Open Education Conference
Niagara Falls, NY
There are many avenues for researchers and practitioners working in higher education to become involved in the open education movement via their research (e.g., publishing in or editing open access (OA) journals), teaching (e.g., creating, adopting, or adapting open educational resources (OER) and/or engaging in open pedagogy and open educational practices), or service activities (e.g., serving on university, college, or departmental open education committees). However, the value assigned to these efforts by administrators in colleges and universities throughout the United States (US) is not always clear (Jhangiani, 2017). This points to a possible disconnect between faculty members' work in open education and the personal views of administrators and/or institutional policies that may not fully recognize the role and value of open education efforts in higher education contexts (McKiernan, 2017). One particular area of research yet to be fully explored is how participation in the open education movement affects promotion and tenure decisions for those working in higher education in the US. The goal of this research project is to better understand how open scholarly products/outputs (e.g., research published in OA journals or the creation and/or use of OER textbooks and other teaching materials) are viewed in light of promotion and tenure processes at colleges and universities. Our presentation reports on the results of the first wide-scale anonymous survey study involving approximately 400 Vice Provosts, Deans, and Vice Provosts of Research involved in promotion and tenure decisions at Research I, II, and III institutions of higher education in the US based on the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Quantitative and qualitative analyses of the response data are used to answer the following research questions: 1) do institutions use criteria to guide promotion and tenure decisions regarding scholarship produced in OA journals and/or the creation or use of OER?; 2) how do administrators perceive the benefits and drawbacks of OA and OER scholarship with respect to promotion and tenure decisions?; and 3) what are administrators' personal attitudes regarding open products/outputs? The presentation will conclude with suggestions for raising awareness among administrators involved with determining promotion and tenure policies related to open education at their institutions. In addition, future avenues of research in this area will be delineated.
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Thoms, Becky; Burns, Dylan; and Thoms, Joshua, "Investigating Open Education and Promotion & Tenure in the United States" (2018). Library Faculty & Staff Presentations. Paper 128.