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 Faculty Scholarship Committee Report

Faculty Scholarship at UMD:  Findings, Recommendations, Forms, and Samples

Committee on Faculty Scholarship:  Peter Angelos, Linda Deneen, John Hamlin, Jill Jenson, and Helen Mongan-Rallis


Date:  September 15, 2008

Chancellor Martin has appointed this committee to develop "a campus wide statement that can be supported by the academic units and collegiate units in terms of the acceptability of technology and web-based research and scholarship within the promotion and tenure process." 

This report is divided into four sections:  Findings, Recommendations, Forms of Scholarship, and Samples of Documenting Forms of Scholarship.  The report is focused on scholarship (research and creative work) and does not address teaching or service.

Section A:  Findings

The committee compiled the following findings as a result of reviewing the literature, holding focus groups with faculty members, discussing the issue with administrators, and interviewing individual faculty members.

  1. The gold standard for scholarship that supports a case for tenure or promotion is peer-reviewed work, including journal articles, scholarly monographs, juried artistic exhibitions, and funded grants.

  2. Recognition and evaluation of forms of scholarship varies among disciplines.

  3. Newer forms of scholarship are emerging, often driven by technology tools. Scholarly web sites, blogs, software tools, electronic portfolios, video documentaries, and other newer forms may be considered as evidence of scholarly work at some institutions.

  4. Some institutions accept that emerging forms of scholarship should count toward promotion and tenure. At the same time, few, if any, seem to have devised workable systems or metrics for documenting and evaluating such forms of scholarship.

  5. The challenge in making these newer forms of scholarship support a case for tenure or promotion is to find ways to evaluate them that are comparable to the gold standard.

  6. Peer review in competitive public forms is an essential criterion for evaluating scholarship, regardless of form.

Section B:  Recommendations

The committee offers these recommendations to departments, individual faculty members, and administrators for consideration.

  1. As departments revise their 7.12 statements, they may want to consider whether to include the broader areas of scholarship (research and creative work) as defined by Boyer (1990).  In this book Boyer (1990) identifies four categories of scholarship (listed in the order Boyer addressed them, pp. 15-25): 
    • the scholarship of discovery
    • the scholarship of integration
    • the scholarship of application
    • the scholarship of teaching

    See Section C:  Forms of Scholarship for more information.

  2. Faculty who are standing for tenure or promotion should recognize that it is the entire package of their scholarly work that must be evaluated.  Newer forms of scholarship, such as scholarly web sites, blogs, software tools, electronic portfolios, and video documentaries, might be included in this package; however, untenured faculty members should be aware of the relative importance of the scholarship of discovery in their particular discipline.

  3. Faculty who wish to expand into newer forms of scholarship should plan in advance how to document the value of the work and recognize that some form of review by experts in the discipline must be included in the presentation of the work in a tenure or promotion document.  Untenured faculty should work with their mentors, department heads, and deans to determine the degree to which there is agreement on the value of pursuing such a project prior to embarking on it.

  4. As departments revise their 7.12 statements, they may want to consider using the six criteria for evaluating scholarship – emerging or traditional – as defined by Glassick, Huber, and Maeroff (1997).  The six criteria are (pp. 22-36):
    • clear goals
    • adequate preparation
    • appropriate methods
    • significant results
    • effective presentation
    • reflective critique

    See Section D:  Samples of Documenting Forms of Scholarship for more information.

  5. When reviewing the record of a faculty member who is expanding the boundaries of scholarship, external reviewers who have some familiarity with these forms of scholarship should be included on the review panel.

  6. Online journals should be judged using equivalent criteria to print journals, such as acceptance rate, quality of the editorial board, maintenance of archives, and reputation among scholars in the field.

Section C:  Boyer’s Four Forms of Scholarship

In this section we synthesize the ideas of Boyer (1990) found in Chapter 2 (pp. 15-25).   Examples in this section are illustrative, and some examples could fit equally well into more than one category.

1. Scholarship of Discovery

Quotations from Boyer (1990)
  • The scholarship of discovery comes closest to what is meant when academics speak of “research.” (p. 17)
  • The scholarship of discovery, at its best, contributes not only to the stock of human knowledge but also to the intellectual climate of a college or university.  (p. 17)
  • Scholarly investigation, in all the disciplines, is at the very heart of academic life … (p. 18)
  • … the discovery of new knowledge is absolutely crucial. (p. 18)
Examples of the Form
  • Peer-reviewed journal articles
  • Scholarly monographs
  • Juried art exhibitions
  • Funded grant proposals

