We are pleased to introduce the first issue of The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy (JITP), an open access and peer-reviewed forum for interdisciplinary collaboration, pedagogic study, and innovative computational research. In this, our inaugural issue, we wanted to describe for you the origins of the journal, the content you are likely to find on our site, our peer review policies, and the editorial decisions we have made to make JITP a progressive model for alternative modes of scholarly communication.
About the Journal
JITP has its origins in the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Certificate Program at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Founded in 2002 by Steve Brier, the program enables faculty and doctoral students from different disciplines to engage with questions of how the increased availability of interactive technologies is changing pedagogical and research practice. By coupling the study of the history and theory of technology and pedagogy with practical experimentation with new tools and methods, the program has sought to promote and improve discourse surrounding teaching,learning, and scholarship in the digital age.
JITP launches under the ITP program’s aegis and with the added awareness of the changing landscape of scholarly communication. The certificate program has long been invested in the merits of open access scholarship and open source code, two important impetuses for change in contemporary academia. Our journal will continue this critical engagement with openness and hopes to follow the important strides made by open access scholarly journals such as Kairos and Computational Culture, organizations such as HASTAC and the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Office of Digital Humanities, and creative academic movements such as THATCamps. As such all materials are available free of charge and submissions to the journal will pass through an open peer review process where the names of both submitters and reviewers are transparent at all times.
Along with this drive toward openness, another important impetus behind many of the recent changes in scholarly publication has been the desire by academics to consider new modes of scholarship and new forms of peer review in the digital age. JITP was created with these questions very much in mind. As a result, we strive to redefine the traditional practices of scholarly journals. At the core of our practices is the “Editorial Collective,” a fourteen-member interdisciplinary group of faculty, staff, and students. The collective works together to do the daily tasks of maintaining and producing the journal, and through deliberation and consensus-building, determines what types of content will be included and what shape and feel the journal will take. Furthermore, each issue is co-edited by a two-person team consisting of a faculty (or staff) member and a graduate student. This structure mirrors the certificate program’s co-taught classes, which encourage an interdisciplinary approach to material, and provides the graduate students in the collective with a chance to work on a journal in more than an administrative role.
Through this framework JITP endeavors to better represent different voices from across the academic spectrum. The journal will publish a broad range of multimedia formats, including videos, Prezis, and interactive media, while providing a number of different platforms for different written formats and lengths of contributions. Each issue of JITP features articles that have passed through open peer review by one member of our editorial collective and one member of our review board. In addition, JITP will continuously publish submissions in our Book Reviews, Tool Tips, Teaching Fails, and Assignments sections. Submissions to these categories are rapidly approved or rejected by the category editors; if approved, minor corrections are suggested and then the submissions are quickly published on the journal’s site. Importantly, we still consider these submissions as being under the purview of peer review. But, instead of the double-blind review of traditional journals or the open peer review that our issue articles go through, these works will go through a post-publication peer review process. This model makes materials available to the larger scholarly community first and then leaves the review process in the hands of our readers, who will participate by providing feedback through comments in the journal’s blog-style environment. This open dialogue will be important in developing healthy online discourse and encouraging revisions by submission authors that take into consideration continually developing themes and trends. We believe strongly in the role of this post-publication peer review model in the future of scholarly communication and are enthusiastic about the impact it will have on the quality of work published in our journal.
About the Issue
As we put together the inaugural issue of JITP, we were reminded that computational research, tool development, and pedagogy are emergent and continually expanding fields. The articles in this issue cover a broad range of disciplines, utilizing a wide range of methodological approaches. While all of them share technology as a critical tool in their projects, each author has put that technology to use differently, revealing the breadth of work being done to interrogate and innovate pedagogical theory and practice.
Throughout the editorial process it has been good to see that collaboration is at the core of the work of our authors, and it is well represented in the articles in this issue. All six articles describe projects that integrate or require collaboration: one reports on collaborative research and writing projects in the undergraduate sociology classroom; another discusses the results of a collaborative philosophy project; two describe tools and platforms developed by pedagogues working with programmers; and the final two describe teachers collaborating on strategies that were developed and deployed across multiple courses. Collaboration, then, emerges as a source of strength in the technology and pedagogy field, an important development as projects become more complicated, requiring a multiplicity of skill sets and knowledge bases.
