The Limitations of Access Alone: moving towards open processes in education technology

Jeremy Knox

Abstract


“Openness” has emerged as one of the foremost themes in education, within which an open education movement has enthusiastically embraced digital technologies as the central means of participation and inclusion. Open Educational Resources (OERs) and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have surfaced at the forefront of this development, claiming unprecedented educational reform. This paper provides a critical perspective on these prominent initiatives, highlighting a tendency to view access to online material as the principal concern of the open education movement. It will analyse the portrayal of technology in academic literature and media coverage of OERs and MOOCs, suggesting underlying assumptions of technology instrumentalism and essentialism. Alternative perspectives will be offered, drawing on critical technology studies and the philosophy of technology. The inclusion of “open processes” is proposed, involving the active engagement of learners in participation and dialogue, as well as further critical explorations of the relationships between technology and education.


Keywords


access; critical education technology; MOOC; OER; online education; open; open processes

References


Adams, S. (2012, July 17). Is Coursera the Beginning of the End for Traditional Higher Education? Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2012/07/17/is-coursera-thebeginning-of-the-end-for-traditional-higher-education

Atkins, D. E., Brown, J. S. & Hammond, A. L. (2007). A Review of the Open Educational Resources (OER) Movement: Achievements, Challenges, and New Opportunities. Report to the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.hewlett.org/uploads/files/Hewlett_OER_report.pdf

Brown, J. S. & Adler, R. P. (2008). Minds On Fire: Open Education, the long tail, and Learning 2.0. EDUCAUSE Review, 43(1), pp.16–32. Retrieved from http://www-cdn.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ERM0811.pdf

Caswell, T., Henson, S., Jensen, M., & Wiley, D. (2008). Open Content and Open Educational Resources: Enabling universal education. The International Review Of Research In Open And Distance Learning, 9(1). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/469

Clements, K. I. & Pawlowski, J. M. (2012). User-oriented quality for OER: understanding teachers’ views on re-use, quality, and trust. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 28(1), 4–14. http://dx.doi.org10.1111/j.1365-2729.2011.00450.x

Connexions. (2012). Connexions. Retrieved August 12, 2012 from: http://cnx.org

Conole, G. (2012). Fostering social inclusion through open educational resources (OER). Distance Education, 33(2), 131–134. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01587919.2012.700563

Course-builder. (2012). Course Builder. Retrieved September 8, 2012 from https://code.google.com/p/course-builder

Coursera. (2012a). Our Vision. Retrieved from https://www.coursera.org/about

Coursera. (2012b). Pedagogical Foundations. Retrieved from https://www.coursera.org/about/pedagogy

Coursera. (2012c). Coursera. Retrieved from https://www.coursera.org

Dahlberg, L. (2004). Internet Research Tracings: Towards a non-reductionist methodology. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 9(3). Retrieved from http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol9/issue3/dahlberg.html

Daniel, J. & Killion, D. (2012, July 4). Are open educational resources the key to global economic growth. Guardian Online. Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk/higher-education-network/blog/2012/jul/04/open-educational-resources-and-economic-growth

Downes, S. (2007). Models for Sustainable Open Educational Resources: Models for Sustainable Open Educational Resources. Interdisciplinary Journal of Knowledge and Learning Objects, 3, 29–44. Retrieved from http://ijklo.org/Volume3/IJKLOv3p029-044Downes.pdf

Downes, S. (2011, March 17). Five Key Questions. Retrieved from http://www.downes.ca/post/55055

Edwards, R., Fenwick, T., & Sawchuk, P. (2011). Emerging Approaches to Educational Research: Tracing the sociomaterial. Abingdon: Routledge.

Edwards, R. & Carmichael, P. (2012). Secret codes: the hidden curriculum of semantic web technologies. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 33(4), 575–590. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01596306.2012.692963

edX. (2012, August 9). edX: The Future of Online Education. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/MJZN700YS0o

European Commission. (2011). Public consultation on opening up education—a proposal for a European initiative. Directorate-General for Education for Culture. Retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/documents/consult/open_en.pdf

Feenberg, A. (2005). Critical Theory of Technology: An Overview. Tailoring Biotechnologies, 1(1), 47–64.

Fenwick, T. & Edwards, R. (2010). Actor-Network Theory in Education. Abingdon: Routledge.

Fini, A. (2009). The Technological Dimension of a Massive Open Online Course: The Case of the CCK08 Course Tools. The International Review Of Research In Open And Distance Learning, 10(5). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/643/1402

Friesen, N. & Hamilton, E. (2010). Online Education: The View from Technology Studies. In Proceedings for the Technological Learning and Thinking Conference: Culture, Design, Sustainability, Human Ingenuity. Retrieved from http://m1.cust.educ.ubc.ca/conference/index.php/TLT/2010/schedConf/presentations.

