TMA 04 Dissemination Strategy for the Research Project Discussed in Sutton (2021)
Please send this assignment to your tutor via the eTMA system, to arrive no later than Thursday 28
April 2022. (See Section 2 of the Assessment Handbook for general information on submitting
The word length of TMA 04 is 2000 words (excluding your title and list of references). Before
starting work for this TMA, you should:
remind yourself about word length in Section 5.2 of the Assessment Guide
refer to the general guidance on assignments in the Assessment Guide
consider the assessment criteria that will be used for marking your assignment.
pay particular attention to the section on good academic practice. You may find it useful to
work through the library activities ‘Introduction to ejournals’ and ‘Find a journal article from a
This assignment is based on EK313 Block 4.
During your study of Block 4 you have considered various approaches to disseminating research
findings and the approaches taken by different researchers. In Unit 22 you worked through a
number of activities relating to designing a dissemination strategy. In this assignment you will build
on the work you did in Block 4 in order to design and critically evaluate an appropriate dissemination
strategy for a specific research project. This assignment will also help you when you write the third
part of your EMA.
Design and critically evaluate an appropriate dissemination strategy for the research
project discussed in Sutton (2021).
You will need to refer to:
Sutton, C. (2021) ‘What counts as happiness for young people: a qualitative study’, Children and
Society, 35(1), pp. 18–33.
And a minimum of two sources from the module material.
Below is a list of module material that you may find useful in completing this TMA; you are not
required to use all the material in this list. You must refer to the research article by Sutton (2021).
Block 4 Units 18–22
Module Reader Chapter 15 by Robb – cite as (Robb, 2014) in your assignment
Module Reader Chapter 16 by Ruxton – cite as (Ruxton, 2014) in your assignment
Module Reader Chapter 17 by Pascal and Bertram – cite as (Pascal and Bertram, 2014) in
Module Reader Chapter 18 by Mann, Liley and Kellett – cite as (Mann, Liley and Kellett, 2014)
in your assignment.
You may also refer to material studied earlier in the module, either other chapters in the Module
Reader or online sources. All sources must be referenced using the Cite Them Right referencing
system (as specified in Section 5.6 of the Assessment Guide).
In this assignment you will focus on both designing and critically evaluating a dissemination strategy
for a study into what constitutes happiness from young people’s perspectives. The study explored
aspects of young people’s feelings about happiness using a mixed methods approach to identify
and address a range of issues.
You are provided with a reference to an external source reporting this research: Sutton (2021) and
you need to use this article which you can locate and access using the search skills you developed
in TMA 03. Use the OU Library search facility to first find the journal title, then use the information in
the reference to navigate to the correct volume and issue in order to locate the article. Once you
have located the article, download a copy to your own computer and read it.
The TMA task asks you to design and critically evaluate an appropriate dissemination strategy
for the research project by Sutton (2021). As you read the article, make a note of aspects of the
research and research findings you consider should be disseminated to the research community
and also to others who might be interested in this research study. You should pay particular
attention to dissemination strategies for the young people who took part in the research and how
you might present the data to them in an informative, useful and ethical way. As you read, note
other factors that you think may be of interest or relevance, for example, you may wish to read the
research findings and recommendations in some detail and consider whether these are specific to
the location, or the age group, where and with whom the research was undertaken or whether they
might have relevance elsewhere. Ask yourself:
Why does research matter? (Be clear about how and why a particular piece of research is
Who are the audiences for the research? (Be clear the research can be important and relevant
in all kinds of different ways to a range of different audiences.)
Who would be interested in the research findings and how they might they be made aware of
them? Here it is important to consider the role of the young people who took part in the
research and how (or if) the findings should be disseminated to them.
You should also keep in mind the ethics of dissemination. If you are disseminating widely, how
will you ensure anonymity? If you are disseminating to a small part (such as those who took
part in the research), how would you ensure confidentiality?
