On SAGE Insight: Open Education platforms: Theoretical ideas, digital operations and the figure of the open learner

From European Educational Research Journal

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is eera_18_1.cover_.png

Open Education (OE), a generic term for a collection of practices that seek to broaden the access to education through digital means, has gained increasing traction and popularity over the last years and from various corners, both globally and in European circles. This article analyzes the concrete operations that Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) platforms perform, and more specifically the sorts of open learning and the type of open learner that are being shaped by these platforms.

Drawing on sociomaterial insights, this article contributes to our understanding of the figure of the open learner and the sorts of learning that are currently being enacted through specific operations performed by MOOC platforms.Considered as socio-technical devices, this article presents an analysis of four different MOOC platforms (i.e., edX, Coursera, Udacity, and FutureLearn) in view of their specific performed operations and enacted ideas. In order to do so, researchers adopt the main tenets of a diagrammatic analysis—a methodological approach that is commonly used in sociomaterial approaches of digital platforms.

By being rendered increasingly flexible, the open learner is equally assumed to be increasingly in control of his or her own learning. In order to apprehend the amount of control the learner has over the platforms he or she is navigating, and over the contents he or she is making use of, a proper place to start is the relation between platforms and the licensing models they adopt. The article ends with some outlines for possible future concretizations of OE and its MOOC platforms.

Abstract

Open Education (OE), a generic term for a collection of practices that seek to broaden the access to education through digital means, has gained increasing traction and popularity over the last years and from various corners, both globally and in European circles. Rather than taking the technologies OE makes use of at face value, this article analyzes the concrete operations that Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) platforms perform, and more specifically the sorts of open learning and the type of open learner that are being shaped by these platforms. Understanding such platforms as active, socio-technical devices, the article first provides an overview of the conceptual milieu out of which these MOOC platforms originated. In a second part, contemporary MOOC platforms that have concretized out of this milieu are analyzed. Different types of operations that enact a very specific figure of the open learner (and types of open learning) are advanced: The open learner is increasingly being lured and made flexible, controlled and molded, communalized and responsibilized, and finally trained and empowered. The article ends with some outlines for possible future concretizations of OE and its MOOC platforms.

Read this article in full here

Article details

Open Education platforms: Theoretical ideas, digital operations and the figure of the open learner
Mathias Decuypere
First Published December 2, 2018 Research Article
DOI: 10.1177/1474904118814141
From European Educational Research Journal


     
This entry was posted in Education, OA, SAGE Insight and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply