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Walking through the Valley of the Shadow of the MOOC

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Walking through the Valley of the Shadow of the MOOC

  1. 1. Walking through the Valley of the Shadow of the MOOC Professor Mark Brown Director, National Institute for Digital Learning 3rd September, 2016
  2. 2. Liverpool Hut, Mt Aspiring
  3. 3. “It is theory that decides what we can observe”
  4. 4. Mark Brown, 2016 • Open Learning • Online Learning • Anytime Anywhere Learning eLearning • Digital Learning • Technology-enhanced Learning • Knowledge Economy TWO MAJOR WOLRDVIEWS
  5. 5. “Frankly, all the computers and software and Internet connections in the world won’t do much good if young people don’t understand that access to new technology means… access to the new economy” (President Bill Clinton; cited in Cuban, 2001, p.18).
  6. 6. Knowledge Economy Learning Society Mark Brown, 2016 • Open Learning • Online Learning • Anytime Anywhere Learning eLearning • Digital Learning • Technology-enhanced Learning • TWO MAJOR WOLRDVIEWS
  7. 7. “Higher education has a crucial role to play in laying the foundations of a society that is more inclusive, participatory and equal...” The President said “…the role of the university in enabling citizens to develop the tools to address the great challenges of our time – global poverty, climate change and sustainability – was vital.
  8. 8. Global Attitudes Project, Pew Research, 2011 http://www.pewglobal.org/2011/11/17/the-american-western-european-values-gap/ The American-Western European Values Gap
  9. 9. Different interest groups and stakeholders borrow the same ‘language of persuasion’ to legitimize their own agenda
  10. 10. ReschoolingReproducing Mark Brown, 2016 • Entrepreneurship • Technology as progress • Education as commodity • Increased market competition • Sifting agent • Human capital • Social cohension • Cultural heritage • Open Learning • Online Learning • Anytime Anywhere Learning eLearning • Digital Learning • Technology-enhanced Learning • Knowledge Economy Learning Society TWO MAJOR WOLRDVIEWS
  11. 11. “Our ability to compete as a nation—and for states, regions and communities to attract growth industries and create jobs— demands a fresh approach to public education. We need to recognize that a 21st century education is the bedrock of competitiveness—the engine, not simply an input, of the economy” (P21, 2008, p.1). http://www.p21.org/storage/documents/21st_century_skills_education_and_competitiveness_guide.pdf
  12. 12. Education as Commodity
  13. 13. Education as Commodity
  14. 14. Education as Commodity
  15. 15. Deschooling ReschoolingReproducing Mark Brown, 2016 • Entrepreneurship • Technology as progress • Education as commodity • Increased market competition • Sifting agent • Human capital • Social cohension • Cultural heritage • Unbundling • Opening access • Micro credentials • New learning pathways • Open Learning • Online Learning • Anytime Anywhere Learning eLearning • Digital Learning • Technology-enhanced Learning • Knowledge Economy Learning Society TWO MAJOR WOLRDVIEWS
  16. 16. “Schools without a Curriculum” 1928-2016
  17. 17. Opening Access
  18. 18. Unbundling
  19. 19. Micro Credentials
  20. 20. Micro Credentials
  21. 21. New Learning Pathways
  22. 22. New Learning Pathways
  23. 23. New Learning Pathways
  24. 24. Is this the future of higher education?
  25. 25. Collaborating with the Enemy
  26. 26. ReconceptualizingDeschooling ReschoolingReproducing Mark Brown, 2016 • Open Learning • Online Learning • Anytime Anywhere Learning eLearning • Digital Learning • Technology-enhanced Learning • • Just society • Lifelong learning • Pillars of learning • Sustainable development • Entrepreneurship • Technology as progress • Education as commodity • Increased market competition • Sifting agent • Human capital • Social cohension • Cultural heritage • Unbundling • Opening access • Micro credentials • New learning pathways Knowledge Economy Learning Society TWO MAJOR WOLRDVIEWS
  27. 27. LEARNING TO BE LEARNING TO KNOW LEARNING TO DO LEARNING TO LIVE TOGETHER Digital Capability Digital Inclusion Digital Citizenship RECONCEPTUALIST FRAMEWORK Fundamental Principles for Reshaping Education (Delors Report, 1972)
  28. 28. “Despite huge advancements in technology over the last 50 years, the wealth gap between developed and developing countries has more than doubled” (John Pilger, 2002).
  29. 29. World Bank Group. (2016). Digital dividends: World development report. Washington: A World Bank Group Flagship Report.
  30. 30. Online Learning
  31. 31. The current emphasis on education in change needs to shift to the language of education for change. MOOCs
  32. 32. http://www.portlandpresspublishing.com/content/wenner-gren-international-series-volume-88
  33. 33. “Resilience requires adaptation and evolution to new environmental conditions, but retains core identity” (Weller & Anderson, 2013, p.55).
  34. 34. http://www.dcu.ie/academy
  35. 35. Conclusion • Many faces • Not on independent trajectory • Must keep sight of the big ideas
  36. 36. “Online learning should be in the service of big ideas, not as a big idea in itself” (adapted from Barnett, 2011).
  37. 37. Go raibh maith agaibh!
  38. 38. Professor Mark Brown Director, National Institute for Digital Learning www.dcu.ie/nidlmark.brown@dcu.ie @mbrownz www.slideshare.net/mbrownz

Editor's Notes

  • Imagine two people are standing on opposing mountaintops looking into the valley below. One sees sunshine; the other, shadow. Both are right. Accordingly at the macro-level this talk invites you to think about the light and DARK sides of the MOOC movement.


  • Extending the metaphor by looking more deeply through the lens of a telescope we can better understand the grand narratives and some of the competing and co-existing discourses of persuasion surrounding the MOOC movement and online learning more generally.
  • Extending the metaphor by looking more deeply through the lens of a telescope we can better understand the grand narratives and some of the competing and co-existing discourses of persuasion surrounding the MOOC movement and online learning more generally.
  • This framework illustrates that there are two overarching perspectives influencing the debate: the tradition of the Learning Society and the influence of the Knowledge Economy. It is fair to say that a strong Knowledge Economy discourse is imbued in the languages of persuasion surrounding the unbundling movement.
  • This framework illustrates that there are two overarching perspectives influencing the debate: the tradition of the Learning Society and the influence of the Knowledge Economy. It is fair to say that a strong Knowledge Economy discourse is imbued in the languages of persuasion surrounding the unbundling movement.
  • Borrowing the words of President Michael Higgins, from this perspective higher education has a role in promoting more inclusive, participatory, equitable and sustainable futures for all.
  • Extending the metaphor by looking more deeply through the lens of a telescope we can better understand the grand narratives and some of the competing and co-existing discourses of persuasion surrounding the MOOC movement and online learning more generally.
  •  The Reschooling Discourse reflects efforts to reform the traditional higher education system through the language of disruption, modernisation and technology as progress. An inherent contradiction in this discourse is that major changes forces champion greater creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship—yet many unbundling initiatives perpetuate relatively instrumentalist views of education.
  • In contrast, the Deschooling Discourse reflects a constellation of perspectives sharing the view that traditional institutions are losing their monopoly on higher education. While on the surface the language of ‘unbundling’ promotes democracy, opening access and new learning pathways, the Deschooling discourse also supports the goals of deregulation and the free market.
  • The Reconceptualising Discourse builds on the original UNESCO pillars of learning—learning to be, learning to do, learning to know and learning to live together. It promotes life-long learning and skills and knowledge beyond mere preparation for work. The focus is on active participation in all aspects of society.

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