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Beyond Alt-metrics: Identities and Influence Online

Bonnie Stewart (University of Prince Edward Island, CA)
Session Information
April 23, 2015 - 8:15am
Institutional Level: 
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Plenary Session
Lone Star A/B
Session Duration: 
75 Minutes
Virtual Session

Open, participatory online learning and scholarship don't necessarily require credentials as the price of admission, but do demand the construction, performance, and curation of intelligible, public, networked identities. Both academia and social networks are, in effect, ‘reputational economies’ (Willinsky, 2010) but while scholars and educators are increasingly exhorted to go online, those who do often find that their work and efforts may not be visible or understood within institutional contexts. Likewise, as the academic tradition grapples with sea changes in infrastructure and communications, the terms by which scholarship and learning have been defined and legitimized are being unsettled from within. What signals count as credibility among networked educators and learners? What responsibilities do educators have to help learners and peers develop productive participatory identities? What risks and power relations need to be addressed as part of that process?

In this plenary session, Bonnie will explore questions of what academic influence means in a world of social media and information abundance, and the challenges networked identities raise for higher education.


Sponsored by National Titanium Sponsor


Extended Abstract

(Willinsky, J. (2010). Open access and academic reputation. Annals of Library and Information Studies, 57, 296-302. Retrieved from

Lead Presenter

Bonnie Stewart (University of Prince Edward Island, CA)

Bonnie Stewart is an educator and social media researcher fascinated by who we are when we're online. A longtime teacher and writer on open online education possibilities, Bonnie has spent the last 15 years exploring the intersections of knowledge and technologies. She's taught online and in hybrid higher ed contexts since 1999, and has worked with Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) since their early days in Canadian experimental education circles. Published in Salon.com, The Guardian UK, and Inside Higher Ed as well as academic venues, Bonnie explores social media literacies, networked identities, academic influence, and the implications of 'open' for higher education in her research.

From the same Prince Edward Island red dirt as Anne of Green Gables, Bonnie has lived and taught on all three coasts of Canada and around the world. She coordinates an adult education B.Ed program and teaches technologies, literacies, communications, and educational foundations at the University of Prince Edward Island.