Discursive Effects of a Paradigm Shift Rhetoric in Online Higher Education: Implications on Networked Learning Research and Practice

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

Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to critically examine some discursive effects of the ‘paradigm shift’ rhetoric that is commonly used in the advocacy of online higher education. The chapter will unpack how that particular rhetoric—which permeates generalist discourse about online higher education—impacts upon actual distance education practices in specific higher education settings, such as ‘open universities’, where distance education is the core institutional function and where the historical development of practice has been separated from that of ‘mainstream’ higher education. The chapter focuses on the transition from the earlier form of distance education, which was largely associated with and led by dedicated distance universities, to the current form of online higher education, which operates and is discussed more and more frequently in mainstream higher education contexts, such as traditional campus-based universities. The particular ‘paradigm shift’ rhetoric that emerged during that transition will be discussed, and its discursive effects on distance education practices in open universities will be analysed. The main argument is that the rhetoric, as a widespread academic discourse, has generated and continues to perpetuate a ‘gap’ between learning theories and instructional practices in the open university settings—where current distance education practices have arisen from a unique course of historical development but which are now subjected to ‘paradigm shift’ rhetoric being imposed from outside. The implications for networked learning research and practice will be discussed, and several suggestions will be made, whereby the networked learning community might develop a more balanced and critical discourse about online higher education.

References

  1. Adams, J. (2007). Then and now: Lessons from history concerning the merits and problems of distance education. Studies in Media & Information Literacy Education, 7(1), 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Agassiz, E. C. (1971). Society to encourage studies at home. In O. Mackenzie & E. L. Christensen (Eds.), The changing world of correspondence study (pp. 27–30). University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Anderson, T., & Dron, J. (2011). Three generations of distance education pedagogy. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 12(3), 80–97.Google Scholar
  4. Anderson, W. (2013). Independent learning: Autonomy, control, and meta-cognition. In M. G. Moore (Ed.), Handbook of distance education (3rd ed., pp. 86–103). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. Baggaley, J. (2008). Where did distance education go wrong? Distance Education, 29(1), 39–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bates, T. (2008). Transforming distance education through new technologies. In T. Evans, M. Haughey, & D. Murphy (Eds.), International handbook of distance education (pp. 217–236). Bingley: Emerald.Google Scholar
  7. Battalio, J. (2007). Interaction online: A reevaluation. The Quarterly Review of. Distance Education, 8(4), 339–352.Google Scholar
  8. Bergmann, H. F. (2001). The silent university: The society to encourage studies at home, 1873-1897. New England Quarterly, 74(3), 447–477.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bennett, S., & Oliver, M. (2011). Talking back to theory: The missed opportunities in learning technology research. Research in learning Technology, 19(2), 197–189.Google Scholar
  10. Bolger, M. (2009). Globalization: An opportunity for the “uneducated” to become “learned” or further “excluded”? In U. Bernath, A. Szücs, A. Tait, & M. Vidal (Eds.), Distance and e-learning in transition: Learning innovation, technology and social challenges (pp. 303–310). London: ISTE Ltd.Google Scholar
  11. Bourdieu, P. (1990). The logic of practice. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  12. Bourdieu, P. (1993). The field of cultural production. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  13. Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L., & Cocking, R. R. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  14. Bruner, J. (1986). Actual minds, possible worlds. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Carvalho, L., & Goodyear, P. (Eds.). (2014). The architecture of productive learning networks. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Clark, J. (2001). Stimulating collaboration and discussion in online learning environments. Internet and Higher Education, 4(2), 119–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Daly, C., Pachler, N., & Lambert, D. (2004). Teacher learning: Towards a professional academy. Teaching in Higher Education, 9(1), 99–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dillenbourg, P., Baker, M., Blaye, A., & O’Malley, C. (1996). The evolution of research on collaborative learning. In E. Spada & P. Reiman (Eds.), Learning in humans and machine: Towards an interdisciplinary learning science (pp. 189–211). Oxford: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  19. Dirckinck-Holmfeld, L., Hodgson, V., & McConnell, D. (Eds.). (2012). Exploring the theory, pedagogy and practice of networked learning. Berlin: Springer Science & Business Media.Google Scholar
