Instructions for Authors

To prepare a submission, use one of the Google Doc templates provided below. When you click on a template type, Google Docs will create a copy (with your permission) for you to use for your submission. Email submissions to rcr-circl@digitalpromise.org.

See below for more information on organization and follow the RCR Formatting Guidelines (PDF). If you have questions or would like to share a few sentences about your intended contribution with us to get feedback, please contact us.


Primers

Four key aspects that often make an engaging, useful Primer are:

  1. Motivation or Purpose: Why should a reader care about this particular topic? — e.g., what broad issue or problem is being addressed?
  2. Key definitions, processes, concepts, etc.: What are the high level ideas that a reader should know in order to be adequately informed on the topic?
  3. Contrast: What earlier or competing approaches exist and how does this approach vary from them? What are unique or surprising implications?
  4. Value: What insights, findings or applications support the topic as real, relevant, and broadly valuable?

Organization

Each Primer includes a common set of headers/sections with key questions to explore.

Use the Primer template (Google Doc) to build your RCR.

  • Overview (300-400 words): A high-level introduction to the topic, which can include:
    • What has motivated researchers’ work on this topic?
    • Definitions for key terms or a well-chosen illustrative example
    • Components of the topic and how they fit together (possibly with a diagram)
    • How the topic can be used (be precise here; e.g., to improve a design, to plan instruction, to better use assessment to inform practice)
    • Accessible Exemplars within the topic (i.e. so a new reader can get grounded)
  • Key Lessons (400-500 words): What do we know as a result of the research on this topic? What are lessons learned for designing curriculum and instruction or for designing future research? What new questions have emerged and remain unanswered?
  • Issues (400-500 words): Raises potential questions or tensions that push boundaries of current knowledge and understanding (i.e., good topics for future research proposals).

Review Criteria

Reviewers will evaluate the quality of the Primer based on three criteria:

  1. Informativeness. To what extent does the Primer achieve the standard of informing an intelligent, non-expert reader to the topic? Such learning ought to be equivalent to the knowledge one would gain by personally visiting an expert in the field for an hour. Does the Primer adequately inform the reader of important, different and even divergent views on the topic? Is it grounded in relevant literature?
  2. Usefulness. Does the Primer orient the reader to a framework, approach, or concept they could use, and give high-level guidance on how to use it well? Do the issues make a reader aware of key unresolved tensions or questions? Do the readings and resources give a breadth of opportunities to learn more?
  3. Clarity, Brevity, Audience. Is the Primer clear, brief and accessible to intended audiences, which must include at least one audience (e.g., teachers) other than researchers?

 


Workshop Outcomes

Four key aspects that often make an engaging, useful Workshop Outcomes RCR are:

  1. Motivation or Purpose: Why does the workshop matter? Why was it convened and what questions did it intend to address?
  2. Starting Points & Process: What are the high-level basics that a reader should know about the topic and the organizers themselves? What is the backdrop/ history of the scholarly group? What was the process of forming the group and inviting members to the meeting? What did attendees have in common and what different yet related areas were organizers trying to “cover?” Are there pointers to Primers?
  3. Workshop Structure: Summarize the proceedings in terms of what was said; the report should state the various participants’ insights and discussion of issues without becoming a lengthy transcription of the event itself
  4. Insights and Ideas: What were the key issues identified? What ideas emerged that point to a new direction or challenge?
  5. Directions and Recommendations: To close, what direction(s) for future research and practice did the workshop open up? What are the workshop’s recommendations to the field? What is the better future that is achievable if the recommendations are taken up?

Organization

Each Workshop outcomes RCR includes a common set of headers/sections. The word count for this report is 1500-2000 words. Please aim to be clear and concise in your discussion. We encourage you to reference and link to an existing longer report.

Use the Workshop Outcomes template (Google Doc) to build your RCR.

