Public Engagement and Impact

Reach diverse communities beyond the academy

USD $165 for lifetime access

Course player for Public Engagement and Impact
Collage of authors recording videos, posting on social media, recording podcasts, and giving lectures

Course overview

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.

What you’ll learn


Why Go Public

Lesson: Why Public Engagement Matters

Lesson: Identifying 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 Your Virtual Book Tour

Course format

When you enroll, you get immediate access to all course materials.

Each lesson has a video, written transcript, and slide deck that explain key public engagement strategies and take you through how to adapt them to your own goals.

You can work through the lessons at your own pace, in whichever order you prefer.

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


slide decks


Course player for Public Engagement and Impact

Meet your instructor:

Dr. Kate Drabinski

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!

Kate Drabinski wearing a blue shirt

Frequently asked questions

When is the enrollment period for the course?

The course is always open for enrollment. You can join any time.

How do I access course materials?

The course is hosted on the educational platform Thinkific.

To access course materials after you enroll, log into your Thinkific account and navigate to the course page.

How long do I have access to course materials?

You always have 24/7 access to course materials. You do not lose access after a period of time.

You also get access to all additional lessons or materials we add to the course in the future.

Are there graded assignments?

The course is entirely self-paced and self-administered so no there are no graded assignments.

Upon enrolling you get immediate access to all course lessons so you can work through them with the order and pace that makes the most sense for your needs.

Does the course offer a certificate of completion?

Yes! When you complete all the lessons, you can download a customized completion certificate with your name, date of completion, and the title of the course.

How does payment work?

Payment is due in full when you enroll. 

We accept payment via credit/debit card and PayPal.

Do you offer any additional courses?

Yep! You can check out our other offerings on the Courses page.

Got an idea for a course you’d like to see us offer? We’d love to hear about it. You can email us at

Find the public strategies that work for you


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