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Superbugs online: co-production of an educational website to increase public understanding of the microbial world in, on, and around us

Jon Tyrrell Orcid Logo, Sarah Hatch, Melissa Flanagan, Kerry Owen, Yvonne Proctor, Catherine Stone, Geoff Fricker, Kirk Hullis, Matthias Eberl

Frontiers in Microbiology, Volume: 15

Swansea University Author: Jon Tyrrell Orcid Logo

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Abstract

Digital tools and online presence have become a cornerstone in public engagement and involvement strategy and delivery. We here describe the co-production process behind launching a new multilingual resource for schools in the United Kingdom and beyond, jointly between university scientists, engagem...

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Published in: Frontiers in Microbiology
ISSN: 1664-302X
Published: Frontiers Media SA 2024
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa66541
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Abstract: Digital tools and online presence have become a cornerstone in public engagement and involvement strategy and delivery. We here describe the co-production process behind launching a new multilingual resource for schools in the United Kingdom and beyond, jointly between university scientists, engagement professionals, primary and secondary teachers, and web designers. The ‘Superbugs’ website aims at raising awareness and increasing the public understanding of the microbial world in, on, and around us—with a focus on infection, hygiene, and antimicrobial resistance—and attracted >19,000 online visitors, >33,500 page views, and > 775,000 Twitter impressions over the past 24 months. Superbugs.online is available in English, Welsh, Irish, and Scottish Gaelic, thus making it accessible to everyone in the United Kingdom and Ireland, regardless of the language in which they receive and deliver their science education. The website is easy to navigate and features background information, quizzes, animations, videos, illustrated stories, interactive timelines, games, and protocols for home experiments. All materials are presented in a non-prescriptive way, aimed at allowing flexibility for the materials to be adapted to the individual needs of teachers and pupils alike. Our study has led to a demonstrable impact on the co-production team and on pupils and teachers as key stakeholders, based on a comprehensive evaluation of the co-production process itself, the impact of the end product, and the creation of lasting relationships with stakeholders and co-producers, for the mutual benefit of everyone involved.
Keywords: public involvement and engagement, educational resources, AMR (antimicrobial resistance), infection, online learning, co-production, STEM teachers
College: Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences