Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Reflective Social Portfolios for Feedback and Peer Mentoring

Cover It may not have escaped your attention that this week is The Digital Scholar: How Technology Is Transforming Scholarly Practice week on SoTI. If you haven't read it yet, you're missing out ;-)

While reading it over the weekend I found a small error in one of the references cited - Cann A. and Badge J., 2010 Reflective Social Portfolios for Feedback and Peer Mentoring  which was listed as "Forthcoming" did not, for various complicated reasons, exist in a public form. Well now it does so that Martin can correct the next edition:

Cann, A.J. & Badge, J. (2011) Reflective Social Portfolios for Feedback and Peer Mentoring. Leicester Research Archive.
Abstract: This paper describes a process of migration from formal, paper-based, institutionally owned processes towards informal, social, student-centred personal development. In terms of tool use, this journey involves moving from isolated personal silos to flexible online networks which attempts to use social tools to increase engagement with education. We describe here the evidence we have collected and analyzed which shows that social network portfolios allow powerful yet highly granular feedback loops and encourage the emergence of peer support and mentoring networks. The only useful web tools are those which students choose to use. By harnessing the attraction of social networks, we are attempting to claw back a segment of the attention economy from the purely social and direct the focus towards socially-constructed reflection and engagement with education.

And some thoughts on the process:

After the difficult gestation of this paper, it was a joy to get the manuscript published on the LRA just a few hours after submission. I initially planned to simply publish it here ("green OA", a.k.a. self-archiving), but I didn't because:
  1. By publishing it in the repository I get the prestigious LRA handle, plus a few casual browsers.
  2. Unlike the LRA, this blog is not currently indexed by Google Scholar, although I could easily change that with a single line of metadata (but I don't want all the contents of this blog in Google Scholar).
So what is the downside? The LRA is a repository intended to freeze information in time. That's fine for some purposes, but it removes, or at least reduces, the possibility of post-publication peer review in this case. If substantial comments or problems were raised after deposition, could I revise the paper, and if I could, would it keep the same URI?

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