Posts

Sticking with the fail whale... for now

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  A lot of digital ink has been used up in the past few days with Elon's purchase of the big blue bird , both in blogs and Twitter itself, and news outlets (not that I think of it) To be fair, it is a little concerning when your social network changes hands, but then again other things are concerning in the land of social media (where "you're the product"), like most social media ownership, privacy, uptime, and what companies are doing with user data.  However, is this most recent panic enough of a cause to move over to another platform (or protocol) like Mastodon?🤔 Perhaps...or perhaps not.  Earlier this year I created an account on Scholar.social  (based on where colleagues seemed to be moving)- which took forever to verify - because their servers were kneeling under the weight of the many people who were "leaving" Twitter after the last Elon scare. I see today that Scholar.social no longer accepts new members.  Just for giggles I also created a mastodon

An Alt-Ac's publishing dilemma

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A couple of blog posts ago I was pondering my dilemmas about peer reviewing as an alt-ac. This week I've been pondering actual publishing as an alt-ac.  Here's how my pondering started (after a long couple of weeks at the beginning of the semester)... Given that... As an alt-ac I do not need to have published articles to be promoted in my professional work; As an alc-ac I do not get professional recognition for works published (except for some internal delight when I see my citation numbers😅) As an alt-ac I don't get "work release" time from my dayjob to work on this research, so any research work I do eats into my hobby/free time; As a hobby, research publications don't pay (whereas other gigs do, providing an incentive to give up some of your free time in exchange for my expertise); Publication of research is hitting bottlenecks, both with peer reviews and periodic journal moratoria; Even without the bottlenecks, getting through peer review can be a challen

Faculty CPD: The View from the Bleachers.

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This particular post has been in my drafts folder for a while now.  The post started off as some ponderings, based on tweets from fellow instructional designers (over the summer), that lamented the fact that faculty members really didn't attend professional development opportunities that they had worked so hard to put together. With the start of the new academic year just ahead of us (at least for my campus) it seemed like a good opportunity to return to this post.  This is my local view, framed chiefly from my experiences where I work, but also from chatting about this with local colleagues at other institutions nearby over the last 15 years.  Yes...the problem ain't new! One thing I've seen over the years is the reliance on bad metrics and other various bad indicators like foot traffic through the ID offices, the number of workshops offered, and butts in seats at the workshops. This isn't new.  Even as far back as when I was a training manager for our academic librar

An Alt-Ac's Peer Review Dilemma

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Choose your Destiny Over the past month or so, IHE has published a few opinion pieces about the issues with academic peer reviews; specifically that there is a bit of a dearth of peer reviewers which is holding up the publication of papers.  For lack of a better way of explaining this, it sounds to me that older academics who write these pieces (who had privileges that current-day academics don't) seem to chalk it up to "Darn these young academics! Nobody wants to work anymore!" I suppose that one  take on the current situation, but I think it's a shitty take. I suppose that if I were still an editor at an academic journal, I might be feeling the pressure a bit more, but I am not, so I can ponder some things from a relatively disconnected position. For what it's worth, I think the field™ has done this to themselves by (1) artificially keeping tenure-style  jobs low† and (2) increasing the stress, pressure, and sometimes the opaque requirements for obtaining tenure

ID finds a Monkey paw and a Djinn lamp, what happens next will shock you!

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Maybe I shouldn't take the bait, but I guess I couldn't leave this one alone either 😂.  I might as well have a little fun with a clickbait-style title for this post 🤣. Reading IHE and JK feels like it's bad for my mental health. Anyway, instead of rage-writing, I thought I would expand a bit on his arguments.  JK, over at IHE is opining again about things . This time it's a reaction to the CHLOE7 report (I somehow managed to miss CHLOE1 through 6, but that's OK). It's not that I disagree with JK about what he writes, but I think he is rather naïve, he doesn't dig deep enough, and he doesn't question current systems of power and authority.  This, I feel, is a cautionary tale of being careful what you wish for... At the center of this thought exercise is a figure (10%), that's the number of online leaders that indicated that their ID capacity as of  Fall 2021 was "fully sufficient" and that given "COOs' projection of significant f

Please stop fetishizing the campus...

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 This grew out of a response on Facebook to an IHE column by Josh Kim recently posted, titled  10 Inconsistent Ways That I Am Thinking About the Future of Academic Work . I was content with leaving this response as a social media reaction, but I was prompted and prodded a bit to clean it up a bit and write about it. It seems like I ended up writing more than I intended. Anyway, I am not interested in submitting it to IHE as an op-ed, so I figured I'd post it on my own blog (for whatever it's worth - maybe I can get the google juice instead of IHE 🤣).  Josh posts 10 things that give him cognitive dissonance about remote work in higher education, but I find the list rather contrived. Worse, I find it to be a list that might live on someone's blog as a quick pondering rather than on something that purports to be a higher-ed news outlet. tl;dr: For what it's worth, I think the fetishization of campus culture, exhibited both in this article and elsewhere in the world of aca

Alumni Engagement at the micro-level

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  A while back a tweet caught my eye that really piqued my interest. I don't remember who posted it, but it was responded to by someone I follow with a confirmatory story of their own.  The tweet went something like this: I finished my [graduate] degree x-many years ago. In this time, I have not been contacted by my [alma matter] department to participate on panel discussions, webinars, submit updates on my professional activities, articles I've authored, write a guest blog- or newsletter-post, give a talk, facilitate a workshop, etc. Let me say that I can totally understand! If my experience is any indication it's probably not you but rather how the organization functions.  As most blog posts go, I have some anecdotes! These are both from my experiences as an alumnus of an organization and  as a staff member of that organization.  Student & Alumnus Perspective Let me start with my experiences as an alumnus. I graduated from my programs in 2004, 2007, 2008, and 2010 (x2

When MOOCs turn into Self-Paced eLearning...

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It is true that, as of this writing, there is much more serious stuff happening in the world today, both in the US and abroad, but this has been percolating in my brain for a while, so I thought I'd jot down some thoughts on one of my favorite topics: the MOOC. Now that I am done with my dissertation, and I've had a little time to rest my brain and refocus on what I want to geek out on, I've wanted to do a retrospective piece on MOOCs. I was going to call it a post-mortem  because I think that the time of the MOOC has passed. Don't get me wrong, I think there is still gas in the tank of companies like Coursera, Edx, and Futurelearn, but I wouldn't call them MOOCs. The innovative pedagogical stuff I saw early on doesn't quite seem to be there these days, with a focus going to AI, massification, and Machine Learning.   In any case, my idea for a post-mortem was particularly poignant because 2022 is the 10th anniversary of the year of the MOOC  (time flies...😮). T

Graduate Students as OSCQR reviewers

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In the beforetimes (summer 2019), I had access to some graduate assistant hours and I needed to find a project for them.  Since this group of graduate assistants was destined to become educators, I thought it would be an interesting idea to train them on the OSCQR rubric and have them be " reviewer 1" and "reviewer 2" on a few course reviews that I wanted to undertake. I took on the role of the instructional designer in this exercise (reviewer 3).  Now, I know that the faculty member who is teaching these courses also needs to be part of the conversation, but more on that later... My original goal for this exercise, beyond the actual review, was to conduct a collaborative autoethnography of the process of having graduate students conduct OSCQR reviews of courses that they had themselves had most likely taken as a learner. Content-wise the material should have been similar even if the instructors and modalities were potentially different.  Well, the Fall 2019 semeste