The MLA Task Force on Evaluating Digital  Scholarship for Tenure and Promotion (2006) <ul><li>Digital Scholarship is becom...
The MLA Task Force on Evaluating Digital  Scholarship for Tenure and Promotion (2006) <ul><li>… [F]rom 35% to over 50% of ...
The MLA Task Force on Evaluating Digital  Scholarship for Tenure and Promotion (2006) <ul><li>More positively, higher perc...
What’s the Point  of New Media?! Evaluating Transitional Scholarship Dr. Cheryl E. Ball, Illinois State University
Expectations of  print scholarship <ul><li>What does it look like? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is the audience? </li></ul><ul><l...
Expectations of  print scholarship <ul><li>Can you think of an example of “traditional” scholarship that breaks from tradi...
Continuum of digital scholarship <ul><li>Braun (2006) </li></ul><ul><li>print  online digital media </li></ul><ul><li>prin...
webtexts vs. print scholarship  (Warner, 2007) <ul><li>Webtexts  follow  print conventions regarding  content </li></ul><u...
Webtext examples Zoeteway’s “Disrupting the Computer  Lab(oratory)” (2004)
Webtext examples Wysocki’s “bookling monument” (2002)
Warner’s webtext heuristic (handout)  <ul><li>Content : Considers whether the content of the text meets traditional standa...
implications of study  (Warner, 2007)  <ul><li>“ The ability to engage with the content of a text depends on the accessibi...
New media examples Wysocki’s “bookling monument” (2002)
Trends toward  new media scholarship <ul><li>“ As trends in online scholarship move toward new media studies, scholars wil...
Types of webtexts   (Kalmbach, 2006)  <ul><ul><ul><li>Linear </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Exploratory </li></ul></u...
New media example <ul><li>Words are the ultimate abstraction!: Toward using Scott McCloud to teach visual rhetoric.  </li>...
New media scholarship? <ul><li>What does NOT seem scholarly about this text? </li></ul>
An example of new media scholarship <ul><li>Words are the ultimate abstraction! </li></ul>
What do you think? <ul><li>What lenses or traditions or genres did you use to evaluate “ultimate abstraction”? </li></ul><...
What do you think? <ul><li>Scholarly persona </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Not replication (form/conte...
Assessing new media scholarship <ul><li>Content </li></ul><ul><li>Web-based allowances </li></ul><ul><li>Emerging conventi...
Assessing content <ul><li>introduction </li></ul><ul><li>documentation </li></ul><ul><li>lit review </li></ul><ul><li>meth...
Assessing added value (web-based allowances) <ul><li>discrete nodes </li></ul><ul><li>multilinear navigation </li></ul><ul...
Assessing emerging conventions <ul><li>navigation instructions </li></ul><ul><li>sitemap </li></ul><ul><li>effective linki...
Shifting conventions in  new media scholarship? <ul><li>space/time </li></ul><ul><li>memory </li></ul><ul><li>chapters/seg...
Questions? <ul><li>Thank You. </li></ul><ul><li>Dr. Cheryl Ball </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
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What's the Point of New Media?

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This talk/workshop discussed the state of digital scholarship in the humanities, presented some sample digital media texts for evaluation, and offered the audience a chance to practice their assessment and evaluation processes on digital media.

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  • Cindy Selfe used these slides to introduce my talk in relation to the MLA Report’s take on digital scholarship.
  • Cindy Selfe used these slides to introduce my talk in relation to the MLA Report’s take on digital scholarship.
  • Cindy Selfe used these slides to introduce my talk in relation to the MLA Report’s take on digital scholarship.
  • This talk is exploratory -- more of a discussion about how we can approach new media scholarship with our particular backgrounds in English (and related fields).
