Monday, February 5, 2018

Celebrate Teaching Week

This week is Celebrate Teaching Week on my campus, with guest speakers, a teaching conference and even a fun run. In addition to the external celebration, I think it's also a call for an internal review of our own teaching efforts and innovations. Here are just some musings on ways to reflect on your teaching this week:
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Your Teaching Goals
Use this free online survey to measure goals specific to teaching one class (Angelo & Cross, 1993). Check how essential you believe certain skills are, and how they prioritize with your teaching structures.

Your Dominant Teaching Style
Grasha-Reichmann have a survey for assigning your dominant and secondary teaching styles. A free online version will give you feedback on if you're more of a facilitator, delegator, expert, formal authority, or personal model.

Your Teaching Brand
Like a great company, you have a brand. These might be the words your students and colleagues use to describe you or the words you use to describe your teaching. Can you boil it down to a catchy tagline? Or try pasting student evaluations into a word cloud generator for a visual representation.

Your Teaching Philosophy
What do you believe is "teaching" and what is "learning"? Whose responsibility are these concepts? How do you share in this teaching and learning adventure with your students? You may have written a statement while on the academic job search, but when is the last time you looked at it? Give it a review and possibly an update. Or create one. Your Center for Instructional Innovation will likely have a repository of examples. This document has a variety of examples that begin on page 160.

Your Teaching Conversations
Open a dialog about teaching with a campus colleague, maybe even one from a different department or college. Ask about interesting classroom techniques and projects. Our colleagues have so much to share as far as ideas you will want to replicate in your own course. These conversations could be the start of creative collaborations between two classes.

How do you celebrate teaching? What strategies do you use for reflecting on your teaching?

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

JSMS call for special issue

The Journal of Social Media in Society is excited to announce a special issue -- Contemporary Perspectives: Social Media and Enterprise Engagement.

For decades, business has been concerned about employee engagement, marketing departments have been concerned about customer engagement, and universities have been concerned about student engagement. A new approach has been introduced that looks at engagement as a process, independent of the particular audience. Enterprise Engagement is a formal business process that helps achieve organizational goals and objectives by proactively involving all of the people who can contribute to the organization’s success (Bolger & Schweyer, Enterprise Engagement and ISO Standards, 2017).

Objectives of this Special Issue
The objective of this special issue is to contribute to the body of knowledge in both social media (SM) and the exciting new area of management called Enterprise Engagement, or Quality People Management, by examining the intersection of these two fields of study. A second objective is to investigate ways social media can be used to provide more meaningful and tangible outcomes to organizations by use or integration of social media in organizational processes that will enhance employee, customer, supplier, and vendor engagement.

Scope of the Journal
The Journal of Social Media in Society is blind peer-reviewed, open-access, online journal that accepts scholarly articles and book reviews. The journal is devoted to scholarship and commentary on social media and its impact on society. The objective of JSMS is to advance the study of social media with current literature based on theory, research and practice from all methodological frameworks.

Recommended Topics
This special issue is looking for empirical studies that offer insight into and the impact of social media on the various elements of quality people management. Preference will be given to those manuscripts that provide specific and tangible application of the results to the field. Topics include, but are not limited to, the impact on or use of SM with regard to the following (from, retrieved December 2017):
• Practices that continually aligns business activities with customer needs.
• Communications that connect the entire organization to values, goals and objectives.
• Recruitment to ensure the selection of people appropriate to their function.
• Engagement strategically implemented so that people feel committed to continuous improvement and the culture in the organization.
• Teamwork and collaboration so that teams function effectively and efficiently.
• Practices that involve and inspire employees.
• Building creativity and innovation into the culture and rewards system.
• Recognition and rewards strategically used to foster involvement.
• Networking within all parts of organizations to foster alignment, trust, and collaboration.
• Work environments that foster proactive communication, participation, and effectiveness.
• Measures of overall engagement, employee engagement, customer and vendor engagement.

Submission Procedure
Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit papers for this special issue of the JSMS, Contemporary Perspectives: Social Media and Enterprise Engagement on or before December 31, 2018. Authors should send a query or outline to the Edition Editor (listed below) prior to submitting the paper. All submissions must be original works and may not be under review by another publication. The appropriate Institutional Review Board (IRB) documentation should be on file with the researcher’s institution and shall be provided upon request of the Edition Editor. Authors should refer to the JSMS author guidelines for submissions at:

To submit a paper for review, create an author account on the JSMS website, then go to the submissions page at:

Important Dates for Submitting to this Special Issue
Submissions to the Journal: Today through December 31, 2018
Revision/Acceptance notification: On or before March 31, 2019
For submissions selected that require revisions, revised manuscript due: On or before June 30, 2019
Final decision notification: On or before September 30, 2019
Publication: December 2019

All inquiries for this special edition should be directed to the attention of: Dr. Randy McCamey
Edition Editor, Contemporary Perspectives: Social Media and Enterprise Engagement
If you would like to be a reviewer for this special issue of the JSMS, please send a summary vita to Dr. McCamey.

Please feel free to share this call with your colleagues.

