My colleague and friend, Associate Professor Katy Vigurs (who hosted my study leave visit to Staffordshire University) has recently published her research in a very innovative and exciting manner; her “research-informed comic” is featured on the website of the Society for Research into Higher Education. Katy employed 4 final year students on the BA Hons Cartoon and Comic Arts programme at Staffordshire University and worked with them to develop a brief that would see a traditional academic research report (published in Feb 2016) turned into a set of graphic representations.
You can enjoy the resulting ‘comic’ here: http://www.srhe.ac.uk/downloads/vigurs-katy-003.pdf.
In Katy’s words:
the original research report itself looked at students’ graduate decision-making and graduate destinations in a time of higher tuition fees and higher levels of student debt. The research project was led by Staffordshire University, but involved co-researchers from the University of Manchester. I think the research-informed comic is particularly effective at presenting the stories and experiences of 8 of the 48 student interviewees who graduated in 2015. This group of students was the first to graduate having incurred the higher tuition fees. The comic also presents the overarching findings from the research project.
Given the current political situation here in Australia, with the government potentially wanting to deregulate our universities, it is well worth examining the English situation and considering the experiences of their graduates, post-deregulation.
Additionally, as a way of presenting research findings the research-informed comic superbly demonstrates that academics can go beyond reports and articles to get their work out there, tell their participants’ stories, and make their work accessible.