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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Re-Envisoning and Restructuring Academic Scholarship and Publishing Across Multiple Delivery Platforms

Melissa Layne (American Public University System & Editor-in-Chief, Internet Learning, USA)
Phil Ice (American Public University System, USA)
Wallace Boston (American Public University System, USA)
Additional Authors
Holly Henry (American Public University System, USA)
Session Information
October 14, 2015 - 11:45am
Open, Global, Mobile
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Practical Application
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Asia 5
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Concurrent Session 1
Virtual Session

Presenters share how design principles used in commercial digital magazines transformed a peer-reviewed academic journal from a text-based model, to one including interactivity and engagement.

Extended Abstract

Reaching as far back as 455 BC, history has documented the human understanding that "There is nothing permanent except change" (Heraclitus, Greek Philosopher). The last decade has undoubtedly ushered in a whirlwind of innovation that has dramatically changed the way we communicate, live, and learn. Additionally, it has also ignited the need to cultivate minds that embrace change for without this approach, the world's inhabitants will assuredly stand merciless against the uncontrollable forces of nature. Despite the potential ominous scenario, human beings have maintained a solid track record of innovative thinking leading to advances in all aspects of our daily lives and an enduring willingness to improve our world a world that shows no signs of slowing. Our highly interconnected lives stand as testimony to this inherent optimism, which continues to thrive. Those in the field of education, in particular, are witnessing warp speed technological advancements paired with new philosophies and pedagogies.

However, in terms of academic research and scholarship, the educational landscape has been sluggish to embrace innovation as evidenced by continuing to implement traditional research models, practices, and dissemination modalities that do not necessarily reflect the emerging technological advancements and pedagogies evident in other areas of teaching and learning. On the other hand, the consumer industry is very focused on making digital content work for mobile. So, why couldn't the same be achieved for academic scholarship and publishing?

Presenters of this session share the evolution of Internet Learning Journal a peer-reviewed, academic publication. Beginning as a proof-of-concept, Internet Learning Journal was transformed from a static, largely text-based publication to one that follows magazine publishers' lead for digitizing scholarship, and further includes high levels of interactivity, graphics, rich multimedia features, and robust analytics that capture readership data at a very granular level. The aim of this beta project was twofold: 1) to provide authors and journal readership the opportunity to participate and engage in academic scholarship that mirrors current commercial digital publications and is accessible on all mobile platforms; and 2) to transform the static publication into more of a collective digital space one where humans can move ideas around time and space. Presenters further detail the steps taken in the transformation including: a) exploring interactive components in digital magazines such as Wired, National Geographic, Martha Stewart Living, Vanity Fair and others; b) choosing publishing software; c) mapping new workflows, navigation and alignment of interactivity to scholarly manuscripts; and d) collecting and analyzing readership data.

Notwithstanding, we reiterate that although new communication methods will yield new methods of society's organization, the essence of scholarship will remain constant, as academics will continue to converse, address problems with evidence, and disseminate findings.

Lead Presenter

Melissa Layne, Ed.D., Director of Research Methodology, American Public University System, Editor-in-Chief, Internet Learning. Layne earned her doctorate in reading (digital literacies) from Sam Houston University in Huntsville, TX. She has a master's in curriculum and instruction from University of Missouri-Columbia. Layne's research agenda includes topics on student retention, adaptive and personalized learning, multi-user virtual environments, self-paced instructional design and implementation, informal learning, and quality assurance in online learning at the institutional, program and course levels. Her work has been covered in 30 peer-reviewed journal publications, five book chapters, and 35 presentations. Layne also serves on the advisory council for the New Media Consortium and on the editorial board for the Internet and Higher Education journal.