One of the main reasons for much of this collaboration is the challenge of developing new software that create new opportunities in learning environments. In “MyDante: An Online Environment for Collaborative and Contemplative Reading,” Frank Ambrosio, William Garr, Eddie Maloney, and Theresa Schlafly introduce their development of a collaborative reading platform, Ellipsis, that allows readers to annotate a text with their thoughts, scholarly references, or multimedia. They discuss early iterations of such a platform in supporting a philosophy course at Georgetown University and review student feedback in planning for future use. Bridget Draxler, Haowei Hsieh, Nikki Dudley, and Jon Winet’s “‘City of Lit’: Collaborative Research in Literature and New Media” examines the development of an interactive phone app and website at the University of Iowa. Undergraduate students create and compile multimedia that engages users with Iowa City’s rich literary history.
This issue also shows how pedagogues can come together to develop new experiences for their students through the use of preexisting technologies. In “Let’s Go Crazy: Lenz v. Universal,” xtine burrough and Emily Erickson review how they used YouTube video responses to discuss the Lenz v. Universal copyright infringement case and standards of fair use in a Media Law class and a Communications class. The article offers examples of fair use videos made by burrough’s students in response to Stephanie Lenz’s YouTube video of her child dancing to Prince’s music. The authors advocate for widespread education on copyright issues and align the fair use of media with the First Amendment right of free expression. In “Talking with Students through Screencasting: Experimentations with Video Feedback to Improve Student Learning” Riki Thompson and Meredith J. Lee recommend the use of Jing screen capture software to create veedback–that is, video feedback in the form of screencasts of students’ essays with added audio of the professor’s commentary. They argue that video feedback can help personalize a professor’s responses and set an encouraging tone, especially in the teaching of online courses. Student surveys are used to discuss ways in which veedback might be improved.
Our two single-authored articles highlight the fact that most successful exercises in computational research or pedagogy require a detailed consideration of the practice of technological implementation and its impact on the construction of knowledge. In “Steps, Stumbles and Successes: Reflections on Integrating Web 2.0 Technology for Collaborative Learning in a Research Methods Course” Kate B. Pok-Carabalona recounts a semester-long experiment in using online tools to enable collaborative research and writing in an introductory sociology classroom. Pok-Carabalona self-critically explains her own methods in choosing each tool and addresses in detail the implications and drawbacks of using such tools in sociology classrooms. Chris Alen Sula’s “Philosophy through the Macroscope: Technologies, Representations, and the History of the Profession,” on the other hand, discusses the development of a tool that will enable a “distant” view of how the field of philosophy has been shaped over time. Sula’s (and his partner David Morrow’s) Phylo project aims to remediate some of the weaknesses and biases apparent in a variety of classic representations of their academic field through visualizations that more inclusively and objectively represent how philosophical knowledge is constructed and disseminated.
In an era of such exhilarating, but sometimes overwhelming and exhausting, dynamism in both the academy and the realm of technology, change comes fast and furiously and it often takes a village to accomplish goals and reach expectations. Like many of the projects presented in this issue, the initiation of an academic journal requires coordination and collaboration. As we mentioned above, the editorial collective worked together to accomplish tasks such as copyediting, web design, site management, communications, and citation management, based on the backgrounds and expertise of its fourteen members. We are also very thankful for the efforts and contributions of our Editorial and Review Boards. To that end we look forward to the final piece of collaboration on this issue, online comments from our readers. We believe you’ll find the articles in this issue of JITP of interest. When you do, please engage with those articles through your own commentary. In this way the conversations can continue, and we can help the authors and one another find new and better ways of incorporating technology into pedagogy.
Kimon Keramidas (Bard Graduate Center), Issue Editor
Sarah Ruth Jacobs (Baruch College/CUNY Graduate Center), Issue Editor