Networks of Knowledge, Students as Producers, and Politicised Inquiry

Part of the Research in Networked Learning book series (RINL)


This chapter explores the potential for the development of new learning opportunities in higher education, through students being conceptualised not as consumers, recipients or commodities, but rather as co-researchers and co-producers of knowledge. It discusses the implications of new forms of networked knowledge enabled by the emergence of semantic web and linked data technologies, and the reconceptualisation of the Internet as a ‘global data space’. These approaches have the potential to allow students to engage critically with existing data and data practices, generate new data and, perhaps more significantly, to participate in local or global knowledge networks. These activities involve not only the development of specific techno-literacies, but also broader critical digital literacies of which we offer examples and propose a number of dimensions. A critical digital literacies perspective, particularly when combined with the idea of students as co-researchers and co-producers, provides a basis for student to undertake critical and politicised inquiry as part of a broader reframing of the purposes of higher education.


Semantic web Students as producers Digital literacies Linked data Networked knowledge 



This work was supported by a grant from the UK ESRC/EPSRC Teaching Enhanced Learning Programme ( under research award RES-139-25-0403A.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BedfordshireBedfordUK
  2. 2.Liverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK

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