Challenges and Assumptions of Open Scholarsip

Veletsianos and Kimmons make some interesting points, not all of them relevant to my FE context, in their article Assumptions and Challenges of Open Scholarship.’Scholarship’ is very much a university preoccupation.
1. Ideals of democratisation: in as far as digital technology gives more people access to courses, because it can overcome geographical and physical barriers, then my college has made provision more democratic. But we don’t produce any OA materials – why would we? It might be possible to persuade the college to run free taster courses designed to attract students onto fee-paying courses but that’s as far as it would go, I think.
2. Digital literacy would be a prerequisite for learners and tutors. The emphasis here is on H.E. but is harder to disagree with this. In college, we are mainly concerned with teaching effectively, which probably means making increasing use of digital technology – but not all of my colleagues agree. And there is a danger that the medium becomes the message i.e. we pay more attention to up-to-date use of the latest technology than to the content and manner of what we are teaching.
3. I thought the points about the relationship between technology and culture, about the ‘filter bubble’ which limits our exposure to diverse information, is very convincing, and is a welcome reality check, given the universal euphoria which seems to greet any new piece of technology. The point about sharing views and information with people who already share our views, people who we ‘like’, raises important questions. Mind you, this is perhaps more of an issue in H.E., where original thought is more part of the staple diet, than in F.E. where students are just learning to research and find information.
4. Veletsianos and Kimmons’ final concern is whether open scholarship is a practical and effective way of achieving scholarly aims; this is not a worry we have in F.E.!
So in short, I am most affected by the availability of technology which enables:
us to run online courses whose advantages include the fact that they can be accessed by new cohorts of students (but not because they are open access or free.)
me to network with a large number of correspondents over an infinite area

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2 comments

  1. John,
    Good to see you are still working at your MAODE. I quite enjoyed this module so have fun!
    I agree your point that we have to be careful not to let the medium become the message. Too much time is spent driving learning By making it whizzy and using the latest tools. Nothing wrong with a little old fashioned planning to ensure we have the content correct first!
    Nicola


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