Virtual Higher Education: A Liberalist or Humanist Socialization Tool ?Presentation Transcript
TECHNOLOGY, KNOWLEDGE & SOCIETY , 2005 Alexandra Bal Maison des Sciences de l’Homme de Paris Nord, France New Media Program, Ryerson University, Toronto Virtual Higher Education: A Liberalist or Humanist Socialization Tool ?
Many claim that information and communication technologies (ICT) have the potential to improve the quality of learning and teaching.
At the core of the discourse is the promotion of Post-Industrial and Knowledge Based societal models “ The shift into distributed learning represents key challenges for post-secondary education. Digital technologies and pedagogies can support new literacies, learning styles and abilities to prepare students for "learning a living" in the New Economy .” Robert Luke, Nexus conference 2005
Post-industrial societal model
Learning becomes an economic growth factor
The economy is based on
a global market
Based on neo-management methods :
changes in the workplace organisational models
Cooperation and reciprocity replace hierarchy and coordination
Develop new types of human and cultural capital
“ (…) it is clear that employers expect university graduates to be proficient in a range of advanced skills, such as leadership and creativity . Learner-centred approaches can help facilitate students' development of advanced skills while they master the knowledge within their chosen fields”, Professor Fred Evers, Director, Centre for Educational Research & Assessment, University of Guelph. Nexus 2005 speaker
Creativity is crucial to innovation
Leadership is based on Interpersonal communication
Education has to adapt
Advance personalized learning skills that increase new individual aptitudes :
Problem solving, “learning to learn”
Promote learners’ autonomy for creativity
Social context for learning for leadership )
The constructivism framework
Since constructivist practices emphasize the enhancement of
a learner’s autonomy
A social context of learning
They are currently considered central to reform as they can better prepare “students for "learning a living" in the New Economy .”
Technology as a solution
ICT are seen as a means to improve the quality of education : Can facilitate the introduction of constructivist practices in education
Personalized diverse student motivations
Tools for active learning, inherently learner-centred
I ncrease student autonomy in the learning process
Virtual communities = students can learn within a social context
The paradoxes of practice
1) P edagogical principles are not often present in new higher education large scale technological applications .
The learner’s autonomy is assumed to be pre-existent , while it needs to be fostered (Linard, 2000)
The conceptual framework of many educational application often neglects the mental work required from the user and the gradual learning curve of the processes.
The time virtual communication require from faculty and students is not taken in consideration.
2) Few scientific evaluation of innovation can be found
Most of content analysis is limited to students discussions not the whole course
the educational process is not central
A broader context for innovation
If the educational process is not central to these innovations, w hat is? The significance of educational innovations can not be appreciated by a simple analysis of their pedagogical scope. By broadening the analysis spectrum to take into consideration socio-economic contexts, implicit stakes of innovations’ implementation in education become apparent (Combès 02).
Socio-economic analysis of higher education innovation
Incorporat ing actors’ strategies to the analysis of educational experiments , it is noticed that:
They regroup actors possessing diverging industrial and pedagogical objectives (Tremblay, 1998)
Virtualisation of learning is a manifestation of a certain re-industrialisation of education (Moeglin, 1999)
In this context, a learner’s autonomy can be a means to justify the priority given to the development of industrial learning technologies (Combès 2004)
Today: experimentation= large scale Implementation (live testing)
1. Actors strategies
Actors with diverging objectives need to collaborate to evaluate potential implementation methodologies and usage of educational innovation (Tremblay, 1998) in a “non market” environment
External actors use education as a testbed before marketing their products to larger markets .
An educational institution = mini society, mini market simulate the profession
If technology becomes part of students professional habitus, a market share can potentially be secured
Internal actors are animated by different ideologies test and/or try to implement their different social reproduction objectives that promote non dominant values
2. Industrialisation of education
Industrialisation = a systematic rationalisation of production practices aimed at enhancing the efficiency of a system . Also refers to the existence of a productivity and profitability tendency within a given organizational structure (Tremblay, 1998) .
