Faculty Working Group on Digital Presence and Public Scholarship

This fall I’m co-leading a faculty working group focused on digital presence and public scholarship. Our working group is a collaboration with the Colleges of Arts and Letters, Education, and Natural Science, and brings together about 20 faculty and academic staff from those areas. While the technical solutions provided through services such as Reclaim Hosting’s Domain of One’s Own and social media services such as Twitter and Medium are at the core of a lot of the work we are doing, they are not the focus. Instead, our focus is on critically thinking about one’s presence online and how that can work to amplify their scholarly work and engage others.

At the College of Arts and Letters, our goal for the larger initiative this working group is a part of is to:

Promote and support efforts by faculty and graduate students in the College of Arts and Letters to critically think about, create, and maintain a robust digital presence that amplifies and enriches their scholarship and enables them to engage the broader public.

We got off to a great start last week with an MSU Academic Advancement Network sponsored event led by Dean Christopher Long titled “Cultivating an Online Scholarly Presence” which featured Dean Long and several faculty members from around the University sharing their digital presence and discussing how they use it in their work. Then we followed up with the first of our weekly co-working sessions where we bring together faculty participants for an hour of conversation, questions, and work on their digital presence. We used the first sessions to focus on mapping out the pieces of their digital presence and identifying the core elements.

I heard some great questions/comments through our sessions and have shared a few below. These are great examples of the critical nature of the work we are doing.

  • How do I create workflows so things are easy to create and update.
  • Does working with website templates make it easier to achieve compliance with accessibility?
  • How often should one you update content?
  • How would using Twitter help me increase the reach of my scholarship?
  • How might I leverage the brand of the institution?

I’m looking forward to what the coming weeks have in store!