Royce Kimmons and I have been exploring the use of large-scale data in a number of recent studies. We just published a paper that tries to make sense of students’ and professors’ social media participation on a large scale. We are continuing our qualitative investigations to understand “why, in what ways, and how” scholars (students & professors) are using social media, but this is our first data mining study making use of Twitter data. It’s also the first study using large-scale Twitter data to make sense of how professors and students of education are using Twitter.
Here’s a high-level summary of three of our findings:
- There is significant variation in how scholars participate on Twitter. The platform may not be the democratizing tool it is often purported to be: The most popular 1% scholars have an average follower base nearly 100 times that of scholars in the lower 99% and 700 times those in the bottom 50%.
- Civil rights and advocacy seem to be an important activity of social media participation – this is rarely captured in research to date, which most often focuses on how social media are used in teaching & research. Scholars’ participation on Twitter extends well beyond traditional notions of scholarship.
We found that those scholars who follow more users, have tweeted more, signal themselves as professors, and have been on Twitter longer will have more followers. This model predicts 83% of the variation on follower counts. This finding raises questions as to the meaning of follower counts and its use as a metric in conversations pertaining to scholarly quality/reach.
Veletsianos, G., & Kimmons, R. (in press). Scholars in an Increasingly Digital and Open World: How do Education Professors and Students use Twitter? The Internet and Higher Education.
When my friends Jon Becker and Alec Couros were applying for tenure, they did something open, innovative, and thoughtful: They asked the community for feedback on their work and scholarship. This feedback often gets missed in tenure applications because it the impact and reach of scholarship tends to be evaluated in basic ways: How many times was a publications cited? In how many high-impact factor journals did one publish in? Alec’s and Jon’s request serve to add another dimension to the evaluation of their work.
I find myself in a similar position. Would you please help me provide a more diverse evidence for my application? If my work has impacted you in any way, could you please add a note below? Perhaps my research was helpful in helping you get started on your MA/PhD thesis/dissertation. Or perhaps you used my work to provide professional development for teachers/faculty. Or, you assigned my work as reading. Or, you reused one of the teaching activities I shared on my blog. Or, you learned something from me at some time. Many of these “indicators of impact” are invisible, so, in essence what I am asking is to help me make them visible.
If you have a few moments to spare, I’d appreciate your feedback in the form below, which has the same format as the one created by Jon (Thanks, Jon!). My plan is to include these data with my application in raw and summary form.
The British Journal of Educational Technology and BERA approached us to create an infographic for the article we (Amy Collier, Emily Schneider, and myself) published last year: Digging Deeper into Learners’ Experiences in MOOCs: Participation in social networks outside of MOOCs, Notetaking, and contexts surrounding content consumption
Below is the outcome (and a pdf version is here):
Below is an available position in Cognitive Science at Lund University, with possibility of placement in the Educational Technology group. Lund University is a great institution, and so are the colleagues at the Educational Technology research group.
***** FULLY FUNDED PHD POSITION AT LUND UNIVERSITY COGNITIVE SCIENCE *****
I would like to bring to your attention an open PhD-position in Cognitive Science at Lund University. Applications are welcome in all areas in Cognitive Science represented at the department including Educational Technology
**The Educational Technology Group** www.lucs.lu.se/educational-
The two purposes are intertwined. The developed software builds on empirical findings about the human mind within the cognitive and the learning sciences. The software is used to extend our knowledge, and the knowledge gained is fed back into the software as we develop it further. Our projects are characterized by an orientation towards school’s and preschool’s educational practices, together with the use of iterative processes of evaluation and redesigning.
The Educational Technology Group has close collaborations with some other national groups and with AAA-lab at Stanford University. Other essential collaborators are a number of schools and preschools, in Sweden and in the U.S., with their students, teachers and headmasters.
For more information about the group and the research domain contact
Professor Agneta Gulz — Agneta.Gulz@lucs.lu.se
More information about Lund University Cognitive Science can be found at the homepage: http://www.lucs.lu.se
Type of employment: Limit of tenure, Maximum 4 years
Extent: 100 % If combined with up to 20% teaching, the length is extended accordingly.
A completed master education in a relevant field is required to be eligible for the position.
Apply online (from February 1st):
Application must be received before March 1st, 2016.
The application must include:
– records of first- and second-cycle studies (Ladok transcript or other transcript of courses and grades)
– first- and second-cycle theses/degree projects
– a list of other relevant administrative and educational qualifications
– scholarly journal articles, reports or papers of relevance for the subject
– where applicable, documented skills in a language of relevance for the research studies
– project proposal (1500 words max. excluding references)
For general information please contact:
Christian Balkenius, Professor
046-222 32 51