In North America, as early as 1876, an industrialisation process becomes intertwined with a process of technologisation of education. (Berger, 1982, p.96)
Technologisation participates to the transformation of the education system into a production system that corresponds to industrial notions of efficiency and productivity.
This system is build according to taylorian and behaviorists standards of production.
Universities’ educational mandates are amalgamated with industrial ones (Berger, 82).
Industrial models specific to education
Higher Education industrial models are not the same as for profit models.
Human relationships = service industries models
Disseminates culture and publicly funded = cultural industries models
- “ Mutualisation practices ” : social interactions and actions and reaction between producers and users, which are not marketable (Grevet, 2002), unique to education
The relationship of pedagogy to industrial models
According to Boltanski & Chiappello (01)
Pedagogy methodologies tend to mirror the industrial processes of a specific time
Behaviorism= 2nd phase of liberal capitalism (50s)
Liberal society = Competition is at the source of progress
Economy = mass production and distribution of standardized goods
CEO is in control of passive Worker autonomy of action but not thoughts
Learning by objectives work in a large institution’s hierarchy
Cognitivism = rise of a 3rd phase of capitalism more humanistic in nature (70s-90s)
Active society = Cooperation and reciprocity = principal factor of progress Economy= Innovation Manager in control of Innovative Worker autonomy of action and thoughts
Active learning, user-centred learning increase innovation potential
3. human-centred models key to reform
New phase of industrialization in education
The introduction of electronic systems often comes with a desire to create a new separation and articulation between production and diffusion functions (Moeglin 98).
Neo-industrial phase= Self-service model
Shift towards self-service requires hyper-autonomous consumers and workers
Constructivism = rise of a 4 th phase of capitalism
Neo-liberal society = Coopetition : Cooperation and reciprocity (humanist) coexist with hierarchy and coordination (liberal)
Economy= Self-service ICT mediate Workers-client relationships = self-controlled, internalised a set values, autonomy of action and thoughts and ability to operate in a social network
Human -centred learning working in networks
Global neo-industrial trend based on local norms
The introduction to ICT is a global phenomenon that takes different form in different societies the local situation defines the nature and degree of evolution of the system
Technology, not learning, is central to large scale ICT implementation in Ontario universities.
Human-centered methodologies are prerequisites to the reindustrialisation of learning processes. They are simultaneously essential
To a neo-industrial process based on user-centred products adaptable to a diverse client/learner base.
To a mutualisation process where massification of education continues to position human interactions at the core of the educational process
Our field of study
By analysing the implementation of blackboard in an Canadian university, we are trying to apprehend
the values assigned to e-learning as a pedagogical, industrial and social tool.
While our actors all consider ICT important to reform, their individual professional bias motivates conflicting and incompatible social and ideological finalities.
The Ontario context
Between 1995 to 2003, Ontario universities have experience reduction in public funding of more than $ 1.8 billion to undergraduate programs must elimitate redundancies, cut backs and find new revenues
Double cohort : a massification process
Students number are increasing while teacher number decrease (T-S ratio: 16:1 in 94, 27:1 to 100:1 in 2004)
An Ontario University use of blackboard
A project internal to a school regrouping various university actors testing blackboard as a portal:
University administration : unified portal for access to all educational, administrative and commercial services, centralized and standardized inscription and content management system
Distance education : Unified interface to all their pay per use products (virtual content + access to teacher for q&a and grading)
Undergraduate programs : Unified system of management of massified education: houses content and course management tools, news and communication and hypermediated courses
Three levels of analysis
We analysed three aspects of the actors logics:
Pedagogical: Their conflicting theoretical positions affect how autonomy is to be translated in the application
Socio-economical: some actors support knowledge globalization others active society processes, which fuels their conflicting definitions of autonomy.
Industrial : All looking for a way to standardize active learning, they rationalize the use of incompatible educational forms.