  • What assumptions do we bring to reading print/linear scholarship (articles, books)? [audience participation]
  • How are those assumptions changed/broken/modified by experimental print scholarship? (Ex: Glas, Yancey and Spooner’s email piece, House of Leaves, etc.) [audience paricipation]
  • Keeping those assumptions in mind (print and experimental print), let’s look at where those assumptions lay in relation to digital scholarship. For the next section of the talk, I’m going to focus on the middle of the spectrum - webtexts - using Warner’s (2007) heuristic.
  • Overview of Warner’s conclusions after studying 13 “best webtexts” for print- and added-value conventions.
  • An exploratory hypertext that relies mostly on words and links to convey meaning.
  • An exporatory webtext that relies on words and links but that also uses visual design in nontraditional (I.e., non-print) ways to communicate. (This ex is more toward the new media end of the digital schol. Spectrum)
  • [The handout with the heuristic was passed out at the beginning. I will put it on my website, with Warner’s permission.] With this slide, we discussed the basic components of evaluating webtexts-as-scholarship.
  • Implications of Warner’s study -- her focus on webtexts as linked texts differentiates them from new media scholarship, which often relies on animation (which Landow said isn’t hypertext, [from 3.0]) and other media-rich elements. So, NM scholarship needs additional study.
  • Same example as before - but this is the opening navigation. Meets problem of readers being able to “engage with the content” when they “do not understand” the form (using language from Warner’s implications of her study).
  • Need for research on new media scholarship in addition to webtext studies
  • The Timeline type of digital scholarship has a different reading history than that of webtexts, and more timeline based texts are appearing in online journals. Calls for need again.
  • Example to watch collectively. 10 minutes. We can all discuss. Manifesto genre. Also brings up issues of student assessment (since it was from a class, but became a peer-reviewed piece of scholarship later). This is the unrevised version.
  • Jot down your thoughts to discuss later. [the provocation! ;)]
  • [watch. One thing I’ve noted over the two years I’ve been showing folks this text -- when I use it as an example of classroom practice and/or form/content convergence where I am presenting it as a classroom example, people laugh and smile throughout. But the two times I’ve presented this piece as “scholarship” (since it is -- it was peer-reviewed and accepted for publication in a major online journal - ahem, Kairos ;) people no longer laugh and smile and enjoy the piece. There’s a HUGE disparity of allowing pleasure in our readings and signals that the way we value student work is drastically different than the way we value scholarship -- new media or not. I think there’s something wrong with that -- that we’re not valuing the aesthetic in scholarship, nor are we expecting texts from students that approach scholarship. That goes back to Rich’s idea of Schmooze. But I ask: What happened to the Wow in scholarship? Why can’t we value that as well? Sigh…)
  • [I skipped this slide in the OSU talk, although we got at most of the questions during discussion.]
  • [this is the audience-generated list from the discussion, based on the question: What is NOT scholarly about “words are the ultimate abstraction”]]
  • [If there wasn’t discussion, I was going to “address” how I (and editorial board reviewers) evaluated the text as scholarship using Warner’s heuristic. But there was *plenty* of discussion :) about the non-scholarly AND scholarly qualities of the piece. My fav lol moment was when Louis Ulman said “Nothing’s not scholarly!” teehee]
  • These bullet points are from Warner’s heuristic. Ex: Watkins’s lit review doesn’t appear as a section as we’d expect it in print; but he certainly references necessary texts by quoting (in voiceover), citing particular articles, and even showing headshots of authors (Sirc, above). NM has different ways of carrying out expected “content”.
  • [we skipped this slide -- the discussion got too good to interrupt them. There were both pros and cons -- ways readers could engage and ways readers felt shut out of the text. Very smart stuff from grad students and faculty -- some in digital media studies but many not.]
  • [We skipped this slide too. The movie clip above is how Watkins’ laid out his design rationale -- about 2/3 the way through the movie; not a traditional move and not even a webtextual move, which would have had the design rationale and/or navigation instructions at the ‘beginning’ of the piece. My point here was that new media scholarship, esp those like timeline-based stuff that doesn’t rely on hypertextual links, doesn’t exactly follow the emerging conventions from Warner’s heuristic -- thus pointing out the need for additional research on new media scholarship.]
