Promoting Digital Presence and Public Scholarship: Domain of One’s Own at MSU

Promoting Digital Presence and Public Scholarship: Domain of One’s Own at MSU

Today Maddie Shellgren and I are thrilled to be presenting at the Domains 2017 conference in Oklahoma City on the Domain of One’s Own work going on at MSU. We represent a number of colleagues from around Michigan State, including Christopher P. Long, Scott Schopieray, Leigh Graves Wolf, and Stephen Thomas and are looking forward to sharing about our efforts and getting feedback from this community. Below are our slides and the original abstract and proposal. I will also develop some reflections from the conference on this space.

Since there are so many of us who have contributed to this presentation, please tag tweets about it not with our individual Twitter handles, but with the #msudomains hashtag (as well as the #domains17 conference tag).

Reclaim Conference Proposal

Michigan State University

Kristen Mapes, Madeline Shellgren, Scott Schopieray, Leigh Graves Wolf, Christopher P. Long, Stephen Thomas




At Michigan State University we have focused our Domain of One’s Own project on promoting digital presence and public scholarship at the faculty level. Our project provides a comprehensive set of experiences that take faculty from novices to “residents” on the web with active presences. This presentation will take participants through our model using interactive questions and activities to demonstrate the methods we use and engage them in thinking about how a similar program would work on their campus.




At Michigan State University we adopted the DoOO program in the College of Arts and Letters (CAL) during Spring Semester 2016. A limited pilot was launched during the late Spring and Summer semesters, with the main launch being during Fall 2016. The project, titled the Digital Presence and Public Scholarship Initiative is focused on faculty and graduate students in CAL, but is available to faculty across the institution as well. We collaborate with staff in multiple Colleges, as well as with our central IT, Communications, Faculty Development and Research offices. Each unit brings a specific strength and focal area to the initiative, allowing access to experts in nearly any topic that arises.


The program combines workshops developed by our own staff with other opportunities around the campus community to provide a comprehensive set of experiences that take faculty from the novice stage to that of a “digital resident” where they manage and contribute to their online presence. The focus of this program is providing agency to faculty and graduate students to take ownership of their online scholarly presence while providing a community of support for empowerment.  Through the program we seek to foster a community of practice around the work our faculty and graduate students are doing. While our program is still in the early phases of implementation, we have exceeded our expectations for success, onboarding over 200 users in the first 6 months of the program.


A core component of our program is the Digital Presence and Public Scholarship Fellows program, which takes 25 faculty members each semester and provides them with weekly programming and co-working sessions that are scaffolded to get them to the digital resident status by the end of the semester. Semesters start with visioning activities around their use of technology for personal and professional uses, and in “visitor” or “resident” modes (White & Cornu 2011). Faculty are also engaged in creating goals for the semester that are tied to their professional needs, considering the audience for their work and best ways to present work, and basic topics in information architecture and user experience. As the semester goes forward, topics change to issues of public scholarship, ethics in a digital age, security/privacy, copyright, and inclusivity. In each of these broad areas we drill down with a focus on the interests of the participants in the room. Regular feedback opportunities ensure we are tying our programming back to the needs and interests of our participants.


While the Fellows program is at the core of our community, we also provide regular opportunities for participants to join the initiative in other ways. Weekly workshops focused on technical issues such as WordPress or CPanel, as well as workshops on scholarly presence tools (e.g. OrCID, Google Scholar, Humanities Commons), and drop-in consulting opportunities allow those who cannot commit the time to the fellows program to advance their knowledge and work in the area. Additionally, we hold half-day workshops at the beginning of each semester that allow participants to set up get a DoOO account, install WordPress, and begin taking charge of their digital presence. All of these opportunities combine into the comprehensive program.


In this interactive presentation, we will engage participants with some of the activities and discussion prompts we use in our workshops, demonstrating those which are successful with our faculty members, and challenging participants to consider how this approach might work on their own campuses. We will cover the overall structure of our program, infrastructure required to create a similar program on your own campus, and will lead discussion around questions that arise.



White, David S. and Alison Le Cornu, “Visitors and Residents: A New Typology for Online Engagement,” First Monday 16:9 (2011)


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