The Scholarly Work of the Hub


The Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology has existed long enough for us to account for our scholarly work. That sentence might surprise readers. The Hub is new, both to MSU and in higher education. We aren’t precisely like other sorts of entities, and people are surprised when I note that our design work is grounded in inquiry. Scholarly outcomes, then, are possible and important.

For both 2017 and 2018, we have assembled our peer reviewed publications and presentations as well as invited talks and keynotes. Not every publication or presentation is a function of a Hub project, though that is more the case in 2018 than 2017. But these acts of scholarship do indicate that our researchers and learning designers are, in fact, researchers and scholars.

Across these two years, then, some numbers:

  • 1  book
  • 27 peer reviewed journal articles and proceedings
  • 55 national and international conference presentations
  • 13 invited talks and keynotes

And in preparing this, I realize that I forgot to add my contributions. So we are fractionally more productive still.

It is absolutely critical to emphasize that scholarly productivity per se is not the point and not how we hold ourselves accountable. Rather, the question we ask ourselves is “have we helped transform Michigan State University as a learning institution in order to realize a more active, engaged, successful, and valuable student experience?”

The Hub’s work is grounded in design, and key to that core practice is expertise in assessment and research across a number of domains. Our design work is grounded in inquiry–in asking and answering a set of genuine questions in collaboration with our partners. Should we have a new program in X? What do students need to learn, know, and do in order to transition successfully to MSU? What sorts of interfaces and interactions do learners need to support their work? Did course reform in Y “work?” (And what does that mean?) To work in this way inside a university requires the sorts of evidence that scholarly work provides, and early indicators are good that MSU is proceeding in a way that will allow us to become the university the near future needs us to be.