1. Pedagogical logics
Paradoxal use of the concept of autonomy and community : defined as a constructivist concept but utilized within a behaviorist or cognitive framework.
Conflicting objectives of the virtual system : conflicting views as the system’s infrastructure and management of content (centralized or localized)
Conflicting views: Learning as conditionment or bricolage
Conflicting views: Learning as conditionment or bricolage
Discursive views: Learning as both conditionment or bricolage
Opposite system design principles
Opposite system design principles
The user’s autonomy is no longer an objective of the learning process but assumed to be pre-existent
Learning is considered to be equivalent to the mechanical structure of the information and communication system. Priority is given to the structural , not the relational , aspects of learning.
Untrained labour deal with communication
2 . socio-economical references
Why are actors interested in a technical system that does not necessarily enhance learning?
The analysis of actor’s social and economical references reveal that the social mutation they envision can not exist without a virtual educational system.
ICT= solutions to financial problems
For administrators: Virtualization of learning allows service liberalization in education new revenues
For educators: Massification of education needs to be dealt with (how to do more with less)
Chance to introduce new objectives to education but different ideologies fuel the changes
Global versus Active society
Global versus Active society
Global versus Active society
3. Industrial logics: Standardization of knowledge or of tools?
Three type of standardization are present:
Information “push”: Creation of standards educational products for a segmented market
Information “pull” : Creation of standards educational “ dialogical” and informational tools for personalized educational experiences
Digital campus: self-service portal
Digital Resources : aggregation of varied forms of content (courses, tools, news, tutorials, surveys)
Customized Services : aggregation of library, courses, management of admin and courses, purchases, course assistance
Rationalization of teaching
In all cases:
Teacher s become content producer
Their relationship to students decreases, direct contact assumed by untrained labour or mass email lists
Their role in the learning process becomes oriented towards information processing.
The control of the learning process goes to other players (tutors, external experts, machine), rarely the student
The pre-existing autonomy of the user becomes an important predefining element of virtualisation
A shift in definition of teaching =
an evolution of the current system
and/or a response to the need of new markets based on educational products.
Admin and undergraduate : Evolutionist approach
Admin: re-industrialisation of bureaucracy
Undergraduate: virtualisation of mutualisation practices
Distance education : Materialistic approach
New markets for educational products to be commercialized on an international scale.
This potential of market opening depends largely on the editorialisation and commercialisation of educational content.
Which logic dominates?
Positioning technology at the heart of the educational system allows to ignore ideological difference of actors.
Actors implicitly giv e priority to economical not social objectives.
Admin: Need to render the bureaucracy more efficient
Undergrad: Need to decrease production and usage cost,a ccomodate mass classes
Distance ed: Need to create an environment adaptable to many disciplines.
Various logics co-exists, but system give priority to management of learning not to learning itself
Educational applications are not of quality : no resources allocated to their production and evaluation.
Evolutionist approach: teachers will better content over time
The wish to the see education respond to today’s societal needs requires it’s technologisation.
An economical, not pedagogical, framework tries to legitimize the technologisation of knowledge.
The fact that learning is not the central preoccupation to these projects, explains the existence of pedagogical inconsistencies :
Non existence of highly promoted active learning methods , too difficult to standardize
Use of constructivist discourse without its pedagogical framework helps to facilitate the introduction of self-service in education
Learner centered practices
Permits to introduce a rationalised production of electronic educational resources which allows a reduction in the cost of direct human relations (between the teacher and students).
Permits to reduce the time a teacher spend in front of a class in order to increase the time that this individual spends producing electronic based teaching material such as
self paced learning modules or
online tutorials or
educational experiences designs.
Paradoxe : T he mandate of the present educational system is to develop the intellectual autonom y of the learner . Within a virtual educational system, the learner`s autonomy needs to be pre-existent. What will the university educational mandate become?
If we move towards a virtual system where teachers are no longer directly involve in students ’ learning process , who will become responsible for th eir autonomi s ation and with what consequences?