  20. Duffy, T. M., & Cunningham, D. J. (1996). Constructivism: Implications for the design and delivery of instruction. In D. H. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (pp. 170–198). New York: Scholastic.Google Scholar
  21. Edwards, R. (1995). Different discourses, discourse of difference: Globalisation, distance education and open learning. Distance Education, 4(1), 27–39.Google Scholar
  22. Foucault, M. (1977). In D. F. Bouchard (Ed.), Language, counter-memory, practice: Selected interviews and essays. New York: Cornel University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Foucault, M. (1985). The history of sexuality, Vol. 2: The use of pleasure. (trans: Hurley, R.). New York: Vintage. (Original work published 1984).Google Scholar
  24. Foucault, M. (1990). The history of sexuality, Vol. 1: An introduction. (trans: Hurley, R.). New York: Vintage. (Original work published 1976).Google Scholar
  25. Foucault, M. (1995). Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison. (trans: Sheridan, A.). New York: Vintage. (Original work published 1977).Google Scholar
  26. Garrison, D. R. (2000). Theoretical challenges for distance education in the 21st century: A shift from structural to transactional issues. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 1(1), 1–17.Google Scholar
  27. Garrison, D. R., & Anderson, T. (2003). E-learning in the 21st century: A framework for research and practice. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Garrison, D. R., & Cleveland-Innes, M. F. (2010). Foundations of distance education. In M. F. Cleveland-Innes & D. R. Garrison (Eds.), An introduction to distance education: Understanding teaching and learning in a new era (pp. 13–25). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  29. Garrison, D. R., & Kanuka, H. (2008). Changing distance education and changing organizational issues. In W. J. Bramble & S. Panda (Eds.), Economics of distance and online learning: Theory, practice, and research (pp. 132–147). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  30. Gee, J. P. (1996). Social linguistics and literacies: Ideology in discourses (2nd ed.). London: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  31. Goodyear, P., Banks, S., Hodgson, V., & McConnell, D. (2004). Research on networked learning: An overview. In P. Goodyear, S. Banks, V. Hodgson, & D. McConnell (Eds.), Advances in research on networked learning (pp. 1–11). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  32. Guri-Rosenblit, S. (2009). Distance education in the digital age: Common misconceptions and challenging tasks. Journal of Distance Education, 23(2), 105–122.Google Scholar
  33. Harasim, L. (2000). Shift happens: Online education as a new paradigm in learning. Internet and Higher Education, 3(1), 41–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Harasim, L. (2012). Learning theory and online technology: How new technologies are transforming learning opportunities. New York: Routledge Press.Google Scholar
  35. Harris, D. (2008). Transforming distance education: In whose interests? In T. Evans, M. Haughey, & D. Murphy (Eds.), International handbook of distance education (pp. 417–432). Bingley: Emerald.Google Scholar
  36. Harting, K., & Erthal, M. J. (2005). History of distance learning. Information Technology, Learning and Performance Journal, 23(1), 35–43.Google Scholar
  37. Hillman, D. C. A., Willis, D. J., & Gunawardena, C. N. (1994). Learner-interface interaction in distance education: An extension of contemporary models and strategies for practitioners. The American Journal of Distance Education, 8(2), 30–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hodgson, V., de Laat, M., McConnell, D., & Ryberg, T. (Eds.). (2014). The design, experience and practice ofnetworked learning. London: Springer.Google Scholar
