I get a lot of requests from students who want assistance with their studies. My standard response is to ask for a blog or a website where the study is presented. If we want transparency and accountability, academic institutions need to step up. Yet this rarely occurs. Here’s a typical reply:
“I wish a could give you a link to a blog or to the specific research project, but as a master’s student, I have just completed my first year of studies and will only begin my independent field research this summer. What I can do is give you a very brief description of the proposed research and some of the themes which I will initially be exploring.”
All well and good, but why am I receiving this via email? Am I being too fussy when I ask academics to be more transparent and that they ideally have a blog where we can add comments? (Remember: a blog that doesn’t accept comments isn’t really a blog! – Joseph Jaffe.)
I don’t mean to be rude. The challenge here is that most students work independently and the system promotes individual research rather than public collaboration. Students approach me individually to seek answers to questions which may or may not be channeled into a final project which may or may not be published and shared. We can do better I think, particularly if we’re committed toward responsible travel and ecotourism. Education 2.0, anyone?!
Personally, I don’t want do deal with stealth academics. Can we improve the feedback and engagement among multiple stakeholders? It’s 2010. We can do much better. I’d like to propose a scorecard to keep track of academics: