Your participation needed for In Media Res FEEDBACK module

Avi Santo's picture

I am very excited to announce a new feature on In Media Res that allows users to offer feedback on how IMR posts are being used (for research, in classrooms, for general edification, etc.).

On every post page underneath the video field, readers will find a FEEDBACK form (you must be logged in to fill out the form, though not to view the results). Once logged in, members can let curators know whether or not their post has been useful for their research, has been cited in a publication, has been used as part of a classroom activity, has been thought provoking, or, if there are structural/organizational aspects of the post that might be improved upon in order to make it more effective.

IMR members can also continue to engage directly with curator posts through the comment field at the bottom right of every page.

Over the years, we have received dozens upon dozens of informal notifications from users that certain IMR posts are valuable teaching tools, while others have been used as building blocks for larger publications or have been useful in helping scholars think through their own positions on various issues. Until now, there has not been a mechanism through which members could let curators know directly how their posts have been/are being used.

IMR currently has 471 unique posts, including 52 different theme weeks, by over 300 different contributors archived and available for folks to read/comment on/use. All posts dating back to our very first contributions from Henry Jenkins and Jason Mittell on October 8th 2006 through until today’s published post can be accessed by selecting “FULL LIST” at the bottom right of the IMR homepage or by searching for key words.

Google Analytics tells us that the site receives an average of 3400 unique visitors per week, so we know folks are reading these posts. We now want to find out how y’all are using them as part of your scholarly pursuits.

What we are asking is for those of you who have used a particular IMR post (or more than one) for research/teaching purposes - even if this was several years ago at this point - to please go to the website, locate that post, and fill out the feedback form. It should not take you more than 2-3 minutes. As digital scholarship takes on increased importance in many academic portfolios, it is becoming essential that we start gaining a better sense of how to “value” contributions like In Media Res posts by documenting how the scholarly community is using them.

As a recent article by Thomas Doherty appearing in the Chronicle for Higher Education notes, “the problem… is that the powers that be in academe still have not sussed out how to calibrate the value of online work in decisions about hiring, tenure, and promotion, how to weigh the contributions on Web sites like Sense of Cinema (http://sensesofcinema.com) and FlowTV (http://flowtv.org) against peer-reviewed brands like Cinema Journal and the Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television. Is heavy Web-site traffic the modern version of frequent citation from respected colleagues?” While this feedback module will not solve these deep institutional concerns, it does provide an initial step toward both measuring and documenting the value of IMR posts.

Beyond this important task, the feedback form provides an opportunity to acknowledge colleague contributions even when readers don’t have the time or the inclination to engage directly with a post’s arguments (or to let curators know why they are not engaging with their post if productive feedback can help participants gain a better understanding of how to write for this medium).