Before starting your TMA, you are advised to review your notes from Section 2 of Unit 22. Take time
to consider who the potential audiences are for this study, which findings are relevant to which
audience(s) and how might each audience be reached.
Although it is not necessary to find out about the researcher who carried out the project, you might
be interested to know that this article was based on the work done for a recent PhD in Childhood
Studies at The Open University. The article does not cover the actual ways the project was
disseminated or any impacts it had. However that is not relevant to this assigment: you are being
asked to think about how the results of this study could potentially be disseminated clearly,
efficiently and ethically to all the the relevant audiences. Your assignment will be marked
how well you are able to identify suitable audiences for the research – who should hear about
the findings of this research?
how realistic your plans for reaching those audiences are – how might different audiences be
how well you think through the practical and ethical problems involved in disseminating the
The assignment not only asks you to design an appropriate dissemination strategy but also to
critically evaluate it. In order to do this, you will need to refer to at least two sources from the
module material in reflecting on your strategy. What are the strengths and limitations of your
strategy? How does each part of the dissemination strategy contribute to the whole? Is your
strategy appropriate for the different audiences you identify?
The TMA builds on key material discussed in Block 4. These brief notes may be useful as you
consider which module sources to use in your TMA. In Chapter 15 of the Module Reader, Robb
focuses on the different types of discourse within childhood and youth research that reflect the
different approaches researchers employ to share their work with a range of audiences across
academic, policy and practice arenas. Robb highlights how research dissemination is an important
consideration for researchers during the planning stages of their research. Getting research into
policy and practice, however, is not a straightforward task. In Chapter 16 of the Module Reader,
Ruxton, and in Chapter 17, Pascal and Bertram, provide detailed examples of the complex process
of linking research with policy and practice and the different strategies that can be used for
engagement and dissemination.
Although this study may appear somewhat removed from the small-scale study you will design in
your EMA project, similar principles apply and you will be able to use understanding developed here
in Part 3 of your EMA.
There are many ways of structuring this assignment, including choosing whether to write an essay
or a planning document, utilising sub-headings, tables, bullet points and other formatting devices.
These suggestions do not have to be followed, but may be helpful if you are unsure how to
approach writing this assignment.
Remember – An essay begins with careful and efficient planning. An essay plan helps you organise
your ideas and design a strategy that communicates appropriate information to the relevant
In your introduction you could briefly describe the study described by Sutton (2021) and
explain the main aims of your suggested dissemination strategy.
You could then explain the significance of the research and identify the audiences to whom the
research findings are relevant. How and why is the research significant to different groups of
research users? Who else may be interested in these research findings? What are the
potential barriers to reaching particular audiences? Are there other potential difficulties to
You could then set out your suggested dissemination strategy. What will you be
communicating to each of the audiences you have identified? How will you reach those
audiences? Do not simply list and describe each element within the broader strategy, but
provide details of how and why the different elements of the strategy will enable the results of
the research to be communicated effectively and usefully to the different audiences. Consider
the use of varied channels to engage with an audience and to facilitate communication and
You also need to critically evaluate each of the elements in your strategy. You might do this
either when discussing the different elements of the strategy or in a separate section of your
TMA. Think about the practical and ethical problems involved in implementing the strategy,
and show that you are aware of the limits of what researchers can achieve.
Finally, in a short conclusion, summarise the aims of your dissemination strategy and reflect
on how effective you think it would be in meeting those aims.
Note that this TMA asks you to critically evaluate your dissemination strategy. If you are
unsure what ‘critically’ means in this context, you may find it useful to refer to the Open
University Study Skills booklet ‘Thinking critically’ (available from the OU study skills website).
Add a list of references, drawing on the Cite Them Right referencing system (as specified in
the Section 5.6 of the Assessment Guide). The reference list must contain a correct reference
to the specified journal article.
The assignment title and list of references are not counted in the 2000 word length of this
Give your word count at the end of your essay, before your reference list.