Connectivism and research

A post that caught my attention this week was one made by Peter Shuckie – – in the Change11 Facebook group –

The post is basically about the constraints imposed by Higher Education institutions on how research can and should be conducted. Peter is in the first year of his PhD studies and has been told that when writing ‘quotes from blogs and wikis are not academically authentic’.

The problem is – as he points out – that when writing about Connectivism (and I should imagine that this applies to any other ideas/theories that are new and in the process of being developed), most of the information is nowadays on blogs and wikis.

In reading Peter’s post I was reminded of Leigh Blackall’s decision to do an ‘open PhD’ by publication – . So this is not the first time this problem has cropped up.

A colleague recently told me that a number of people in her Faculty were beginning to kick against the constraints of writing for and publishing in closed academic journals, saying that they would publish on their blogs instead. My experience of this is that your blog needs to have a big following if your paper is going to be read and commented on. For me a better option is to go for an open journal, such as IRRODL –  – but even these seem to be pulled into following traditional ways of working. I did wonder when IRRODL  announced earlier this year ……

IRRODL Now Indexed in SSCI World of Science

After 6 years requesting to be evaluated for inclusion in Thomson’s Social Science Citation Index, I am very pleased to say we were evaluated and a decision was made to include IRRODL in this highly selective journal indexing system.

…. whether this would sound the death knell of anything innovate happening with respect to the publication of journal papers. I would like to see papers published in more creative formats, including links to different media – video, audio etc. Is there a reason to stick with text for everything now that we have open online journals?

But I know that any change to institutional culture and tradition with respect to research is going to be slow. In the meantime we need to find the right balance between openness, establishing and maintaining academic credibility, and innovation. Not easy!

6 thoughts on “Connectivism and research

  1. suifaijohnmak September 25, 2011 / 11:46 am

    Hi Jenny, I share your views, in the need of such balance between openness, academic credibility and innovation. I also like your ideas of creating papers with more creative formats, with different media.


  2. jennymackness September 26, 2011 / 5:07 pm

    Hi John and Carmen – thanks for your visit and in particular for the link Carmen. Creative students are in a cleft stick, aren’t they. It takes a brave student to risk their grade/mark/degree classification by thinking too much outside the academia box!

    For me it comes back to those arguments about whether you change systems from within or without. I think I’ve always felt that change from within is slower and requires some compromises but is more likely to get there in the end – but I could well be wrong.

    I have just listened to Martin Weller’s video – and I’m struck by how much I can relate to what he is saying and also to the article link you have provided Carmen. I think this will be an interesting week in changemooc.


  3. Carmen Tschofen September 26, 2011 / 6:04 pm

    Perhaps not so much about inside and outside systems as understanding where the permeable (or tattered) fringes are and figuring out how to muck around there…?

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