Public Engagement and Impact: Course Enrollment is Open!

Public Engagement and Impact: Course Enrollment is Open!

June 15, 2020
Public Engagement and Impact - White speech bubbles on yellow background

We’re excited to let you know that our newest online course, Public Engagement and Impact, is now open for enrollment!

Most of us started higher education careers because we wanted to make a difference—we wanted to help build better worlds. But to do so, our research, skills, and creativity need to reach broader audiences than just fellow scholars.

Public Engagement and Impact is a self-paced, online course that helps you share your research and build community to make concrete change beyond the academy.

Whether you’re brand-new to taking your work public or a seasoned public intellectual looking to broaden your reach, this course can help you develop public engagement strategies that fit your resources and goals—including how to do public engagement online amidst social distancing.

Public Engagement and Impact - Collage of person recording a podcast, person speaking into a microphone holding a book, person teaching an online course, and the editorial section of a newspaper


Why Go Public

  • Lesson: Why Public Engagement Matters
  • Lesson: Finding Your Best Strategies


  • Lesson: Adapting Your Voice
  • Lesson: Writing Crossover Books

Trade Publishers

  • Lesson: Finding a Literary Agent
  • Lesson: Pitching to Publications
  • Lesson: Working with Editors

Making It Count

  • Lesson: Getting Paid
  • Lesson: Tenure and Promotion

Social Media

  • Lesson: Social Media Basics
  • Lesson: Surviving Trolls

Multimedia Work

  • Lesson: Podcasting and Video
  • Lesson: Public Events
  • Lesson: Born-Digital Texts


  • Lesson: Working with Journalists
  • Lesson: Working with Community Organizations


  • Lesson: Building Your Website
  • Lesson: Delivering a Great Author Talk
  • Lesson: Planning a Virtual Book Tour
Public Engagement and Impact - Collage of person recording a virtual interview, person speaking at a podium, two people holding up protest signs, and person posting on social media

Course format

16 videos + 16 transcripts + 16 slide decks

When you enroll, you get immediate access to all course materials on our course platform Thinkific.

Each lesson has a video, written transcript, and slide deck that explain key podcasting elements and take you through how to implement the material to create your own show.

You can work through the lessons at your own pace, in whichever order you prefer, and even skip around if you like.

Lessons are always available so there’s no need to deal with instructor schedules or changing enrollment periods.

Meet your instructor

Kate Drabinski wearing a blue shirt

Hi, I’m Dr. Kate Drabinski, a senior lecturer in gender, women’s, and sexuality studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and education director at Ideas on Fire.

I am a full time teacher who also writes for public outlets as a regular newspaper columnist, teaches service learning courses, and works with community groups as a tour guide and storyteller.

I’ve become increasingly convinced that what really matters to many of us scholars is making an impact on the world outside the university. This means sharing research in multiple ways, being part of teams addressing real problems, and getting students and colleagues involved in this work with us.

Over the years many folks have told me that while they long to do this kind of work, they aren’t sure how—especially when this work doesn’t “count” to help them get and keep academic jobs.

This course is my answer to these concerns. I designed this course for academics who are trying to figure out the best way to engage publics beyond the university, whether that is by writing for public audiences, producing multimedia work, actively making knowledge on social media, or working with community partners in ethical ways both in and beyond the classroom.

Come join me!

Related Stories

Using Recursive Outlines for Writing - Closeup on person writing in a notebook
March 19, 2019

Using Recursive Outlines for Writing

How to use recursive outlines for writing projects to keep your writing on track while also making room for your ideas to evolve.

Ideas on Fire Favorites Most Inspiring Classes - Person writes on a chalkboard in a classroom
April 25, 2017

Ideas on Fire Favorites: Most Inspiring Classes

The classes that have most inspired us. These are the courses that opened our eyes to something we'd never seen before or defined our trajectory in new ways

Using Side Gigs for Career Options - Brightly colored leaves against a blue sky
March 22, 2018

Using Side Gigs to Explore Career Options

Curious about careers beyond the tenure track? Learn how to find and use side gigs to make extra money and explore careers outside academia.