowledge portal for education not only includes the results of NRO projects, but it also contains relevant research results in the field of education from approximately 15 other parties. At the moment, information in this portal is only available in Dutch.
Another online initiative to share knowledge with practice is de Kennisrotonde (the knowledge roundabout), a support service for educational staff in the Netherlands. This new service helps teachers, school directors, education policy makers and other educational staff to use research evidence in their daily practice by submitting questions that are matched with evidence resources. The aim of de Kennisrotonde is to act as an independent and authoritative broker of research information.
NRO also coordinates the Dutch website Leraar24, which is filled with informative videos and in-depth information regarding numerous topics relevant for teachers. Regularly, results of NRO projects are being discussed in the independent magazine for education Didactief. Whenever possible, research results are being presented at relevant (international) events, including the annual NRO-conference.