  • [We skipped this slide -- this was my tentative list of how I saw the piece differing from Warner’s heuristic. Still, the audience prolly addressed most of these issues in some form during the discussion.]
  • [lol -- The best part of the talk at OSU? I was supposed to give a 45 minute talk followed by 45 minutes of discussion. I skipped half the slides because the participation/discussion was so good during the talk that we lasted for an hour and 45 minutes and then, finally, I was like “We gotta vacate the room!” All on a Friday late afternoon in stormy weather. Perhaps not everyone in the room would agree, but I felt like it was a coming-together moment for the faculty and grad students. Both “sides” (those pushing for digital media schlarship and those uncertain how to read/count it) got to share their perspectives, and it was one of the best learning experiences for me. (not just preaching to the choir anymore! ;)
  • What's the Point of New Media?

    1. 1. The MLA Task Force on Evaluating Digital Scholarship for Tenure and Promotion (2006) <ul><li>Digital Scholarship is becoming pervasive in the humanities and must be recognized as a legitimate scholarly endeavor to which appropriate standards, practices, and modes of evaluation are already being applied. The rapid expansion of digital technology has been fundamentally transforming the production and distribution of humanities scholarship, generating not only new forms of publication and dissemination…but also significant new modes of scholarship… (43) </li></ul>
    2. 2. The MLA Task Force on Evaluating Digital Scholarship for Tenure and Promotion (2006) <ul><li>… [F]rom 35% to over 50% of department chairs report that they have had no experience evaluating scholarly work produced in these new forms by candidates for tenure and promotion ; departments in Carnegie Doctorate-granting institutions consistently reported the highest percentages of inexperience….65.7% of departments in Carnegie Doctorate-granting institutions report that they have no experience, as compared with 38.4% of departments in Carnegie master’s and 47.4% of departments in Carnegie Baccalaureate institutions. Overall, 52.1 % of respondents report having no experience with evaluating monographs in digital form. (44-45) </li></ul>
    3. 3. The MLA Task Force on Evaluating Digital Scholarship for Tenure and Promotion (2006) <ul><li>More positively, higher percentages of departments across the institutional board regard work in digital formats as “important” rather than “not important” in evaluation for tenure and promotion…. Refereed articles published in electronic forms are regarded as “important for earning tenure and promotion in 38.9% of departments…28.1 1% of respondents indicate that monographs in electronic form count as “important” in their processes of evaluation… (46) </li></ul>
    4. 4. What’s the Point of New Media?! Evaluating Transitional Scholarship Dr. Cheryl E. Ball, Illinois State University
    5. 5. Expectations of print scholarship <ul><li>What does it look like? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is the audience? </li></ul><ul><li>How is it written? (formal/informal, jargon, etc.)? </li></ul><ul><li>What formatting conventions are assumed? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you expect to get out of it? </li></ul>
    6. 6. Expectations of print scholarship <ul><li>Can you think of an example of “traditional” scholarship that breaks from tradition but is still considered successful? </li></ul><ul><li>How does it break from tradition? </li></ul>
    7. 7. Continuum of digital scholarship <ul><li>Braun (2006) </li></ul><ul><li>print online digital media </li></ul><ul><li>print-based print-like webtext new media </li></ul><ul><li>Warner (2007) </li></ul>
    8. 8. webtexts vs. print scholarship (Warner, 2007) <ul><li>Webtexts follow print conventions regarding content </li></ul><ul><li>Webtexts diverge from print conventions regarding form </li></ul><ul><li>Webtexts have added value through web affordances </li></ul>
    9. 9. Webtext examples Zoeteway’s “Disrupting the Computer Lab(oratory)” (2004)
    10. 10. Webtext examples Wysocki’s “bookling monument” (2002)
