The Ed Techie: Open scholarship as resolution to the academic dilemma
"... Maintaining an external profile is still important to the individual (indeed, when job security is low, it becomes an increased priority as you may find yourself looking for a new post). So, how to do it when there are competing demands on your time? There are obviously lots of negotiations and ways of stressing academic credibility, etc which will vary from person to person and institution to institution. But part of the answer is also to engage in open scholarship. This came to mind as I struggled to manage my own workload the other day (yes, time to break out the violins). In doing my workload planning for the year it became apparent that I was (as all good footballers say) committed 150%. We pretended this wasn't the case to make the figures fit, but it means there is no slack in my diary, and that's before new things such as FutureLearn come along. I currently turn down about an invitation a week to speak at various events because I've invariably got meetings for the various OU projects I'm leading on already in the diary (ramp up the violins). I managed to write a paper before Christmas but I'm struggling to produce another one. It is a good paper I think, but I need 3 to 4 days uninterrupted to write it and put the data into order. Traditional scholarship is just very time consuming. This is a good thing, it means the outputs are (hopefully) of a high quality. But you may get squeezed on this, and this is where open scholarship comes in. While I haven't managed to write my paper, I have managed to produce a couple of blog posts. I can do these in a lunch time, or on a Saturday morning when I'm trying to avoid watching James Martin misuse the word literally on Saturday Kitchen. MOOCs may play into this also, if your teaching load is increased, then making courses open at least gains some external profile (although, as I am learning, it does involve a lot more work too). The same might be true of presentations shared via YouTube or Slideshare. So, the question that is usually asked of open scholarship type activities is 'how do you find the time for all this extra stuff?' We may be seeing this inversed - how do you find the time for the traditional stuff?"