Does a Conference act as a Catalyst for Further Publications and Collaborations? A Pilot Study of a Small Science and Mathematics Education Conference.
AbstractMany university academics spend time and money attending national and international conferences each year. This initial longitudinal study seeks to investigate the perceived and actual benefits and outcomes specifically from delegates attending the 2009 UniServe Science Conference. This is a relatively small three day annual conference for science and mathematics educators. Data was collected from an online survey immediately after the event and another survey six months later. This revealed information concerning the demographics of the delegates and sought detail on the synergies and collaborations, articles and grants emerging in the short term from such a conference. Networking emerged as the main benefit along with the opportunity to find out about new ideas to implement in their own teaching and research. Delegates indicated they had used ideas from the conference and shared these with others. However there was a decline in actual submissions to journals compared with the expectations of delegates immediately after the conference. Findings lead to alternative formats for conferences and suggest changes to allow maximum benefits for all stakeholders.