Eschewing the polarising perspectives that often characterise discussions of digital technologies in academia, The Digital Academic: Critical Perspectives on Digital Technologies in Higher Education, edited by Deborah Lupton, Inger Mewburn and Pat Thomson, offers an insightful and diverse take on the digital landscape in higher education, covering topics such as MOOCs, “flipped classrooms” and academic blogging. Keeping the human impact of these technologies firmly in view, […]
Book Review: Disrupt This! MOOCs and the Promise of Technology by Karen Head
In Disrupt This! MOOCs and the Promise of Technology, Karen Head draws on a “view from inside” of developing and teaching a first-year writing massive open online course (MOOC) to critically interrogate the claim that such technology will fundamentally “disrupt” educational structures. This is an eloquent and intricate analysis that shows how personal experience and practice can add nuance to questions regarding the egalitarian […]
Book Review: The War on Learning: Gaining Ground in the Digital University
In The War on Learning, Elizabeth Losh analyses recent trends in post-secondary education and the rhetoric around them. In an effort to identify educational technologies that might actually work, she looks at strategies including MOOCs, the gamification of subject matter, remix pedagogy, video lectures, and educational virtual worlds. Losh’s work is valuable reading for students and parents trying to make sense of when current technologies […]
Disruption disrupted? As innovation comes to academia, scholars look to challenge Christensen’s compelling theory.
‘Disruptive Innovation’ has become a more practical than theoretical debate in higher education all while criticism mounts over the theory’s scholarly merits. In the midst of high-profile interrogation by academics, Eric Van de Velde reflects on his experience of the value of Christensen’s concept of disruption for information sharing and technological advancement in the scholarly community. The episode also poses a […]
How to stay on top of online education: Lessons from the New York Stock Exchange.
Daniel Beunza looks at how universities can continue to stay on top of technological change in the face of mounting start-up competition and debilitating institutional inertia. Drawing on his research on the transition to algorithmic trading at the New York Stock Exchange, Beunza argues that in order to have lasting success, online education and technology-mediated learning must be designed to complement […]
MOOCs must move beyond open enrolment and demonstrate a true commitment to reuse and long-term redistribution.
In contrast with the type of openness encouraged by Open Education Resources and Open Courseware labels, the openness of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is severely limited. Consequently, Leo Havemann and Javiera Atenas find the recent growth of high quality online learning content is not able to be used to its full advantage. The process of opening up MOOC resources would add […]
Does the modern university serve our needs and interests? Rethinking industrial-era education in the information age.
Set against the backdrop of technological advances in Higher Education, Michael Ullyot reflects on the first few weeks of a MOOC examining the industrial-era roots of the modern university. Systems were designed to instil predictability, orderliness, and precision, all highly recognisable features … Continue reading →
Social sciences research is riding high. But is it MOOC-proofed?
With four fifths of economic value-added found in services, the UK is now primarily a service economy. This is great news for social science disciplines who have demonstrated a strong influence in these industries. Whilst there are glimpses of optimism, … Continue reading →
Can MOOCs and Open Badges provide an alternative to the so-called ‘inflation of educational credentials’?
Learning takes place in a variety of settings as an ongoing process of skills and knowledge development in changing contexts. With the growing popularity of technology-enhanced learning initiatives, Cristóbal Cobo makes the case for more flexible methods for skills and knowledge recognition. … Continue reading →