Digital scholar: Week 1 compliation

The Digital Scholar

I’m slowly working my way through the Digital Scholar course offered through the Open University.

One of the activities asked us to think about how digital, networked, and open technology has influenced one area of my practice, either in a small or large way.

On a micro level, watching and reading what others are doing has been my entry point into then taking the next step of reaching out to others, communicating, and interacting. I have met higher ed scholars and practitioners with similar interests online, and while I was not far enough along yet in my grad program to be able to have a solid research direction, at a minimum I now know how to connect with scholars who share my interests. From there, I can take the next step of building my networks and figuring out interesting ways to talk about my interests, research projects, etc.

Boyer’s (1990) Scholarship Reconsidered framework


I envision that researchers, members of the community/public, students, and others who have a stake in what universities create, will all be a part of figuring out how to share new knowledge in a digital format. Maybe that means using visual or interpretive forms. A clinical trial reimagined as a novel, or a play, for example. And yes, the components that are essential to include for peer-reviewed journal articles such as methods, might fade away in light of the results section. Or perhaps the research process is part of the new story. I think what this will come down to is creative ways to share research outputs.


How do we work together across disciplines on problems? This seems to be the driving question behind this section. Seems that writing on the open web about your work, and hoping that someone comes across it is a first step. Then how to actually connect with others? Say for example, if I am interested in studying how gender impacts the edtech tools and programs currently in use, how would I go about connecting with programmers, usability folks, etc who would be interested in such a project? I will need to put more thought into this.


Thinking about how this might look differently…and how faculty members – maybe grad students too? – might talk about this. It seems like there’s still a shroud of secrecy over what goes on in higher ed. Maybe faculty and grad students could find ways to talk about their service projects. is it enough to write about it on a blog? I have a feeling that a short post about spending 2 hours reviewing manuscripts may not be tremendously compelling reading, but maybe that’s part of the problem. Should we talk about it in ways that are accessible to our parents? Our siblings? Neighbors?


Recognize the value and importance. I am not close enough to the teaching side to know how much, if any, the T&P process may be changing to value teaching at a higher priority. And in some cases, should it? Some schools have separate categories for teaching-focused positions and research-focused positions. This seems like it may be a way to recognize that not all faculty are equally interested in teaching and research, and place equal value on both areas.

Thoughtful Storify curation = context

art critic explaining chaos theory to other art critics

–Bookmarking for future reference–

Reading through a recent EdSurge post, I came across a Storify by @mwmcneal. I particularly liked how the tweets were prefaced by the session’s topic and further discussion. Great idea to keep in mind when sharing ideas from conferences. On the flip side, you would need to carefully think about whose voices make/do not make the curation cut…

Virtual and face-to-face: working through disruptive #edtech

How can virtual [relationships, mentoring, networking…] compare to face-to-face [relationships, mentoring, networking…]

I like the thoughts about this topic that the author brings up. webinar: notes and further ideas

Writing this now while it’s still fresh in my brain…

do not dump BRAINS to river.

I joined today’s Hypothes_is webinar, hosted by Jeremy Dean with several English professors who have used the tool in various ways in their courses.

Elisa Beshero-Bondar

  • Explained how her students used the tool in the course
  • Shared a short example of how a student incorporated her annotations into her final paper
  • Goal was to encourage students to think and work as scholarly editors
  • Concerns: quality control
    • alleviated through building a good research assignment and creating standards, such as using library databases

Larry Hanley

  • Used plug-in for his WP multisite class site
  • Anno-tate-a-thon (want to find out more about this…)
  • Provided students with a sense of agency
  • Built up a rich dialogue between the students
  • Headless class! (reminded me of the headless ds106 offering…)

Robin DeRosa

  • Led with an overview of in the larger context of open and why this is part of what it means to use open pedagogy
  • Showed examples of how authors could interact with students via annotations
  • Assessed peer review and reflection on class annotations
  • The rest of her slides

The questions from the other viewers were amazing…I cannot remember if they come through after a Hangout on Air is concluded, but the panelists had about ten minutes or so to respond after their prepared remarks concluded. Some of the respondents and participants mentioned student voice, agency, trolling, and the public nature of web annotations. It seems like it could be tricky to float between class audience and potential wider audience beyond the class. How to bring in the context without the class to support it?

One of the reasons I’m exploring this tool is to see how web annotations could be used in the context of ongoing training and development for student workers – to build a localized codex of information, for example. How might this function as a type of intermediary space between public-facing content (perhaps a wiki) and…something else, TBD…This may end up being part of the digital badges/ePortfolio project I’m hoping (planning) to roll out with our student workers.

Another way I would envision using this would be as part of a study group. Imagine how useful it would be to co-construct the study guide for your PhD prelims with a trusted group of peers…

Catch the recap and join the conversation: @hypothes_is

Replicable educational research?

Last week the Chronicle ran an article that discussed how a sample of psychology studies’ results could not be reproduced. While the article was focused on psychology, it spoke to something that I’ve been increasingly wondering about – the reproducible quality of higher education research about online learning.

There does not seem to be much discussion around this – perhaps as I’m now moving into the methods and focused seminar courses in my grad program this topic will come up. However, it seems that graduate students are encouraged to come up with new ideas and carve out a niche in the field. Is that one of the issues…too many niches, not enough research that leads to significant results? Many studies have been conducted with sample sizes that are too small to generalize the results, and as one of the findings, call for more research in this area. Perhaps instead of more research, the authors could challenge others to reproduce their work.

This is one of the ideas that my colleagues and I have been talking about as well, and thinking about how our group could contribute solutions to the research replicatory issues in the field of higher education online learning.  Definitely more to come…

Photo by Sukanto Debnath