2. Scholarship of Integration

Quotations from Boyer (1990)
  • In proposing the scholarship of integration, we underscore the need for scholars who give meaning to isolated facts, putting them in perspective.   (p. 18)
  • By integration, we mean making connections across the disciplines, placing the specialists in larger context, illuminating data in a revealing way, often educating nonspecialists, too. (p. 18)
  • The scholarship of integration is, of course, closely related to discovery.  It involves, first, doing research at the boundaries where fields converge …(p. 19)
  • The scholarship of integration also means interpretation, fitting one’s own research – or the research of others – into larger intellectual patterns. (p. 19)
Examples of the Form
  • Multidisciplinary work
  • Annotated bibliography
  • Meta-analysis of the literature
  • Interpretation of scholarly work for the wider public
  • Development of integrative software

3. Scholarship of Application

Quotations from Boyer (1990)
  • … the application of knowledge moves toward engagement as the scholar asks, “How can knowledge be responsibly applied to consequential problems?  How can it be helpful to individuals as well as institutions?”  And further, “Can social problems themselves define an agenda for scholarly investigation?” (p. 21)
  • All too frequently, service means not doing scholarship but doing good.  To be considered scholarship, service activities must be tied directly to one’s special field of knowledge …  (p. 22)
  • New intellectual understandings can arise out of the very act of application … (p. 23)
  • Such a view of scholarly service – one that both applies and contributes to human knowledge – is particularly needed in a world in which huge, almost intractable problems call for the skills and insights only the academy can provide. (p. 23)
Examples of the Form (p. 23)
  • Shaping public policy
  • Creating an architectural design
  • Redesigning the organizational structure for a community agency
  • Developing applied software
  • Providing professional consulting services
  • Obtaining patents
  • Creating data sets, data bases, and test banks

4. Scholarship of Teaching

Quotations from Boyer (1990)
  • As a scholarly enterprise, teaching begins with what the teacher knows.  Those who teach must, above all, be well informed, and steeped in the knowledge of their fields.  (p. 23)
  • While well-prepared lectures surely have a place, teaching, at its best, means not only transmitting knowledge, but transforming and extending it as well. (p. 24)
Examples of the Form (p. 23)
  • Publishing articles on pedagogy
  • Developing new techniques to engage learners and extending them through the academy
  • Writing professionally-published textbooks
  • Developing programs or curricula that improve public school systems
  • Creating pedagogical web sites with value to the wider community
  • Developing educational software

Section D: Samples of Documenting Forms of Scholarship

The examples in this section are intended to illustrate the use of the standards for evaluation as defined by Glassick, Huber, and Maeroff (1997). The first column in each table below comes from page 36 of this book.

Standards of Scholarly Work

Scholarship of Discovery

Example:  Peer-Reviewed Journal Article

Clear Goals:  Does the scholar state the basic purposes of his or her work clearly?  Does the scholar define objectives that are realistic and achievable?  Does the scholar identify important questions in the field? At the start of the project, formulate a statement of the problem, research question or central thesis of the research project. Is it intended for publication in a specific type of journal? Is it part of a larger, future publication (monograph, book, sponsored grant findings, collaborative project, etc.)? Who is the intended audience?
Adequate Preparation:  Does the scholar show an understanding of existing scholarship in the field?  Does the scholar bring the necessary skills to his or her work?  Does the scholar bring together the resources necessary to move the project forward?
  • Conduct an academic literary review on the topic. Demonstrate placing the work within the context of scholarship to date in the discipline and related research in other associated disciplines.
  • Identify and classify primary source material.
  • Determine the methodology in developing appropriate data collection or survey models, experimental technique or protocols used in designing the study.
Appropriate Methods:  Does the scholar use methods appropriate to the goals?  Does the scholar apply effectively the methods selected?  Does the scholar modify procedures in response to changing circumstances?
  • Design a data collection or survey implementation. Detail the collection technique, laboratory methodology, and sampling or survey method.
  • Complete the IRB, IACUC, IBC or any other compliance process for the research study.
  • Conduct subject interviews, ethological technique, fieldwork or other methods.
  • Analyze and criticize the sources appropriate to the field and discipline.
  • Describe the method and results of potential modeling, conceptualization and sampling biases.
Significant Results:  Does the scholar achieve the goals?  Does the scholar’s work add consequentially to the field?  Does the scholar’s work open additional areas for further exploration?
  • As a part of the research process, document the results of the findings, data collection, interviews, experiments, analysis, and outcomes.
  • Document how the research achieved your original objectives and how it has contributed to your discipline and your professional reputation (editorial notes, references, citations, commentaries and criticisms from peers, etc.)
Effective Presentation:  Does the scholar use a suitable style and effective organization to present his or her work?  Does the scholar use appropriate forums for communicating work to its intended audiences?  Does the scholar present his or her message with clarity and integrity?
  • Write the book or article.
  • Document the ways in which the work has been made available to the intended audiences.
  • Describe the submission requirements, editorial selection process, peer review process, and the competitiveness or rank of the publication.
Reflective Critique:  Does the scholar critically evaluate his or her own work?  Does the scholar bring an appropriate breadth of evidence to his or her critique?  Does the scholar use evaluation to improve the quality of future work?
  • Document how the work has been acknowledged and evaluated by peers in public and private.
  • Progressively document the process and implementation of the research. Did your initial thesis require fine-tuning? What challenges or obstacles contributed to significant changes in your approach, methodology and findings? Has this research led to further research or collaborative opportunities?
  • Document your own critical evaluation of how effectively the process and final outcomes of the research served to forward, promote and significantly contribute to understanding or discovery in your discipline.

