Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

I have of course zero chance of being included in a list of U.S. Edu-Scholars, nor would I want to, but that doesn't prevent me from criticizing the rubric, if only because it reflects a lot of what is wrong with academia today. Quickly, then, here are the metrics: university-based faculty in the U.S. are researching education weighed by Google scholar score (H-index), book points, Amazon ranking, syllabus points, newspaper mentions, education press mentions (Education Week, the Chronicle of Higher Education, or Inside Higher Education), web mentions, congressional record, twitter score. These metrics heavily bias the ranking toward traditionalist perspectives; three of the scales have to do with publishing books. The selection of 'educational press' is obviously biased. A social media score (if it's relevant at all, which it probably isn't) should reflect other social media. But even more to the point: the weight of a person's influence isn't any of these. It's in their ideas: how far they travel, what gets built on them, how long they endure. And what's wrong with academia - or at least, the academic press - is that we've lost the focus on these ideas, and made the story about factions and personalities

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Feb 27, 2024 2:42 p.m.

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