(Initial) Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali's blog has now moved to http://blog.mahabali.me

On Pedagogical Peer Review & @hybridped

6 Comments

I have been wanting to write my views about open peer review for a while, but thought to wait until i experienced it firsthand. I just did – my first (co-authored) article on my favorite journal Hybrid pedagogy has just been published: An Affinity for Asynchronous Learning.

So here is the thing. I think open peer review is better pedagogically than the more academically familiar “double blind”. I sort of understand that double blind is supposed to maybe protect people from bias on either side, but i don’t really know why else (someone please enlighten me).

Open /collaborative peer review is pedagogical, I think, because it allows the writer to respond to the peer reviewer for clarification before going off and making revisions. And isn’t that how theses are supervised? It allows the writer to respond to challenges the reviewer poses and see if they have convinced the reviewer before making changes. It is a positive, nurturing interaction, rather than the slightly antagonistic (not always, but sometimes) of more orthodox peer review.

For example, one of the reviewer comments on this article related to some of the non-pedagogical reasons I was giving to support asynchronous learning, and it prompted me to think of why. I decided that those non-pedagogical issues were actually pre-pedagogical. And that sort of became the argument.

Now in a Twitter DM, I was talking to Jesse and he paused at the term “pre-pedagogical” (he liked it) and them we both realized somehow (google?) that there was no such term! In a more traditional setting, i would expect to be told “no such term exists” – instead, in this context, we actually celebrated the new term!

I guess to be honest it is not just the openness of the peer review but the openness of the folks at Hybrid Pedagogy and their willingness to help authors write the best that they can. They do that in their day-to-day teaching anyway, right?

Why on earth does academic rigor do the following:
1. Take pride in rejecting scholarship. When our aim should be to help people do good research and disseminate it?
2. Shun collaboration (as in, tenure prefers single authored works) when collaboration amongst academics is what can really create groundbreaking stuff
3. Treat peer review as external evaluation rather than an opportunity for learning and growth?

The latter isn’t always true, but open, collaborative peer review ensures a more constructive process.

I found that I generally build relationships with journal editors as I work through my article, and I don’t know how common that behavior is. But for HybridPed it was different. I already knew some of them (online) from before, in different ways, so they were not strangers. I also felt able to make myself vulnerable and admit some insecurities, playfully ask if they’d kill me if I submitted a third article to them, etc. It’s a very different feeling from publishing elsewhere, and it has spoiled me for other things I am now reviewing/editing after review. I keep asking myself “why can’t i just contact the reviewer and understand what s/he wants?” And also recently i wanted to tell someone, “by the way, i reviewed your paper recently, the one about to be published in journal x; i was the “nice” peer reviewer”

Anyway, I have learned a lot from the experience of working with Hybrid Pedagogy and I am so happy I was able to publish there. Now they won’t be able to get rid of me, poor them 🙂

[note one extra advantage of HybridPed is the high use of twitter, such that i got to actually immediately see my first article citation on this very well written blog postt]

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Author: Maha Bali

Associate professor of practice, American University in Cairo

6 thoughts on “On Pedagogical Peer Review & @hybridped

  1. This is a very practical and real example of what Martin Weller(and others?) call Open Scholarship. At it’s best too, imho.

    I would love to listen to you more on the “pre-pedagogical” idea. I love it even though i have no clue what it is.

    As always, the question that comes to mind in the context of the academy is ‘what counts as publication’ in the eyes of our bosses and peers. I have no problem with this because of course i am on this side and not one of those well-published-in-the-traditional-way professors. 🙂

    Len

    • Hey Len, I decided since I am not tenuretrack, I will only do research I enjoy on my own terms. I can afford to. I know others can’t. The “pre-pedagogical” term makes sense in the context of the article. At the most obvious level it just has a chronological meaning: things to consider before you consider pedagogy. But having now thought it over, it actually means a bit more than that 🙂 I guess it means also in some ways “more important” to consider early on, and could mean things that would stop pedagogy from happening at all if not done. But the term just came out spontaneously, really. I didn’t realize it was not used until I was tweeting with Jesse and he noticed it

  2. Now i have more to think about. That’s what ideas are all about. I hear you on the non-tenure track point. Any chance you will try otherwise at some stage?

  3. Hey Len, om tenure, I may try it someday but it would mean beinf part of an academic degree-awarding dept at least half time. Currently my dept only has non-tenure positions coz it is the center for learning and teaching. But non tenure is much less pressure for me. As a mom

  4. Sounds like a good plan for you at the moment. Good that you are able to get some research done in the meantime.

  5. Pingback: How many shades of open? | Reflecting Allowed

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