How to create a publication for the EPALE platform: tips and suggestions for the authors
Every user’s publication is well welcomed on the EPALE platform, as one of the key tasks is to preserve the diversity of topics and views enclosed. However, at the same time, we also have to be sure that articles will correspond to the field of adult education. Therefore, to help better perform this task, we have made some recommendations that verify whether the article would be relevant to the portal’s mission.
A large part of the content of the EPALE platform — articles or blogs, news, calendar entries — is generated by the portal’s users: adult education professionals and policymakers, as well as anyone interested in adult education.
Such content creation can be compared to expressing an opinion on social networks — just as Facebook or Twitter, where one only has to become a registered user to make a record. Furthermore, publications on the EPALE platform do not require the skills of a journalist; their main goal is to raise awareness on issues or present one’s personal experience and vision.
However, the difference lies in the fact that (unlike in social network profiles) the focus of the EPALE portal is rather specific: adult education. The sector is branched and diverse, so sometimes, we have also supported articles that relate subtly to adult education.
Nevertheless, here are a few suggestions that will help those who write not get too far from the main topic, so the content stays useful for the work of adult education professionals.
Consider — for which audience your article can be useful for!
EPALE has five major audiences:
- adult education practitioners;
- project promoters;
- representatives of the media;
The content must be relevant to at least one of these audiences, and the link of the article to the field of adult education should be obvious. The publication should always be viewed from the reader's perspective, whether and how it will be valuable and/or informative.
If the content refers to secondary or higher education students, it is not likely to be considered relevant.
For example, posts regarding various courses offered should not be the top priority — such as knitting or IT literacy for adults. Instead, it would be more beneficial if the experience of people who organized them would be shared. Then the methodology and experience presented can inspire other adult educators!
Any information that one wishes to share can be adjusted according to the required format of one of the main sections of the platform: as news, as a longer article, as a blog, as a resource, or as a calendar entry.
- News articles are best suited for short-term content, informing the reader of a recent event or an upcoming event but won’t have the spotlight in the long run.
- Blog recordings are ideal for content that is not related to a specific time. This section is best for the author’s shared perspective of processes and different views, community stories, interviews, good practice examples, and case studies. In addition, this section addresses articles that will be useful/interesting for a longer time period.
- The events calendar's purpose is to announce upcoming on-site and online events, such as conferences, web workshops, seminars, workshops, etc. In addition, the EPALE calendar is handy in cases where international audiences might also be interested.
- Resources section is great for searching and inserting documents, reports, project or study results, free-access educational resources, etc. If you think it would be necessary to give a more detailed explanation of where the resource can be useful (for the EPALE audience), publish a short message about the topic, providing a link to the material, you have inserted in the “Resources” section. We are happy to accept the resources that are not older than 5 years!
- Comments section grants an opportunity to express your views or to initiate a discussion on any material published on the EPALE platform. Only registered users can comment if they are signed in to their EPALE profile.
- The “Like” button is another tool to actively engage in the EPALE platform, thus giving feedback on a topic or record without writing a comment. But, again, only registered users can do this by pressing on the thumb at the end of the entry.
Pay attention before posting.
• Is there a clear connection between the content proposed and adult education?
• Are the adult education issues you are talking about typical only in your region, or can they be relevant to a wider auditorium — at the national or European level?
• Do the facts you mention come from trusted sources? Name them!
• If you publish based on your personal experience, point it out — it is a noteworthy argument!
• Maybe you can illustrate the article with a picture — it will only add to the attractiveness of the material in readers' eyes! Then, place a comment next to the picture: name the people in it and/or describe the situation in which the picture was created.
• Check for comments from other users after the publication of the material! Answer to them and/or encourage discussion.
EPALE is a portal in which publications should…
• encourage engagement: EPALE publications are professional and informative, platform tone of voice — friendly and supporting;
• be available: the content of EPALE is easily readable in all languages, bearing in mind that users from other European countries will use the machine- translator, integrated within the platform, to gain insight into the content of your publication;
• be motivating: the content of EPALE is in line with users’ needs; it helps to detect and address common problems in the adult education sector by facilitating the transfer of good practices and its usage more widely;
• be independent: EPALE offers a neutral room in which adult educators can express their views independently. Although there are visible European Union logos on the EPALE site, the European Commission is not responsible for the views expressed!
For any additional questions, you can always write to the EPALE Latvia National Support Service: email@example.com