    11. 11. Warner’s webtext heuristic (handout) <ul><li>Content : Considers whether the content of the text meets traditional standards of scholarship. </li></ul><ul><li>Web-based allowances : Considers whether the text incorporates the allowances of the medium to enhance the rhetorical effect of the argument as well as to justify its construction within the online environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Emerging conventions: Considers whether the text follows emerging conventions of web-based writing in order to accommodate the new reading experience. </li></ul>
    12. 12. implications of study (Warner, 2007) <ul><li>“ The ability to engage with the content of a text depends on the accessibility of the form.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Readers often do not value what they do not understand.” </li></ul><ul><li>(p. 145) </li></ul>
    13. 13. New media examples Wysocki’s “bookling monument” (2002)
    14. 14. Trends toward new media scholarship <ul><li>“ As trends in online scholarship move toward new media studies, scholars will need to develop revised assessment strategies; the current assessment tool does not account for texts that make meaning in non-textual ways” (Warner, p. 148). </li></ul>
    15. 15. Types of webtexts (Kalmbach, 2006) <ul><ul><ul><li>Linear </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Exploratory </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Looping </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sequential </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Matrix </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Menu </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Multi-windowed </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Timelime </li></ul></ul></ul>
    16. 16. New media example <ul><li>Words are the ultimate abstraction!: Toward using Scott McCloud to teach visual rhetoric. </li></ul><ul><li>by Robert Watkins </li></ul>
    17. 17. New media scholarship? <ul><li>What does NOT seem scholarly about this text? </li></ul>
    18. 18. An example of new media scholarship <ul><li>Words are the ultimate abstraction! </li></ul>
    19. 19. What do you think? <ul><li>What lenses or traditions or genres did you use to evaluate “ultimate abstraction”? </li></ul><ul><li>What was unexpected? </li></ul><ul><li>How did you reconcile “gaps” in meaning-making? (Or were they irreconcilable?) </li></ul>
    20. 20. What do you think? <ul><li>Scholarly persona </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Not replication (form/content) </li></ul><ul><li>Self-reflexive </li></ul><ul><li>Music- punk </li></ul><ul><li>Production weaknesses </li></ul><ul><li>Layering of multimedia </li></ul><ul><li>Timing of textual elements/pace </li></ul><ul><li>No/less control over pacing </li></ul><ul><li>Assertion vs. argument?/propaganda </li></ul><ul><li>Reader relationship to text </li></ul><ul><li>Immersion </li></ul><ul><li>Not dialectical/book review? </li></ul>
    21. 21. Assessing new media scholarship <ul><li>Content </li></ul><ul><li>Web-based allowances </li></ul><ul><li>Emerging conventions </li></ul>Warner’s heuristic:
    22. 22. Assessing content <ul><li>introduction </li></ul><ul><li>documentation </li></ul><ul><li>lit review </li></ul><ul><li>methodology </li></ul><ul><li>formal tone </li></ul>
    23. 23. Assessing added value (web-based allowances) <ul><li>discrete nodes </li></ul><ul><li>multilinear navigation </li></ul><ul><li>apropos links </li></ul><ul><li>form enacts content </li></ul><ul><li>apropos multimedia </li></ul>
    24. 24. Assessing emerging conventions <ul><li>navigation instructions </li></ul><ul><li>sitemap </li></ul><ul><li>effective linking </li></ul><ul><li>design rationale </li></ul><ul><li>multimedia enhancements </li></ul>
    25. 25. Shifting conventions in new media scholarship? <ul><li>space/time </li></ul><ul><li>memory </li></ul><ul><li>chapters/segments </li></ul><ul><li>design methodology </li></ul><ul><li>linearity/transcript of voiceover </li></ul><ul><li>voice, pitch, tone </li></ul><ul><li>authority/credibility </li></ul><ul><li>ethos of print/digital bridge </li></ul>
    26. 26. Questions? <ul><li>Thank You. </li></ul><ul><li>Dr. Cheryl Ball </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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