  39. Holmberg, B. (1995). Theory and practice of distance education (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  40. Holmberg, B. (2007). A theory of teaching-learning conversations. In M. G. Moore (Ed.), Handbook of distance education (2nd ed., pp. 69–75). Mahwah: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  41. Hook, D. (2001). Discourse, knowledge, materiality, history: Foucault and discourse analysis. Theory & Psychology, 11(4), 521–547.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Huang, H. M. (2002). Toward constructivism for adult learners in online learning environments. British Journal of Educational Technology, 33(1), 27–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Hülsmann, T. (2009). Access and efficiency in the development of distance education and e-learning. In U. Bernath, A. Szücs, A. Tait, & M. Vidal (Eds.), Distance and e-learning in transition: Learning innovation, technology and social challenges (pp. 119–140). London: ISTE Ltd.Google Scholar
  44. Ice, P. (2010). The future of learning technologies: Transformational developments. In M. F. Cleveland-Innes & D. R. Garrison (Eds.), An introduction to distance education: Understanding teaching and learning in a new era (pp. 137–164). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  45. Jonassen, D. H. (1991). Objectivism versus constructivism: Do we need a new philosophical paradigm? Educational Technology Research and Development, 39(3), 5–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Jonassen, D. H., Davidson, M., Collins, M., Campbell, J., Haag, B., & B. (1995). Constructivism and computer-mediated communication in distance education. American Journal of Distance Education, 9(1), 7–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Jones, C. (2015). Networked learning: An educational paradigm for the age of digital networks. Cham: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Kanuka, H., & Brooks, C. (2010). Distance education in a post-Fordist time: Negotiating difference. In M. F. Cleveland-Innes & D. R. Garrison (Eds.), An introduction to distance education: Understanding teaching and learning in a new era (pp. 69–90). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  49. Keegan, D. (1996). The foundations of distance education. London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar
  50. Kekkonen–Moneta, S., & Moneta, G. B. (2002). E–Learning in Hong Kong: comparing learning outcomes in onlinemultimedia and lecture versions of an introductory computing course. British Journal of Educational Technology, 33(4), 423–433.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Knowles, M. (1985). Andragogy in action. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  52. Kuhn, T. (1970). The structure of scientific revolutions (2nd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  53. Koschmann, T. (1996). Paradigm shifts and instructional technology. In CSCL: Theory and practice of an emerging paradigm (pp. 1–23). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  54. Larreamendy-Joerns, J., & Leinhardt, G. (2006). Going the distance with online education. Review of Educational Research, 76(4), 567–605.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Lee, K. (2015). Discourses and realities of online higher education: A history of [Discourses of] Online Education in Canada’s Open University (Doctoral dissertation, University of Toronto (Canada)).Google Scholar
  56. Lee, K. (2017). Rethinking the accessibility of Online HE: A historical review. Internet and Higher Education, 33, 15–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. McConnell, D., Hodgson, V., & Dirckinck-Holmfeld, L. (2012). Networked learning: A brief history and new trends. In Dirckinck-Holmfeld et al. (Eds.), Exploring the theory, pedagogy and practice of networked learning (pp. 3–24). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. McKeown, L., Noce, A., & Czerny, P. (2007). Factors associated with internet use: Does rurality matter? Rural and Small Town Canada Analysis Bulletin, 7(3), 1–15.Google Scholar
  59. Mills, S. (2004). Discourse (2nd ed.). Florence: Routledge.Google Scholar
  60. Moore, M. (1990). Recent contributions to the theory of distance education. Open Learning, 5(3), 10–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Moore, M. G. (1973). Towards a theory of independent learning and teaching. Journal of Higher Education, 44, 661–679.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Moore, M. G. (2013). The theory of transactional distance. In M. G. Moore (Ed.), Handbook of distance education (3rd ed., pp. 66–85). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  63. Nachmias, R. (2002). A research framework for the study of a campus-wide web-based academic instruction project. Internet and Higher Education, 5(1), 213–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Oxford Dictionaries. (2016). In English Oxford Living dictionaries. Retrieved from https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/rhetoric