 

Standards of Scholarly Work

Scholarship of Integration

Development of Integrative Software

Clear Goals:  Does the scholar state the basic purposes of his or her work clearly?  Does the scholar define objectives that are realistic and achievable?  Does the scholar identify important questions in the field? At the start of the project, record your goals for the software product you plan to create.What is its purpose? What need will it address?For whom is it intended (i.e., who will use this software)?
Adequate Preparation:  Does the scholar show an understanding of existing scholarship in the field?  Does the scholar bring the necessary skills to his or her work?  Does the scholar bring together the resources necessary to move the project forward?
  • Document research done on existing software solutions in this area.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the skills and resources necessary to develop the software.
  • Document how this software adds to the work already done by others.
Appropriate Methods:  Does the scholar use methods appropriate to the goals?  Does the scholar apply effectively the methods selected?  Does the scholar modify procedures in response to changing circumstances?
  • Document what development tools and programming languages you use.
  • Document the software code as it is developed.
  • Document the evolution of the software at its various stages (i.e., save various versions as they were created). How was the process modified to respond to evaluation or to circumstances as they evolved?
  • Document your test plan and results, including usability.
  • Document your plan for ongoing maintenance.
Significant Results:  Does the scholar achieve the goals?  Does the scholar’s work add consequentially to the field?  Does the scholar’s work open additional areas for further exploration?
  • Document the ways in which the product achieved your goals and contributed to your discipline (e.g., how widely is the software used? who has shown an interest in using it? will it be commercially produced? etc.).
  • Document the ways in which the final product opens the door to further scholarship.
Effective Presentation:  Does the scholar use a suitable style and effective organization to present his or her work?  Does the scholar use appropriate forums for communicating work to its intended audiences?  Does the scholar present his or her message with clarity and integrity?
  • Present the software and the accompanying documentation in an easily accessible, professional format.
  • Demonstrate how the software works for an appropriate professional audience.
  • Document the ways in which the product has been presented or made available to appropriate, intended audiences.
Reflective Critique:  Does the scholar critically evaluate his or her own work?  Does the scholar bring an appropriate breadth of evidence to his or her critique?  Does the scholar use evaluation to improve the quality of future work?
  • Document how other respected scholars in the discipline critiqued the product. How was that critique used to improve the quality of the work?
  • Document your own critical evaluation of the project.

Standards of Scholarly Work

Scholarship of Application

Example: Redesigning the Organizational Structure of a Community Agency

Clear Goals:  Does the scholar state the basic purposes of his or her work clearly?  Does the scholar define objectives that are realistic and achievable?  Does the scholar identify important questions in the field? A variety of community agencies work with sexual assault victims. Only one agency is completely victim centered, the rape crisis center. Redesign the organizational structure to work more effectively with non-victim centered agencies (i.e. police, courts, emergency room, etc.). This will aid victims of sexual assault in successfully maneuvering the justice system. This will ultimately help agencies work more collaboratively.
Adequate Preparation:  Does the scholar show an understanding of existing scholarship in the field?  Does the scholar bring the necessary skills to his or her work?  Does the scholar bring together the resources necessary to move the project forward?
  • Document what models exist currently.
  • Document how agencies in other cities work.
  • Discover and document whether there are truly collaborative models.
  • Determine divergent goals of the agencies have that may hinder cooperation.
  • Identify overlapping goals that may be attenuated.
  • Review and document research on findings related to working with sexual assault victims, particularly advocacy, processing cases, and recovery.
Appropriate Methods:  Does the scholar use methods appropriate to the goals?  Does the scholar apply effectively the methods selected?  Does the scholar modify procedures in response to changing circumstances?
  • Conduct interviews with appropriate agencies and document results.
  • Analyze existing policy and evaluate effectiveness.
  • Meet with organizational leaders or use work groups to reach points of agreement for appropriate changes and implementation of changes. Document agreements.
  • Analyze and describe policy issues that might help or hinder organizational change.
Significant Results:  Does the scholar achieve the goals?  Does the scholar’s work add consequentially to the field?  Does the scholar’s work open additional areas for further exploration?
  • Implement follow-up interviews to assess effectiveness of changes and document results.
  • Compare processing with former processing results and describe improvements.
  • Determine whether the organizational changes met expectations without causing negative latent functions.
  • Investigate whether parishioners operate within the new structure or circumvent it.
  • Describe how other community organizations could benefit from this practice.
Effective Presentation:  Does the scholar use a suitable style and effective organization to present his or her work?  Does the scholar use appropriate forums for communicating work to its intended audiences?  Does the scholar present his or her message with clarity and integrity?
  • Diagram organizational charts, before and after.
  • Compare flow charts of new and former processes.
  • Document outcomes at each stage of agency interface. Produce a final report to be distributed to each agency involved.
Reflective Critique:  Does the scholar critically evaluate his or her own work?  Does the scholar bring an appropriate breadth of evidence to his or her critique?  Does the scholar use evaluation to improve the quality of future work?
  • Document from agency personnel the effectiveness of the project.
  • Document from other sociologists working in "public sociology" the potential usefulness of this project.
  • Determine whether the project is transferable to other cross-agency configurations.

