Strategies for Effective Public Engagement
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Course Overview

When done right, public engagement involves intentional and mutually beneficial interactions between scholars and a range of audiences resulting in positive societal change. This course will teach you key principles and strategies to practice effective public engagement.

Course Features

  • 10 enjoyable short videos that introduce you to important concepts and provide useful and practical tips for doing effective public engagement
  • Over 40 reflective and interactive activities that help you think through and develop a plan for a public engagement project
  • Strategies for practicing ethical engagement
  • Handouts, activities, and reading materials for a deeper dive into the topics

Course Details

Enrollment Starts Enrollment is open
Course Starts Anytime, self-paced
Estimated Effort 1 to 3 hours/week
Certificate Yes
Badge Yes

About This Course

Public engagement is the practice of establishing intentional and meaningful interactions between scholars and different publics for the purpose of mutual learning or other social benefits. Although public engagement utilizes many of the same principles, skills, and formats as outreach or communication, one key difference is that public engagement prioritizes building partnerships with the audience to create societal impact. 

Strategies for Effective Public Engagement is a FREE, 3-week course that will guide you through fundamental principles, skills, and strategies to succeed in your public engagement projects. Whether you are new to public engagement or simply want to improve upon what you have already accomplished, this course is for you!

A Course for Anyone Interested in Public Engagement

This course is designed for anyone who is interested in, planning, or executing a public engagement project. We discuss why you should get involved with public engagement and how it can enhance your personal and professional development. We also cover how to plan and execute a public engagement project and ultimately, how to assess and iterate on your work to continue to improve and grow. 

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the benefits of public engagement
  • Reflect on your personal and professional motivations for public engagement
  • Define public engagement and describe how to do it well and ethically
  • Apply communication skills, like listening and receiving, to public engagement
  • Define your goals and desired impacts
  • Apply strategies to plan, execute, and assess public engagement projects

Course Structure

The course includes 3 modules with activities, reflection questions, readings, and additional resources to help you ideate, plan, and execute public engagement activities.

  • Module 0 - Getting Started: Outlines the structure of the course, how to engage with other participants, and how to successfully complete this course.
  • Module 1 - Public Engagement: Skills, Strategies, and Considerations: Focuses on why and how you should get involved in public engagement and key skills needed to be successful. 
  • Module 2 - Starting, Executing, and Assessing a Public Engagement Project: Reviews the steps to plan, execute, and assess a public engagement project.

Built with Your Schedule in Mind

We built this course for busy scholars, researchers, or practitioners like you! The modules are meant to be completed in about three weeks, allowing you to do course activities while attending to other responsibilities. Each module consists of 1-6 brief videos and takes about 1 to 3 hours of work to complete. 


There are no requirements needed to take this course.

Format & Certification

Strategies for Effective Public Engagement is a self-paced course. Once you pass the course, you will receive a Courses Certificate of Completion and, if you opt-in, a digital badge that you can share on social media. Passing requires you to complete all the required activities for the course, which equals 60% of the total activities.

Course Contributors

(Listed in alphabetical order)

Course Speakers

Elyse L. Aurbach
Mónica I. Feliú-Mójer 

Course Directors

Elyse L. Aurbach
Mónica I. Feliú-Mójer
Steven Paniagua
Rosa Veguilla

Platform Development & Management

Daniel McQuillen
Benjamin Van Renterghem

Video Production, Graphics, and Editing

Elizabeth Brooke
Chris George
Maggie Hubbard
Eric Kornblum 

Executive Direction

Giovanna Guerrero Medina


We’d like to thank the following iBiology and Yale Ciencia Academy Team members for their support in the creation of this course:

Daniel Colón-Ramos
Doug Koshland
Carolina Machado
Titilayo Omotade
Evan Reeves
Lobsang Wangdu 


This work is supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under award number 2R25GM114000, with a contribution from an HHMI Gilliam Fellowship to Ernesto Cabezas-Bou and Daniel Colón-Ramos. This course is a collaboration between the Yale Ciencia Academy for Career Development, CienciaPR, the Science Communication Lab, and iBiology

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • What do I get at the end?

Upon completing all required activities, you will receive a printable certificate from iBiology Courses and, if you opt-in, a digital badge to commemorate your participation in the course.

Sign Up Sign In
To enroll in this class, you first need to sign up to iBiology Courses as a student (or sign in if you're already a student).