Systemic Changes in Higher Education
A power shift is occurring in higher education, driven by two trends: (a) the increased freedom of learners to access, create, and re-create content; and (b) the opportunity for learners to interact with each other outside of a mediating agent. Information access and dialogue, previously under control of the educator, can now be readily fulfilled by learners. When the essential mandate of universities is buffeted by global, social/political, technological, and educational change pressures, questions about the future of universities become prominent. The integrated university faces numerous challenges, including a decoupling of research and teaching functions. Do we still need physical classrooms? Are courses effective when information is fluid across disciplines and subject to continual changes? What value does a university provide society when educational resources and processes are open and transparent?
How Faculty Define Quality, Prestige, and Impact of Academic Journals
Despite the calls for change, there is significant consensus that when it comes to evaluating publications, review, promotion, and tenure processes should aim to reward research that is of high "quality," is published in "prestigious" journals, and has an "impact." Nevertheless, such terms are highly subjective and present challenges to ascertain precisely what such research looks like. Accordingly, this article responds to the question: how do faculty from universities in the United States and Canada define the terms quality, prestige, and impact of academic journals? We address this question by surveying 338 faculty members from 55 different institutions in the U.S. and Canada. While relying on self-reported definitions that are not linked to their behavior, this study’s findings highlight that faculty often describe these distinct terms in overlapping ways. Additionally, results show that marked variance in definitions across faculty does not correspond to demographic characteristics. This study’s results highlight the subjectivity of common research terms and the importance of implementing evaluation regimes that do not rely on ill-defined concepts and may be context specific.
Assumptions and Challenges of Open Scholarship
Researchers, educators, policymakers, and other education stakeholders hope and anticipate that openness and open scholarship will generate positive outcomes for education and scholarship. Given the emerging nature of open practices, educators and scholars are finding themselves in a position in which they can shape and/or be shaped by openness. The intention of this paper is (a) to identify the assumptions of the open scholarship movement and (b) to highlight challenges associated with the movement’s aspirations of broadening access to education and knowledge. Through a critique of technology use in education, an understanding of educational technology narratives and their unfulfilled potential, and an appreciation of the negotiated implementation of technology use, we hope that this paper helps spark a conversation for a more critical, equitable, and effective future for education and open scholarship.
Open Education in Promotion, Tenure, & Faculty Development
The Iowa Open Education Action Team (Iowa OER) has built upon DOERS3's OER in Tenure & Promotion Matrix to help faculty and staff advocate for the inclusion of open educational practices (OEP) in the promotion, tenure, and faculty evaluation practices at their institutions.