Online learning the new frontier of neo liberalism and education

  • 5th July 2016 at 3:25 pm #367
    tim
    Participant

    We are seeing an increasingly challenging landscape for the learner to be able to access knowledge and learning because of the commercialisation of higher educational institutions within the UK sector. As online education becomes more wide spread is there a danger that this potential good for society becomes just another revenue source for those looking to exploit those learners locked out of mainstream education. And does the neo liberalisation of education which has turned the learner into customers within a ‘free market’ of educational products now pose a very real danger to online learning. Traditional routes of learning have seen with modularisation, the content of courses atomised to the point of rendering them all but pointless. So how can the online educational community combat this or are we going to have to find another arena to liberate education in the future.

  • 6th July 2016 at 10:32 am #372
    dkernohan
    Participant

    There’s a lot to argue here, but for me the rise of online learning is neither a cause or a symptom of the increasing commodification of learning. Certainly it can be deployed in ideology-filled ways, but equally there are many counter-examples. (For me the neoliberal turn in universities is around the standardisation and monitoring processes, but that’s lurching dangerously off topic.)

    Thinking about the more successful examples (by any metric) of online learning, individual agency on behalf of instructors and learners has been key – see for example the Phonar project and the Jisc funded report into the situtations and agency that brought it about (Grey, McGill 2015 – http://comc.loumcgill.co.uk )

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