#Change11 Digital Scholarship, Blogging, Digital Identity and Learning with Social Media and Internet

This week’s topic with Change 11 MOOC is on digital scholarship, facilitated by Professor Martin Weller.  The recorded session is available here and slideshow as shown below.

Nando summarized with notes of the session here.

In Martin’s Digital Scholarship session: “Blogging is sort of counter-intuitive and opposite to the training of scientists: It is supposed to be spontaneous, present incomplete ideas, parts of ideas, opinions. Scientists are trained to do the opposite (and publish in a peer reviewed journal).”

Blogging and publication in journals

This may be one of the differences between posting of critically peer-reviewed articles and the posting of articles on one’s blog, where the ideas may still be half-baked as shared by Jenny on her post and I have shared them here.

Is there a need to segregate scholarship from digital scholarship?

Lisa was concerned about the dangers of segregating the digital sphere, and she remarked that: “The distinction thus gets in the way of professional development, when good faculty feel they are entering a new and scary world instead of just extending something they already do skillfully — teach.”

May be that is one of the main reasons why so many professional teachers are still thinking about what it means to be teaching online, due to the many risks involved, especially the ones relating to digital identity – personal and professional identity online.

Digital Identity

I have reflected on openness and personal identity here.

Should we encourage and support our learners and/or fellow educators to use their real names instead of pseudonyms?  What are the implications and consequences of exposing “ourselves” with real identity in public or open online or virtual networks?

Dangers when learning with Social Media and Internet – as a scholar

Dunbar’s video highlights the dangers with learning with social media and over the internet, where the identity could be obscured.

Here Clay Shirky commented about privacy in social media, and the precautionary measure one should take.

What does it mean to expose one’s personal identity in digital scholarship?

In relation to digital scholarship, how would digital identity of scholars be shared? How would one strike a balance between private/personal and professional identity?

Are academics rewarded for engagement in public discourse?

“Both of those issues are key to understanding the problem of whether engaging the public or the community should be taken into consideration in tenure and promotion decisions. So one issue I am left with is the option of either tolerating participation in public discourse (by not punishing it under any circumstances) or rewarding it (by having it count toward tenure, promotion, numbers of classes assigned, choice of classes to teach, etc.).”

This is where open scholarship may be a concern for scholars and researchers, whereas this is still not yet clear about engagement in those open scholarship activities are that worthwhile or not as shared by Chris: “It just means that I will adopt a balanced, pragmatic approach that should maximize my chances of success in these exciting times of changing scholarship.”

What could institutions do to support digital scholarship?

How could institutions support Digital, open, networked scholarhsip? Institution such as Princeton University is now encouraging Go open access when it comes to publication of scholarship work.   There are many other strategies that could support digital scholarship, including an increase in funding and support of research into digital and networked learning and scholarship.

In conclusion, I think there are still many issues relating to digital scholarship, including the open access and publication, segregation,  digital identity.  There are currently institutions developing open access policy and opening up Open Educational Resources (OER) for scholars and educators to share.

Photo: Wikipedia

Will continue to explore about the concerns and implications of Digital Scholarship in another post.

24 thoughts on “#Change11 Digital Scholarship, Blogging, Digital Identity and Learning with Social Media and Internet

  1. Pingback: #Change11 Digital Scholarship, Blogging, Digital Identity and Learning with Social Media and Internet | Digital scholar(ship) | Scoop.it

  2. John – thanks for all your insights and links here. I need a bit more time to read, reflect, digest and clarify my thinking – but I can see that your ideas will be very helpful. Jenny

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  5. Here is my comment left with George’s post: Is it just individuals who are researching digital scholarship? Are they the proponents/units of it? Are “we” shaping scholarship outside of our own filter bubble? I think it depends on one’s affiliation with institutions, and or that of the networks. I don’t think digital scholarship – with openness, digital and networked is yet fully embraced under a “traditional scholarly environment”. If we were to survey our fellow networkers, scholars and educators, we would be surprised to know the answer to: how many of them would practise scholarship inside/outside institutions? I don’t think we have enough information to draw the conclusion, but I would agree with you that “We” are probably early adopters, comfortable with digital cultures and understanding of the principles of the Web (e.g., openness & sharing).” It may take years to fully assimilate the “practice of digital scholarship” as it is still not yet on the mainstream practice. If the tenure and recognition system is based on the peer-review and publish, and teaching based on “excellence” from an instructivist paradigm, then scholarship is scholarship, and there is not much difference between digital and non-digital when perceived from administrative/institutional point of view. Would this be a value judgment? From an institutional perspective, a digital scholar perspective, or a traditional scholar perspective? John

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  9. Thank you – it is very helpful to have such a comprehensive summary of the issue. This post should be shared widely in higher social media. The topic is also showing up more often in the mainstream academic press, but non of the articles in IHE or the Chronicle even begin to approach the thoroughness of this one

  10. Here is the response comment on George’s post “The goal of scholarly practice, in my opinion, is impact. It shouldn’t matter whether it is digital or not, as long as it influences practice in a positive manner.” Well said, agreed. Digital ways of dissemination may not have an impact directly, as any one could now access information with the press of a button – by Googling, by internet and web surfing. The new era of scholarship (whether it is digital or not) relates more with knowledge creation as shared here http://rer.sagepub.com/content/74/4/557. However, “many academics still dismiss emergent learning and Web2.0 as peripheral or even irrelevant to “real” formal learning because they see no mechanism for validation and self-correction” (Roy et al, 2011) on Emergent Learning. So, whilst validation with peer review is still relevant in research publication, what digital scholarship would encourage us to do is to go beyond the “peer review” by sharing in an open, networked and digital manner, so that knowledge creation becomes an open, transparent and community process, rather than locked inside the institution’s or publisher’s repository after the review, on a pay to read basis. So, in this regard, I fully agreed that we still need a formal review process – that may still be in the form of peer review, in order to assure quality of “knowledge created”. There are however other forms of such reviews, like community reviews, which would also be an emergent practice for digital scholarship. Our research papers on CCK08 research were posted prior to the final publication in the Conference, as we invited the community to review our papers. This may not be a “standard practice” as perceived by formal scholarship, but I do think this would further assure the quality of knowledge creation, when used in conjunction with peer review. The open-networked research approach using Web2.0 – blogs & social media that are inherent in digital scholarship would also provide a role model for other fellow colleagues and scholars to follow suit – in leveraging the affordance due to technology, self-organised learning (research), cloud-based sourcing of information and open collective inquiry that goes beyond institutions. So would there still be values for all stakeholders, if such digital scholarship are not only institutionally based, but networked based? Our conversation here surely is going beyond each of our institutions. But the values derived from understanding could go beyond each of our own views of scholarship. John

  11. Here is my response to a post by Antoesp:
    “A well respected digital scholar may be more defined by networks and online identity s/he establishes than by the institution which he/she belongs to” This led me to think about the value of network as an affiliation of one’s digital identity. There are certain underlying assumptions here, where scholars are defined outside the institutional affiliation, and so are they still classified under (1) & (2) as you have elaborated? I am not doing research for a PhD, and so it’s the interests and curiosity to learn that motivate me to research through networks. I tend to believe that there are certain values which go beyond in exceeding the “traditional” self esteem and actualization needs, when learning as an open digital scholar. I think it also relates to the passion of individual scholar, rather than just about careers opportunities or research publication. It is also about how one would “shape” and influence the world, whilst also adapting to an ever changing environment – with a micro and macro- approach towards learning. John

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