Assessing digital scholarship in higher education





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Scholarship in higher education has begun to be affected by technological changes. As colleges and universities strive to equip learners with intellectually stimulating experiences and to contribute to the stock of human knowledge, digital technology is becoming an increasingly important piece in the delivery of instruction, as evidenced by the number of conferences dedicated to the use of technology in higher education each year. One of the main roles of higher educational institutions is the production of knowledge. As such, the ways in which digital technologies impact scholarship - its authoring, accessing, archiving, and assessment - should be of concern to all academic constituencies. Although the integration of technology in higher education is growing, there seems to be a lack of consensus about what constitutes digital scholarship. As a former Director of Academic Technology at a university, and as a result my research on this topic, I have found that digital scholarship in higher education is not clearly defined. However, because of publishers of academic journals such as Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy and Vectors: The Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular, it is now possible to begin exploring digital scholarship. However, despite such efforts a gap still exists in research regarding the definition of digital scholarship, tools for construction, avenues of dissemination, and assessment. As these issues become increasingly important in higher education in the digital era, it is important to provide more adequate definitions of digital scholarship and digital citizenship. The purpose of this study is to develop guidelines that can be applied toward the development of criteria for assessing digital scholarship in higher education. A guiding vision of reform that incorporates digital scholarship in the promotion and tenure guidelines for faculty in colleges of education can be established from this research.

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