Submission Guidelines

Guidelines and Expectations for Submitting Manuscripts

Thank you for considering submitting to the K20 Journal of Authentic Learning and Teaching. The mission of the Journal Authentic Learning and Teaching submission process is to assist authors in improving themselves and their lessons. We strongly believe that all authors and lessons/articles have merit and seek to help authors to develop their ideas and to work collaboratively with their mentoring reviewers to help them bring out the best in their work. The tenor of this editorial relationship will be one of respect and collaboration. The Journal is a collective human and informational resource to help each and every author produce submissions of excellence.

Submissions to the Journal are peer reviewed. Each author will be assigned to an editorial development team led by one of the Journal’s associate editors. The editorial development team works closely with the author as manuscript consultants in pursuit of a finalized lesson/article for publication in the Journal. As a team, they can successfully work together to improve the manuscripts until the submissions become published in this Journal.

Manuscripts submitted for review to the Journal must be original works on the part of the authors, must not have been published previously, and must not be under review with another publication at any time during the review process. A variety of submissions are welcomed to the Journal. Submissions can range from articles on authentic instructional practice and/or theory, book reviews, authentic lessons, or news articles. Other ideas are welcome as well. The Journal is intended to be practitioner based. Therefore all submissions should be mindful of that audience.

Overall Style:

All manuscripts submitted to the Journal double-spaced, size 12 font, and Calibri, Times New Roman, or comparable font. The author should write in active voice, in the present tense, instead of past tense.

In most cases, the author should avoid writing in first person. For quotes, the author should include footnotes with references made according to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) (http://bit.ly/k20alt-APA).

Submit all manuscripts by e-mail to k20alt-publishing@ou.edu. Please consider the following requirements when submitting your work:

  • Manuscripts should be submitted as a Word document (.doc or .docx).
  • Images should be no less than 640 x 480 pixels and should be .jpg, .jpeg, or .png.
  • Audio files should be no more than 5 minutes in length and should be .mov, .wma, .mp3, or .m4a.
  • Videos should be no more than 10 minutes in length and should be .mov or .wmv files. Raw videos are preferred.
  • Hyperlinks should all include the complete website address.

If you have any questions about the format requirements for multimedia, please send your question to k20alt-support@ou.edu.

Specific Manuscript Styles:

Professional Book Review

  • Book Reviews should be 500-700 words in length. It is especially important to avoid 1st person and passive writing.

Avoid these types of statements: In the opening pages, Clark discussed his background in education, and it gave me a real sense of connection to his personal life.

Instead, use this style: In the opening pages, Clark discusses his background in education, giving readers a real sense of connection to his personal life.

Notice the change in tense. Instead of using “discussed,” the reviewer chooses to avoid past tense by using “discusses.” In addition, the reviewer avoids writing in first person in the second example by not using “I” or “me” statements. Instead of saying, “gave me a real sense,” the reviewer writes, “giving readers a real sense.”

  • All book reviews should include basic information and, possibly, purchase information.

For the basic information, be sure to include the following:

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle.
Location: Publisher. ISBN Number

Example:
Clark, R. (2003). The Essential 55. New York, New York:Hyperion. ISBN: 1-4013-0001-4

For more information on citing your book, visit http://bit.ly/k20alt-APA-books.

It is also very helpful to provide purchasing information in case readers want to pick up a copy of the book you have reviewed. An Amazon, Border’s, or Barnes and Noble link is always a good idea. Also, list the price that readers can expect to pay for the book.

  • What things should you include in the review?

Remember that you are submitting a book review, not a book report. While a basic summary or synopsis is absolutely necessary, it should not be the dominating subject matter of your review. Here are some ideas for what to discuss in addition to a basic summary. Remember, a book review is quite short. So craft your sentences to include concise, but thoughtful statements.

Author’s Background and Credentials

What gives the author the credibility to be addressing a community of educators? What is their background with the subject matter they are addressing? Discuss any awards they have won and other titles they have published.

Intended Audience

Who will connect with this book? Is it intended for teachers, for parents, for administrators, students? Does the author write above or below the intended audience?

Pressing Issues Discussed

You won’t be able to discuss every aspect of the book in 500-750 words. What is the meat of the book? What are the pressing issues the author wants to address? A great way to gauge this is by looking at subject, chapter, or section headings within the book.

Commentary on Innovation and Ideas Presented

Is this book worth readers’ time? Has the author provided new insight or proposed an innovative approach to teaching and learning? Discuss why this book is worth pulling off the shelf. You might also discuss how the book relates to authentic instruction and/or online communities of learning.

A Closing Evaluative Statement and Recommendation

You will most likely reveal your opinions about the book within the body of the review, but make it a point to conclude your review with a clear, concise evaluative statement.

Example:
“For teachers looking for a title that challenges their preconceived ideas about how students learn, this book is a must-read!”

Research or Practitioner Article

  • Articles should be no more than 2,000 words in length. The author should utilize the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.), second printing, as a guide (http://bit.ly/k20alt-APA).

Other comments regarding format and style:

Avoid parenthetical citations in your article. Please only make references using footnotes. Although standard APA formatting usually recommends not using footnotes, the K20 Journal of Authentic Learning and Teaching is primarily read on the web. With this in mind, it is strongly recommended that authors utilize note references. More information on footnotes can be found at http://bit.ly/k20alt-APA-footnotes and http://bit.ly/k20alt-MLA-footnotes.

Avoid using 1st person or passive voice. This process can seem cumbersome in the writing process. For more information, OWL provides some simple explanations for writing style and word choice at http://bit.ly/k20alt-APA-style.

Avoid bias. Be sure to carefully consider and eliminate bias in your writing as it relates to race, disability, and sexuality. The ultimate goal of the Journal is to provide impact student achievement for all students. For more information about bias, visit http://bit.ly/k20alt-APA-bias.

Lesson

  • Although there is no word limit associated with lessons, individual and group authors should consider the ease by which others will be able to digest and utilize the lesson.

All lessons that are published to the Journal will include a narrative and lesson. However, authors submitting lessons can choose to only submit the lesson and rely on K20alt editors to provide the narrative. This will likely lengthen the editorial process, but it an acceptable route for authors to consider. Expectations for both sections are provided below.

Narrative Guidelines

  • Authors submitting narratives should utilize the style guidelines for the Research/Practitioner Article (link to above section).

Exceptions:

  • Narratives should be no more than 1,000 words.
  • As the narrative will often take on a more story-like format, 1st person is acceptable.
  • Narratives should tell the story of the lesson and should specifically address discussion points listed in the K20alt Lesson Reflection found at ???.ou.edu.

Lesson Guidelines

  • Authors submitting lesson should ensure that the lessons are concise and explicit. Authors should carefully consider the K20alt Lesson Reflection and K20alt Framework for Lesson Development as they develop and refine their lessons.

When teachers initiate a lesson group on K20alt, they will be provided with a group that serves as a workspace for the development of their idea. In the Google Docs page, teachers will find a brief template for aspects of the lesson that should be included. Also, the teacher that requests a group (Lead Teacher) will receive a Lead Teacher Bundle that will include the following items:

–  2 research articles
–  An outline of the lesson format
–  A sample lesson
–  Suggested Timeline
–  K20alt Framework for Lesson Development
–  K20alt Lesson Reflection

News Article

  • News articles should focus on inspirational and informative educational programs and event occurring in today’s classrooms. News articles should be no more that 500 words.

News articles should be submitted taking special considerations to provide assurance that images of students and student work have received student and parent consent. For more information about this, please send your question to k20alt-support@ou.edu.