Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Blogging as a New Form of Academic Scholarship

New technology does change the platforms by which modern college professors research and communicate new information. As technology changes so does the medium by which academic research and scholarship is formed. According to an article in the Journal of Innovative Higher Education blogging is a new way of publishing academic research and offers a number of benefits that traditional journals do not (Powell, Jacob & Chapman, 2012).

It is important to understand that peer reviewed journals are still top of the line as they offer expert reviews of the information and are selective in their publications. The problem is that there selection process may or may not have anything to do with the quality of the scholarship and can limit new ideas based upon subjective quality measures such as writing style, university type, and kind of research.

Likewise, peer reviewed journals are a slower process of disseminating information. After 6-12 months from submission date to publication date the information could be old. After that it could take years for industry to review and pick up the information for public consumption. In many cases, these journals don't have wide readership and are limited in exposures.

Blogs are a faster process of information dissemination but do lack quality controls making them a mixed bag that will grow in strength. However, if the writer is has scientific training and continues to use appropriate references and citations their work can be considered credible. Public consumption is fast and the innovative process is heightened.

Like peer reviewed journals blogging fits within the Boyer Model of scholarship. According to Boyer Scholarship should include (1990):

-Discovery: Investigating new knowledge.
-Integration: Making connections across various industries.
-Application: Making information available for testing in real industry settings.
-Teaching: Using learned knowledge to teach others.

Boyer's model is a standard for scholarship in the academic world. Blogging offers opportunities to discover ideas in current events, explore those ideas, link and connect to a wider world, make knowledge available to industry stakeholders and then offer the learned principles to the classroom. The faster faculty members can tackle real world problems through research and writing the greater the benefit to society. Blogging may not be a traditional way of creating knowledge but does fit within traditional academic models.

Boyer, E. L. (1990). Scholarship reconsidered: Priorities for the professoriate. Princeton, NJ: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Retrieved from     

Powell, D., Jacob, C. & Chapman, B. (2012). Using blogs and new media in academic practice: potential roles in research, teaching, learning and extension. Innovative Higher Education, 37 (4).

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