Networked Learning and Academic Citation

Frankly speaking, I haven’t taken web-based resources and communications like blogging, Twitter, or YouTube seriously as academic resources until last Wednesday. It was due to my lack of pedagogic experiences and knowledge as well as technology, and partly cultural differences from my country, I guess. Although one of my course, which was online, used the blogging activities every week, with just almost same way as the GEDI, I just thought it was because of the limits of the online course.

So, I not only read and watch the materials this week, but also explored what networked learning is, and why it has been emerging as critical teaching and learning methods. I really enjoyed the TED talk particularly, assuming most of you might be the same.

Anyway, they were totally new fields of discipline for me, but I found the fundamental values under the practice would be what I pursue through my research and teaching. I am all for the ideas of sharing and interacting knowledge, information, and materials through open and public channels, so that students can get themselves engaged in the learning activities, and also diverse kind of people are able to access to them. I believe the exclusive access to privileged knowledge would harm social dynamics as well as its quantitative and qualitative development.

In this writing, I would like to pose a possible issue of networked learning that we could face and might already happen. The first one is how that web-based informal information could be integrated into academic environments. For example, so far as I know, universities or scholarly journals might not be allowed for students to use the information and data borrowed from the blogs or YouTube. I’d like to share the blogging, titled “The legitimacy and usefulness of academic blogging will shape how intellectualism develops”. She provides pros and cons of citing blogs as formal academic resources.

The legitimacy and usefulness of academic blogging will shape how intellectualism develops


5 Replies to “Networked Learning and Academic Citation”

  1. Thanks for sharing this blog about citing blogs as formal academic resources. In my opinion the cons overweigh the pros. The most obvious problem with citing blogs would be no-peer review and hence no standardization. In today’s world when there is so much information on the web, sometimes it becomes really difficult to figure out what’s real and what’s fake and in the absence of peer-reviews, we would not be able to judge the legitimacy of even the paper or book. But the article raises some really good arguments

  2. I really appreciate that reference! And I like where the author (Jenny Davis) ends up: suggesting that how to cite and use blogs is a matter of discretion, acceptability by field, and personal preference.

  3. Hello!

    I’m super excited to participate in this course with you! I suspect I’m coming at blogging from an opposite framing of the value of media outside the formal academic system of citations, books, and journals. I’ve grown up participating in in-depth discussions and content online, and especially recently have been conscious of a deep disconnect between the things my (wearable robotics & formerly brain-computer interfacing) field’s publications deem important, vs those that I find helpful.

    For example, I’ve found that my field’s publications actively avoid articulating the actually difficult part- implementation- of our work. We *exclusively* discuss the theoretical math of the movement or controls of robotic systems, while leaving wholly unstated how they chose to actually implement that math. We’ll simply state “RTAB-MAP ROS library was used for automated mapping and navigation”, and not even bother stating how we configured all of the 30+ different options and settings, each of which has materially relevant consequences for the effectiveness of the final work. This means our publications only serve as boasting tools, and are functionally useless for helping others even *replicate* our work, let alone use it.

    In contrast, content like popular tutorials will detail the entire process in plain language, concurrently educating on the actual complexity at play, and providing guideposts from which a user can work. My thesis, for example, can be uncharitably described as “following three robotics instillation & configuration tutorials, one 3d design tutorial, and one web server tutorial, with three small extremely simple scripts to glue the systems together.”

    In terms of the supposed main upside of academic publications- peer review- I struggle to see how the commentary of comparable content creators in long-form media is not precisely that, but public. In my piece this week, I list quite a few Youtube creators, describing them as a new sort of “academic” due to the sheer depth and complexity of their work. You’ll notice many of them are in overlapping fields- and if you were to look through their backlogs, there are collaborations, mutual citations, and responses in the same vein as I would love to actually see in academia. Instead the peer review process is opaque to outsiders, and only ever involves at most a small number of other people, let alone significantly varied perspectives & backgrounds the way online, public discussions commonly do.

    All this before exploring the chilling effect on engineering ethics research that comes with having one’s name publicly tied in academic spaces to criticism of the sociopolitical consequences of the work of others in our departments. In a department funded heavily through the work of military-centric jet engine work, how likely is a prospective professor to get tenure from their colleagues when they have published work openly critical of militaristic mentalities in engineering?

    Lookin forward to class & this semester with ya!

  4. I also share the feeling of not having pedagogic experiences. The TED talk was great and led me to think about things I had not thought of. Often I feel I am not expert enough to post about certain topics but have learned though blogging, one doesn’t actually have to be an expert. Just sharing my thoughts and ideas helps.

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