06 SES 08 A, MOOCs and beyond
Within the processes of mediatization that several societal fields are currently passing through (cf. Hepp & Lehmann-Wemser 2013; Krotz, 2014) the educational sector is also undergoing changes which are closely linked to digital media. In this context the debate about new learning cultures has lately been circulating around the concept of ‘openness’ (cf. Ehlers 2013).
These changes can be seen as a transition towards an open learning culture. Accordingly, the European Union is trying to come up with strategies to meet those processes, which is seen as a key contribution “to the Europe 2020 goals of boosting EU competitiveness and growth through better skilled workforce and employment” European Commission 2013: p. 2). As a consequence, efforts are being made in order to foster open education, praising their potentials since they “allow All individuals to learn, Anywhere, Anytime, through Any device, with the support of Anyone” (European Commission 2013: p. 3).
Particularly, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as a learning format and learning analytics (cf. Johnson et al. 2014: pp. 38f.; Picciano 2012) as a monitoring strategy, have become well-established within these developements (cf. European Commission 2013: pp. 4f.; Johnson et al. 2014: pp. 26f.). While MOOCs are said to “push forward the vision of self-organized, autonomous life-long learning” (Ehlers, 2013: p. 96), learning analytics is supposed to have an optimizing impact on learning strategies and processes (cf. Johnson 2014: p. 12). Based on the collection and evaluation of data it aims on enabling “continual improvement of learning outcomes” (ibid.). MOOCs and learning analytics, while on different levels of visibility, can be seen as basic elements of institutionalized open education and mediatized learning cultures, as well as in contemporary educational policies.
At a first glance‚ the promises of ‘open‘ seem to be consistently positive. And ‚openness‘ certainly has great potential for the democratization and participation in edcuation (cf. Deimann 2014: p. 98). Since scholars in media education show a tendency to defend educational media against critique from other fields of education, they tend to neglect problematic aspects.
We understand open education as deeply “embedded in power relations” (Deimann 2014: p. 108) and, therefore, suggest to look at phenomena such as MOOCs and learning analytics by applying a „governmentality“ perspective in the succession of Michel Foucault (cf. 1991: pp. 102f.). This concept bundles a set of diverse, but converging apparatuses (ibid.; see also: “dispositives”) and technologies to govern populations and, subsequently, subjects and their subjectivities. The notion of governmentality describes the “contact between the technologies of domination of others and those of the self” (Foucault 1988: p. 19). Within these ambivalent practices, of which no clear distinction can be drawn, between subjectivizing and de-subjectivizing effects on the self. While Foucault primarily understands ‘technologies’ as practices in general, we add digital technologies to the equation (cf. Münte-Goussar 2011).
In our presentation, we are discussing and trying to answer the following questions:
What kind of subjectivities are discourses on and apparatuses/dispositives within ‚open education‘ producing?
What technologies of domination and of the self are contributing to the emergence of such (de-)subjectivitizations?
Deimann, M. (2014): Open Education and Bildung. Ideas, Assumptions and Their Vigour to Transform Higher Education. In: MedienPädagogik. Zeitschrift für Theorie und Praxis der Medienbildung, 24. Online: http://www.medienpaed.com/Documents/medienpaed/24/deimann1409.pdf [Accessed 2015-01-31]. Ehlers, U.-D. (2013): Open Learning Cultures. A Guide to Quality, Evaluation, and Assessment for Future Learning. New York: Springer. European Commission (2013): Opening up Education. Innovative teaching and learning for all through new Technologies and Open Educational Resources. Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. Online: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52013DC0654&from=EN [Accessed 2015-01-31]. Foucault, M. (1988): Technologies of the Self. In: Martin, L. H.; Gutman, H.; Hutton, P. H. (eds.), Technologies of the self. A seminar with Michel Foucault. London: Tavistock, pp. 16–49. Foucault, M. (1991): Governmentality. In: Burchell, G.; Gordon, C.; Miller, P. (eds.), The Foucault Effect. Studies in Governmentality, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp. 87–104. Hepp, A. & Lehmann-Wermser, A. (eds.) (2013): Transformationen des Kulturellen. Prozesse des gegenwärtigen Kulturwandels. Wiesbaden: VS. Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., Freeman, A. (2014): NMC Horizon Report: 2014 Higher Education Edition. Austin: The New Media Consortium. Online: http://cdn.nmc.org/media/2014-nmc-horizon-report-he-EN-SC.pdf [Accessed 2015-01-31]. Klingovsky U. (2009): Schöne neue Lernkultur. Transformationen der Macht in der Weiterbildung. Eine gouvernementalitätstheoretische Analyse. Bielefeld: transcript. Krotz, F. (2014): Mediatization as a mover in modernity. Social and cultural change in the context of media change. In: K. Lundby (eds.), Mediatization of communication (S. 131–161). Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter. Lemke, T., Krassmann, S. & Bröckling, U. (2012): Gouvernementalität, Neoliberalismus und Selbsttechnologien. Eine Einführung. In: U. Bröckling, S. Krasmann & T. Lemke (eds.), Gouvernementalität der Gegenwart. Studien zur Ökonomisierung des Sozialen. Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp, pp. 7-40. Maurer, S. & Weber, S.M. (2006): Die Kunst, nicht dermaßen regiert zu werden. Gouvernementalität als Perspektive für die Erziehungswissenschaft. In S. Weber & S. Maurer (eds.), Gouvernementalität und Erziehungswissenschaft. Wissen – Macht – Transformation. Wiesbaden: VS, pp. 9-36. Münte-Goussar, S. (2011): Ambivalente Selbst-Techniken: Portfolio, Ökonomisierung, Selbstbestimmung. In T. Meyer, K. Mayrberger, S. Münte-Goussar & C. Schwalbe (eds.), Kontrolle und Selbstkontrolle. Zur Ambivalenz von E-Portfolios in Bildungsprozessen. Wiesbaden: VS, p. 225-250. Picciano, Anthony G. (2012): The Evolution of Big Data and Learning Analytics in American Higher Education. In: Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 16 (3), pp. 9–20.
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