Scholarship in the digital age is characterized by data-intensive, information-intensive, distributed, interdisciplinary, collaborative research. The same can be said of learning, especially as the research infrastructure is leveraged to support cyberlearning. At the intersection of these themes lie research data, which have become a new stream of scholarly capital. Data can be aggregated to ask new questions, in new ways, and to make comparisons over time and circumstance that were not previously possible.
Capturing and curating data for reuse is among the key challenges of cyberinfrastructure. If research data can be made useful for learning, the payoffs are even greater, as students can engage in scholarly processes, learn by doing, and explore their own research questions. Making research data useful for learning is even more difficult than for scholarship, however. This talk will compare developments in scholarly information infrastructure and in cyberlearning, reflecting on the implications for scholarship in the digital age.
This talk is a preview presentation of a keynote talk for the Open University 40th Anniversary Conference to be given on 2 June 2009.