Dr. Naff examines podcasting as a dissemination method

Spotlight on SOE faculty research

Headshot of David Naff, Ph.D., for news article stories.
Dr. David Naff

The amount of knowledge being generated by VCU School of Education faculty in published research goes beyond merely enhancing the school’s reputation – it is helping to shape the future of education itself. One recent example of this is the study below, authored by Dr. David Naff, which looks at podcasting as a dissemination method for researcher and school practitioner partnerships.


David Naff, Ph.D., assistant director of research and evaluation for the Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium, a center affiliated with SOE, explores the use of podcasting in a researcher-practitioner partnership (RPP) to help transform research into practice.

The article profiled a podcast created in 2016 by an RPP to explore critical issues in public education and disseminate research findings. Three RPP goals aligned with the purpose of the podcast:

  1. to disseminate community-engaged research that has direct and indirect impacts on critical youth, school and community outcomes;
  2. to build community and social networks between university units, school districts, researchers, policymakers and practitioners; and
  3. to contribute to the local, state and national policy and scholarly dialogue on education.

The purpose of this study was to determine perceived impacts of the podcast, including whether it helped RPP stakeholders engage with its research, strengthen relationships and networks within the RPP, and support the expansion of the audience within and beyond the RPP.

Case study methodology was used in which two types of data offered evidence of how the podcast potentially supported the goals of the RPP: an annual survey disseminated to RPP stakeholders to evaluate the podcast’s effectiveness in the previous year, and an examination of the number of podcast plays and locational reach.

The study produced several findings, including that the podcast became more accessible over time, which was measured by plays per episode. Additionally, study findings suggest that the podcast’s audience expanded each year of the study and potentially helped to strengthen relationships within RPP school districts by intentionally representing each division and by valuing the input of participants throughout the production of each episode.

Most importantly, the findings from this study suggest that experimentation with new dissemination methods like podcasting can be potentially advantageous for RPPs as they look to conduct and distribute impact-oriented research.


Naff, D.B. (2020). Podcasting as a dissemination method for a researcher-practitioner partnership. International Journal of Education Policy & Leadership, 16(13), 1-21. DOI: https://doi.org/10.22230/ijepl.2020v16n13a923