06 SES 12 A, Towards a Critical Understanding of OE and MOOCs
Organizer: Prof. Theo Hug, University of Innsbruck
If we define "education" by various forms of transition on the level of individuals, communities, institutions, and societies, we should be aware that transitional dynamics are bound to media in one way or another. No matter if we refer to processes of transition in terms of cognitive, emotional, socio-cultural, economic, or political dynamics, processes of mediation and medialization should be taken into account, too. In this sense, the "mediation of everything" (Livingstone, 2009) applies to mediation of education in a basic but often neglected sense.
While impacts, roles and functions of media and medialization too often remain blind spots in mainstream discourses of education, they are sometimes foregrounded in rather special ways in partial discourses, for example, in so far as always new hypes and fashionable trends in e-learning and digital pedagogy are circulating. However, over the last decade a wide range of claims and practices have been developed which are often summarized by umbrella terms like "open education" (OE), "open educational resources" (OER) and more recently "Massive Open Online Courses" (MOOCs). Especially the proliferation of various kinds of MOOCs has captured attention of administrators, practitioners, researchers, and policy-makers.
On the one hand, optimistic and enthusiastic voices have pointed out new chances for education for all, self-directed learning, easily scalable institutional service, community building and recruitment as well as for further innovation in education along with the emergence of OER and MOOCs. Accordingly, increasing success of initiatives is rather a question of overcoming barriers than a question of basic revisions - at least in the perspective of stakeholders (cf. Cress & Degado Cloos, 2014). On the other hand, skeptical and critical voices have been raised, for example, by questioning far-reaching promises, business models, disposition of resources, innovation rhetoric, sustainability of initiatives, and by critically reflecting conceptual foundations.
Today, educational institutions and especially universities see themselves confronted with challenges and strategic decisions in this context. Before establishing all too many different forms of digitalization universities have to decide what kind of university they want to be in the long run. How can institutions across Europe deal with sustainability challenges and meet expectations of learners and educators as well as claims of education and qualification? The panel is aiming at a critical discussion of current debates and practices, balanced perspectives in the controversial fields of MOOCs and OER, and future-oriented developments.
Butcher, Neil et al. (eds.) (2011): A Basic Guide to Open Educational Resources. Commonwealth of Learning, retrieved from: http://www.col.org/PublicationDocuments/Basic-Guide-To-OER.pdf Caswell, Tom et al. (2008): Open Educational Resources: Enabling universal education. In: International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, Volume 9, Number 1, retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/469/1009 Cress, Ulrike & Degado Cloos, Carlos (Eds.) (2014): EMOOCs 2014. Proceedings of the European MOOC Stakeholder Summit 2014. http://www.emoocs2014.eu/sites/default/files/Proceedings-Moocs-Summit-2014.pdf Downes, S. (2011). Free Learning - Essays on open educational resources and copyright. Retrieved from http://www.downes.ca/files/FreeLearning.pdf Iiyoshi, Toru & Kumar, Vijay M.S. (eds.) (2010): Opening Up Education. The Collective Advancement of Education through Open Technology, Open Content, and Open Knowledge. Cambridge: The MIT Press. Kim, Paul (Ed.) (2015): Massive Open Online Courses: The MOOC Revolution. NY: Routledge. Livingstone, Sonia (2009): On the mediation of everything: ICA presidential address 2008. In: Journal of Communication, 59(1), pp. 1-18. Missomelius, Petra et al. (Eds.) (2014): Medien – Wissen – Bildung: Freie Bildungsmedien und Digitale Archive. Innsbruck: iup. Weller, Martin (2014): Battle for Open: How openness won and why it doesn't feel like victory. London: Ubiquity Press.
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