Posthumanism and the Massive Open Online Course critiques the problematic reliance on humanism that pervades online education and the MOOC, and explores theoretical frameworks that look beyond these limitations. While MOOCs (massive open online courses) have attracted significant academic and media attention, critical analyses of their development have been rare. Following an overview of MOOCs and their corporate means of promotion, this book unravels the tendencies in research and theory that continue to adopt normative views of user access, participation, and educational space in order to offer alternatives to the dominant understandings of community and authenticity in education.
Table of Contents
List of Figures
The Massive Open Online Course
MOOC Reactions: disrupting and ‘making sense’
Chapter 1: (Post)Humanism and Education
Humanism and education
Rethinking Educational Dualisms
Posthuman knowledge and the (non)representational
Chapter 2: Masters of the Universal: MOOC Education and the Globe
Humanism and colonialism
The Corporate World of the MOOC
World-leaning MOOC research
The MOOC Platform
Chapter 3: Colonising Communities and Domesticating Data
Immunizing communities and the anthropological machine
Measuring MOOC communities
Identifying participants and categorising participation
Connectivism and community
Lurking and the tyranny of participation
The Personal Learning Network
Individualism in the connectivist MOOC
Chapter 4: Housing the MOOC: Space and Place in ‘ModPo’
Modern and Contemporary American Poetry
Spatiality and Mobilities Theory
The House of Possibility
The Kelly Writers House Tour
Other voices, other rooms: power and potency in the ModPo fora
The immutable mobile of MOOC pedagogy
Chapter 5: Monstrous Openings in the EDCMOOC
The E-learning and Digital Cultures MOOC
Outside of bounded educational space
Calls for cohesive community
Outside of the humanist subject
Summarising Posthumanism and the MOOC
Suggestions for MOOC practice, pedagogy and research
Jeremy Knox is Lecturer in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh, UK, where he designed, developed, and taught the pioneering MOOC 'E-learning and Digital Cultures'.
"A much needed critical examination on MOOCs through the lens of humanism and educational philosophy has been conducted and described eloquently by Jeremy Knox. Anyone who wants to have a closer look at the intricate and somewhat paradoxical nature of today’s MOOCs experiment in higher education will greatly appreciate this timely work."
--Paul Kim, Chief Technology Officer and Assistant Dean of the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University, USA
"Drawing on posthumanist and new materialist approaches, Knox breaks with utopian MOOC narratives, challenging readers to consider not only what it means to educate the masses but also what it means to be a student and what it means to be an educational site—questioning whether most MOOCs, despite the hype, have merely privileged the orthodoxy of established educational frameworks.
Knox offers a thorough consideration of the technopedagogical systems that purport to serve a universal community—providing an in-depth exploration of the evolution of educational philosophy and aspirations of MOOC providers—elucidating long standing Western educational ideals and models as a way to better understand the future design and delivery of education to a diverse audience."
--Karen J. Head, Ph.D., Director of The Communication Center and Assistant Professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at The Georgia Institute of Technology, USA, and Editor of Southern Discourse in the Center: A Journal of Multiliteracy and Innovation
"Jeremy Knox provides a refreshingly critical take on a high-profile area of educational innovation which has been generally under-theorised. He does not shy away from addressing the ‘big questions’ surrounding massive open education, and in doing so he tackles with insight and clarity the shifting terrain of higher education itself."
--Siân Bayne, Professor of Digital Education in the Moray House School of Education at the University of Edinburgh, UK