 

Standards of Scholarly Work

Scholarship of Teaching

Example:  Developing New Techniques to Engage Learners and Extending Them Through the Academy

Clear Goals:  Does the scholar state the basic purposes of his or her work clearly?  Does the scholar define objectives that are realistic and achievable?  Does the scholar identify important questions in the field?
  • As part of the UMD Bush Grant aimed at developing reflective practitioners and self-regulated learners, the purpose of this project is to improve student reflection and course satisfaction through their use of asynchronous online discussion forums with peers in place of hard-copy reflection shared only with the professor. Using this constructivist approach students develop knowledge by sharing experiences with each other through ongoing dialog, better preparing them to gain the necessary skills required in the work with organizations and communities.
  • Objectives: Students will engage with each other in reflective dialogue about their experiences in applying what they are learning in class within their field practicum setting.
Adequate Preparation:  Does the scholar show an understanding of existing scholarship in the field?  Does the scholar bring the necessary skills to his or her work?  Does the scholar bring together the resources necessary to move the project forward?
  • Review the literature on the use of constructing knowledge through reflection, reflective writing, and in particular, the use of online asynchronous discussion tools for students to carry on a reflective dialogue with one another. Document reflection as an interactive, shared process rather than merely a solitary process. Do resources show how reflection can facilitate the constructivist method of reflective knowledge acquisition?
  • Develop technology skills necessary for using online discussion forums and for facilitating online discussion.
Appropriate Methods:  Does the scholar use methods appropriate to the goals?  Does the scholar apply effectively the methods selected?  Does the scholar modify procedures in response to changing circumstances?
  • In the experimental group, students posted online reflection on readings, in-class discussions and field based experiences. They then followed this with thoughtful and reflective responses in response to their peer's postings. Students were guided in their reflection by a set of criteria for evaluating critical thinking.
  • Use quasi-experimental design to examine if using an online asynchronous discussion format is a more effective method for reflection than a hard-copy reflection shared only with the professor. Use a T-test to measure the difference between an experimental section and a control section of the same course on post-course ratings of course objectives, what students hoped to gain from the course, satisfaction with the course, and student end-of-the-semester grades.
Significant Results:  Does the scholar achieve the goals?  Does the scholar’s work add consequentially to the field?  Does the scholar’s work open additional areas for further exploration?
  • Document the results of the study, showing findings from paired T-tests on pre and post-student ratings of their ability to demonstrate knowledge and skills listed in the course objectives.
  • Analyze the data collected and assess the impact of using online asynchronous discussion forums on student outcomes. Discuss findings in relation to the literature, noting where findings support what is already known as well as add to field of knowledge.
Effective Presentation:  Does the scholar use a suitable style and effective organization to present his or her work?  Does the scholar use appropriate forums for communicating work to its intended audiences?  Does the scholar present his or her message with clarity and integrity?
  • Share findings of study with UMD Bush group through a colloquium with the Bush group, through presentations at UM conference on teaching and learning, and finally through submission of study findings for publication in a scholarly journal.
Reflective Critique:  Does the scholar critically evaluate his or her own work?  Does the scholar bring an appropriate breadth of evidence to his or her critique?  Does the scholar use evaluation to improve the quality of future work?
  • Document feedback from colleagues in the Bush group, from conference presentation, and any follow-up revisions made to the manuscript in order to it to be accepted for publication.
  • Document your own critical reflection and evaluation of the project, describing challenges faced both in the implementation of the teaching methods and in analysis of findings. Describe how the process and the findings contributed to improved of teaching and student learning.

 

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