  • Introduction (250-300 words): Address the motivation or purpose of the workshop. Why does the workshop matter? Why was it convened and what questions did it intend to address?
  • Workshop attendees (250-350 words): Discuss the starting points and process of the workshop. What are the high-level basics that a reader should know about the topic and the organizers themselves? What is the backdrop/ history of the scholarly group? What was the process of forming the group and inviting members to the meeting? What did attendees have in common and what different yet related areas were organizers trying to “cover?” Are there pointers to Primers?
  • Workshop structure (250-350 words): Summarize the proceedings in terms of what was said; the report should state the various participants’ insights and discussion of issues without becoming a lengthy transcription of the event itself.
  • Key issues (500-600 words): Identify and discuss the main issues that emerged during the workshop. What were the key issues identified? What ideas emerged that point to a new direction or challenge?
  • Recommendations for future work (250-350 words): To close, what direction(s) for future research and practice did the workshop open up? What are the workshop’s recommendations to the field? What is the better future that is achievable if the recommendations are taken up?

Review Criteria

Reviewers will evaluate the quality of the Workshop Report based on three criteria:

  1. Informativeness. To what extent does the report inform a reader about the purpose, attendees and process of the meeting? Does the report articulate and provide reasons for its recommendations?
  2. Usefulness. Does the report provide recommendations that can guide future R&D (recommendations could be about any aspect of R&D). Is there a clear contrast to what is happening widely already?
  3. Clarity, Brevity, Audience. Is the report clear, brief and accessible to intended audiences, which must include at least one audience other than researchers?

 


Design Reflections

Authors of a Design Reflection should focus on one or just a few novel design elements (through visual, textual, and other elements) and spend less time on the supporting, commonplace elements; while these elements are important to the functioning of the design, they do not represent the potential advance in the state of the art. The reflection should be on the part of the design that matters the most.

Organization

Each Design Reflection includes a common set of headers/sections. The word count for this report is 1700-2400 words. Please aim to be clear and concise in your discussion.

Use the Design Reflection template (Google Doc)to build your RCR.

  • Design principles (150-250 words): This section should address the novel design elements proposed to address the problem(s), and the designer’s rationale for those elements. This could include a video; it should involve suitable media elements to communicate the design clearly. It should concisely address the why, what, and how of the design.
  • Design problem (300-400 words): This should recount the information presented to a broader group for review, including the design problem(s) and the context of that problem. This section should reflect on steps taken for continuous improvement.
  • Research Findings (200-300 words): Discuss research findings on your implementation so far, as well as information that has been disseminated.
  • Key Questions (200-300 words): What main design research questions did you focus on during the continuous improvement process?
  • Design reflection process (150-250 words): Who was involved in reflecting on the design and what perspectives do they represent? What questions were posed to the reflectors? What sort of process was used to explore and discuss the design? What is the contribution to the field with this design? This section gives credibility to the continuous improvement process.
  • Reflections on project (500-600 words): Reflections should present the constructive criticism of the design in an organized manner. How do you see the design as grounded in prior work in the field? Where is the design novel and promising, and why? For whom or in what settings might this design be most valuable? Where is the rationale for the design strong, and what needs further elaboration, exploration or testing? It is desirable to capture the spirit of the reflective discussions, which might include disagreements or weaknesses to be addressed in further design experiments or elaborations. Discuss positive aspects of design; positive aspects of the research; components in need of improvement; and potential next steps.
  • Discussion (200-300 words): In summary, what did the designers learn from the reflections about their potential design contribution? Did something unexpected come up in the review and, if so, how will that change the design? What will happen next to realize that contribution or advance, and to investigate it empirically?

Review Criteria

Reviewers will evaluate the quality of the Design Reflection based on four criteria:

  1. Clarity. Were a combination of textual, visual and other elements used to make the design accessible and clear?
  2. Novelty & Innovation. To what extent is the emphasis throughout on a novel design to address an important learning issue? To what extent is there a clear rationale for the novel design that is grounded in relevant theories of learning, both as presented by the designers and as seen by the reflectors?
  3. Diversity of Perspectives. Do the reflections highlight multiple external voices with appropriately diverse perspectives? Are needs specific to a stakeholder or user community represented? To what extent are equity issues represented?
  4. Constructive Criticism. Do the reflections add value to a reader’s appreciation of the design? For example, do they help a reader see the potential value in the design from a point of view beyond the initial design brief? Do the reflections make connections to related designs or learning theories and highlight the potential contributions of the design? Were opportunities to improve the design or to test particular design conjectures offered? Does the closing section clarify what the designers learned through the design review and what will happen next as a result?