The Digitally Distributed Curriculum

  • Bill Johnston
  • Sheila MacNeill
  • Keith Smyth
Part of the Digital Education and Learning book series (DEAL)


This chapter draws on ideas from Chap.  7, highlights the notion of digitally distributed curriculum described in Chap.  3, expands the conceptual scope to encompass a set of values for developing the digital university, and describes a number of enabling factors for such development. The idea of ‘third space thinking’ (Oldenburg 1989) is deployed to conceptualise the nature and potential development of curriculum. Current thinking on curriculum is reviewed, including critiques of boundedness, product orientation, modularisation, institutional silos, and assessment. The proposition that curriculum should support open education and address wider societal needs is emphasised. A key aspect is the detailed presentation and discussion of the concept of digitally distributed curriculum, which offers a method to visualise the digital university in terms of a curriculum shaped and enabled by porosity, open scholarship, co-location, co-production, praxis, public pedagogy, and participation. In its fullest development, this concept offers a means to portray the digital university as part of a project to reform higher education as public good.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bill Johnston
    • 1
  • Sheila MacNeill
    • 2
  • Keith Smyth
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Psychological Science and HealthUniversity of StrathclydeGlasgowUK
  2. 2.Academic Quality and DevelopmentGlasgow Caledonian UniversityGlasgowUK
  3. 3.Learning and Teaching AcademyUniversity of the Highlands and IslandsInvernessUK

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