The 4th day in Belgium was my chance to present my research. I spent a year and a half working on this paper and waited another year for it to be rejected from a journal so I try and present at every conference that I can to get my idea out there. After the first two days of the conference though, I wasn’t holding out much hope for people enjoying my presentation.
I wasn’t wrong. The idea of a conceptual paper was almost too much for them. They did not understand why there was no survey and no numbers involved in my formulation of the seven guiding principles to help a programme who wished to move to a programme focused approach to feedback. The questions that I fielded made it clear that they did not understand my paper. Part of me wondered if it was something in my explanation that didn’t translate, or if I really broke their brains with a paper that did not include a survey.
It was not a complete waste though. I met a guy from Germany who is interested in feedback and knows one of my supervisors, so he asked great questions and invited me to be part of a symposium that he is putting together for a conference in April. This was exactly the type of thing that I hoped would happen when I went to the conference. My networking skills suck, so the fact that I could have a chat with someone who is interested in the field and wants to work together makes me happy. I am grateful for the chance to work with people from other countries and differing viewpoints to continue the conversation about feedback and assessment.
This 10 minute conversation about my poster made the conference worth it. I was starting to worry that I had wasted a week that I should have dedicated to writing my discussion chapter. Hopefully, the symposium is accepted and I can head to Canada in April to continue networking.