Friday, January 12, 2018

How to make a journal editor happy

I have learned a lot about submitting manuscripts from being on the receiving end as a journal editor. Instead of giving a list of my pet peeves, I would rather focus on the positive. Every issue, I am delighted by authors more than I am driven crazy. Delight can come from simple kindness in an email or just following instructions. So, here are ways to make one journal editor happy:

Follow the style guide
  • Take the time to tailor your manuscript to the journal's style guide. Yes, it's a pain, but it also tells the editor that you are serious about publication. (If you leave it in the style of the journal to which you previously submitted, a journal editor can tell.)
  • You don't have to get fancy and mimic the paginated look with text boxes. This only gives the paginating editor the nightmare of copying material from a text box into the main flow of the article.
  • If the journal uses a style guide you don't know well, look for a manuscript editor on your campus or in your community. Shout out to Lacie Harris at Tarleton State! She's an awesome editor and helps our faculty submit cleaner manuscripts.
Make substantial changes based on reviewer feedback
  • Provide a memo or table addressing how you handled each reviewer comment. This makes it so much easier for an editor to see that you valued the feedback and truly used it to better the manuscript.
  •  This is a great time to find more current or robust citations, too.
Make sure your in-text citations match up with your reference list
  • Use the "find" feature in your file, or simply cross reference every citation.
  • With multi-author papers, and ones that have experienced many revisions, cited works change. Make it your job, not the editor's, to catch these kinds of edits.
Be responsive
  • Update your email system to prioritize messages from editors, or at least prevent them from going to your spam folder. You want to respond in a timely manner. Editors are deadline-driven.
  • If given a deadline for proofing or other tasks, respond before your given deadline. This may help an editor move the publication along even faster. 
  • When you respond, double check that you have addressed all of the editor's questions. Do so thoroughly. Inaccurate or missing elements may make an editor doubt the quality of your research.
Remember that editors are people, too. Well, sometimes...
  • Be nice in your messages, or at least professional. I do not mind an email asking for a status update, as long as it's not rude or snarky. Some editors are not receiving huge stipends, course release, or anything beyond a line on the service category of a vitae to do what they do. 
  • Thank an editor after you read a great issue. Or after your article publishes.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Proud Moments: Rotary Rebranding

Student presenting at Rotary
This semester students in my public relations course helped a local Rotary Club with a rebrand. The Rotary Club of Fort Worth South even invited them to present as the featured speakers at a lunch meeting. Some students were so nervous they could not even eat!

Three groups competed as mini-agencies presenting solutions. #JoinConnectStay was the winning campaign, and the club is already implementing ideas presented.

What impressed me most was how diligently our students worked on this project for weeks. They experienced the strategic campaign process and rocked their 4-minute pitches. Our client would like to make our involvement an annual event. Our students also garnered a bit of publicity for their efforts. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

#NCA17 Poster Share

"Would you care to dress our professor?" At #NCA17, my co-presenters and I tried something a bit different with our #ILookLikeaProfessor presentation. We asked passersby to "dress" our professor.

Our research, More than Tweed Jackets and Beards, looked at tweets from the #ILookLikeaProfessor hashtag campaign from 2015. Participants posted about their frustrations, diversity, appearance and themselves, in an effort to broaden the concept of what a professor looks like, and open a larger conversation about the professoriate.

While people decorated our professor with pink high heels, tattoos, and clothing options (mentioned by real profs in the tweets), we were able to chat about our research. The interactive element was a plus, and one I'd like to try again in future poster presentations.

A big thank you to Dr. Tracey Holley for her mad paper doll clothes designing skills and Doug Hanna at Tarleton's CII for his gracious poster printing service.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Squeezing into a 250-word abstract

Serving as a reviewer for a journal or conference gives you a glimpse behind the curtain of decision-making. Recently, I served as a reviewer for a conference that required a short abstract submission. Yes, it's hard to squeeze everything into 250's also very hard to judge a paper's potential in that amount of words.

How authors handled the 250 words was illuminating. Some made great use of the space and others wasted too much time on introductions. This brings me to my list of tips/observations about submitting an abstract (especially a short one) for a conference's paper competition:
  • Don't waste too many words on an introduction. If you end up with words to spare, you can add a short sentence that introduces your topic. Have you ever been to a presentation where the "introducer" spends more time speaking than the speaker she is introducing?
  • Lit Review. Include some sense that you have reviewed the literature and have a strong understanding of where your study fits. Mass cites and "e.g." can help save you some words. Here's a sample: "This work adds to the foundations of framing theory (e.g. CITE) by expanding..." You can do this in 1-2 sentences.
  • Theory in a nutshell, a tiny one. Quickly mention the theoretical foundation for the study. You can weasel this in an introductory phrase like "Based on XYZ theory" or "Using ABC theory." That only takes 3-4 words from your 250 words.
  • Research question(s). This is a short-form way to get to the heart of your study/project.
  • METHODS. This is where I would spend a few more of your precious words. This particular reviewer (me) is looking for the strength of design. Were the methods suitable to address your research question(s). At the least, give reviewers words like "case study, experimental design, qualitative, quantitative or mixed method."
  • Use shorthand when possible. To explain your sample size, (N=124) does the trick.
  • Why it matters. End with what the study will offer to the public, readers, practitioners, academics, etc. 

So, my list is 243 words. It can be done. As always, read the instructions. Some writers neglected to hit the three questions the instructions specified. If it's a study in progress, you can say that.

How do you squeeze into a 250-word abstract?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Listening Online - What do you expect?

Image of ear
Dr. Chris Gearhart and I are working on a research project about how organizational social media accounts display listening traits online. This led us to questions about expectations of listening (and response) from corporate social media accounts.

We would love to have your input. You must be 18 or older to participate. Thank you in advance!

Survey Link

Official recruitment info from our IRB documentation: Researchers at Tarleton State University invite you to take a brief survey (less than 10 minutes) regarding your perceptions of appropriate listening behaviors and responses in a social media context. You will be asked to answer questions about your listening habits and demographic information. You will be provided with some hypothetical social media posts and are asked to rate how you would prefer to be responded to. Information concerning the study, such as any risks, benefits, and safeguards for your privacy and well-being, is presented on the first page of the survey. You must be 18 or older to participate.