From OER to MOOCs: Critical perspectives on the historical mediation trajectories of open education

Alevizou, Giota (2015). From OER to MOOCs: Critical perspectives on the historical mediation trajectories of open education. International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics, 11(2) pp. 203–224.



This article considers the intersections between digital and open education to explore how openness, as a value and currency, has conditioned the mediation trajectories of pedagogical knowledge domains and communicative learning spaces. Drawing on critical political economy and deploying a discourse analytic approach, it traces the dimensions of openness as a techno-cultural frame and socio-economic structure conditioning policies and genres stemming from the Open Education Resource (OER) movement in the early 2000s and through the influx of Massive Open Online Coursese (MOOCs). When a practice such as Open Education simultaneously challenges and enhances educational institutions’ concentration of symbolic resources, analysing the wider consequences for society may be difficult. Yet several dimensions and paradoxes can be addressed through correlating a number of contingent factors: the development of settings for the increasing mediatization of pedagogical knowledge other than those traditionally anchored to distance and open education; the many interlocking technological, social and political processes that have created new contexts for cultural production; new circuits for facilitating alternative and cultural pedagogies; and the institutional instrumentalization of openness in neo-liberal restructuring of higher education.

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