Hilton III, J., Wiley, D., Stein, J. & Johnson, A. (2010). The four R’s of openness and ALMS analysis: frameworks for open educational resources. Open Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning, 25(1), 37–44. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02680510903482132

Hylén, J. (2006). Open educational resources: Opportunities and challenges. Proceedings of Open Education 2006: Community, culture and content. September 27–29, Utah State University (pp. 49–63). Retrieved from http://www.knowledgeall.net/files/Additional_Readings-Consolidated.pdf

Johnstone, S.M. (2005). Open Educational Resources Serve the World. Educause Quarterly, 28(3), 15–18. Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/open-educational-resources-serveworld

Kanuka, H. (2008). Understanding E-Learning Technologies-in-Practice through Philosophies-in-Practice. In T. Anderson (ed.) The Theory and Practice of Online Learning (91–118). Edmonton: AU Press.

Macintosh, W., McGreal, R. & Taylor, J. (2011). Open Education Resources (OER) for assessment and credit for students project: Towards a logic model and plan for action. Athabasca: TEKRI. Retrieved from http://auspace.athabascau.ca/bitstream/2149/3039/1/Report_OACSFinalVersion.pdf

Mackness, J., Sui Fai Mak, J. & Williams, R. (2010). The Ideals and Reality of Participating in a MOOC. Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Networked Learning. Pp. 266–274. Retrieved from http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fss/organisations/netlc/past/nlc2010/abstracts/PDFs/Mackness.pdf

Marginson, S. (2012, August 12). Yes, MOOC is the global higher education game changer. University World News. Retrieved from http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=2012080915084470

McAndrew, P., dos Santos, A. I., Lane, A., Godwin, S., Okada, A., Wilson, T., Connolly, T., Ferreira, G., Shum, B., Bretts, J., Webb, R. (2009). OpenLearn: Research report 2006–2008. Milton Keynes: Open University. Retrieved from http://www3.open.ac.uk/events/6/2009727_62936_o1.pdf

McAuley, A., Stewart, B., Siemens, G. & Cormier, D. (2010). The MOOC model for digital practice. Retrieved from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/MOOC_Final.pdf

Mwanza-Simwami, D., McAndrew, P. & Madiba, M. (2008). Fostering Open Educational practices in cross-cultural contexts. IST-Africa 2008 Conference Proceedings, 7–9 May 2008, Windhoek, Namibia. Retrieved from http://kn.open.ac.uk/public/getfile.cfm?documentfileid=13439

Nespor, J. (2010). Devices and Educational Change. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 43, 15–37. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-5812.2009.00611.x

Okada, A. & Leslie, S. (2012). Open Educators and Colearners as DJs: Reuse, Remix and Recreate OER Collaboratively! In A. Okada, T. Connolly & P. Scott. Collaborative learning 2.0: Open Educational Resources (pp. 78–102). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference. http://dx.doi.org/10.4018/978-1-4666-0300-4.ch005

Okada, A.; Mikroyannidis, A.; Meister, I. & Little, S. (2012). “Colearning”—collaborative networks for creating, sharing and reusing OER through social media. In: Cambridge 2012: Innovation and Impact—Openly Collaborating to Enhance Education, 16–18 April 2012, Cambridge, UK. Retrieved from http://oro.open.ac.uk/33750/2/59B2E252.pdf

OpenLearn. (2012). LabSpace. Retrieved from http://labspace.open.ac.uk

POERUP. (2012). Countries with OER initiatives. Policies for OER Uptake. Retrieved from http://poerup.referata.com/wiki/Countries_with_OER_initiatives#United_Kingdom

Richter, T. & McPherson, M. (2012). Open educational resources: education for the world? Distance Education, 33(2), 201–219. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01587919.2012.692068

Siemens, G. & Downes, S. (2008, September 15). Connectivism & Connective Knowledge. Retrieved from http://connect.downes.ca/archive/08/09_15_thedaily.htm

Tosato, P. & Bodi, G. (2011). Collaborative Environments to Foster Creativity, Reuse and Sharing of OER. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-learning. Special Themed Issue on Creativity and Open Educational Resources. Retrieved from http://www.eurodl.org/index.php?article=461

Udacity. (2012). About. Retrieved August 21, 2012 from http://www.udacity.com/udacity

UNESCO. (2011). UNESCO Commonwealth of Learning OER Policy Guidelines to be launched at the UNESCO General Conference. Retrieved from http://www.unesco.org/new/

en/communication-and-information/resources/news-and-in-focus-articles/all-news/news/

unescocommonwealth_of_learning_oer_policy_guidelines_to_be_launched_at_the_unesco_general_conference

WikiEducator. (2012). Exemplary Collection of Open eLearning Content Repositories. Retrieved August 12, 2012 from http://wikieducator.org/Exemplary_Collection_of_Open_eLearning_Content_Repositories

Wiley, D., & Hilton III, J. (2009). Openness, Dynamic Specialization, and the Disaggregated Future of Higher Education. The International Review Of Research In Open And Distance Learning, 10(5). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/768


Full Text: PDF

Refbacks





Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.