  65. Paavola, S., Lipponen, L., & Hakkarainen, K. (2004). Models of innovative knowledge communities and three metaphors of learning. Review of Educational Research, 74(4), 557–576.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Papastergiou, M. (2006). Course management systems as tools for the creation of online learning environments: Evaluation from a social constructivist perspective and implications for their design. International Journal of E-Learning, 5(4), 593–622.Google Scholar
  67. Perraton, H. (2000). Open and distance learning in the developing world. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  68. Peters, O. (1967). Distance education and industrial production: A comparative interpretation in outline. Retrieved from http://www.c3l.uni-oldenburg.de/cde/found/peters67.htm
  69. Peters, O. (2003). Learning with new media in distance education. Handbook of distance education, 87–112.Google Scholar
  70. Peters, O. (2007). The most industrialized form of education. In M. G. Moore (Ed.), Handbook of distance education (2nd ed., pp. 57–68). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  71. Peters, O. (2008). Transformation through open universities. In T. Evans, M. Haughey, & D. Murphy (Eds.), International handbook of distance education (pp. 279–302). Bingley: Emerald.Google Scholar
  72. Piaget, J. (1973). The child and reality: Problems of genetic psychology. New York: Viking.Google Scholar
  73. Popkewitz, T. S., & Brennan, M. (1997). Restructuring of social and political theory in education: Foucault and a social epistemology of school practices. Educational Theory, 47(3), 287–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Popper, K. (1963). Conjectures and refutations. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  75. Rumble, G. (2001). Re-inventing distance education, 1971?2001. International journal of lifelong education, 20(1–2), 31–43.Google Scholar
  76. Rumble, G. (Ed.). (2004). Papers and debates on the economics and costs of distance and online learning.Oldenburg: Bibliotheks-und Informationssystem der Universität Oldenburg.Google Scholar
  77. Ryberg, T., & Sinclair, C. (2016). The relationships between policy, boundaries and research in networked learning. In T. Ryberg, C. Sinclair, S. Bayne, & M. de Laat (Eds.), Research, boundaries, and policy in networked learning (pp. 1–20). Cham: Springer International Publishing.Google Scholar
  78. Scardamalia, M., & Bereiter, C. (1994). Computer support for knowledge-building communities. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 3(1), 265–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Scardamalia, M. (2002). Collective cognitive responsibility for the advancement of knowledge. In B. Smith (Ed.), Liberal education in a knowledge society (pp. 67–98). Chicago: Open Court.Google Scholar
  80. Schlosser, L. A., & Simonson, M. (2010). Distance education: Definition and glossary of terms (3rd ed.). Charolotte: IAP.Google Scholar
  81. Selwyn, N. (2013). Distrusting educational technology: Critical questions for changing times. Routledge.Google Scholar
  82. Skinner, B. F. (1954). The science of learning and the art of teaching. Harvard Educational Review, 24(1), 86–97.Google Scholar
  83. Spronk, B. (2001). Globalisation, ODL and gender: Not everyone’s world is getting smaller. Cambridge: International Extension College.Google Scholar
  84. Stahl, G., Koschmann, T., & Suthers, D. (2006). Computer-supported collaborative learning: An historical perspective. In R. K. Sawyer (Ed.), Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences (pp. 409–426). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  85. Stickney, J. (2006). Deconstructing discourses about ‘new paradigms of teaching’: A Foucaultian and Wittgensteinian perspective. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 38(3), 327–371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Storr, R. J. (1966). Harper’s university: The beginnings. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  87. Swan, K. (2005). A constructivist model for thinking about learning online. Elements of quality online education: Engaging communities, 6, 13–31.Google Scholar
  88. Swan, K. (2010). Teaching and learning in post-industrial distance education. In M. F. Cleveland-Innes & D. R. Garrison (Eds.), An introduction to distance education: Understanding teaching and learning in a new era (pp. 108–134). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  89. Trowler, P. (2012). Wicked issues in situating theory in close-up research. Higher Education Research & Development, 31(3), 279–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Von Glasersfeld, E. (1984). An introduction to radical constructivism. The invented reality, 1740.Google Scholar
  91. Vrasidas, C. (2000). Constructivism versus objectivism: Implications for interaction, course design, and evaluation in distance education. International Journal of Educational Telecommunications, 6(4), 339–362.Google Scholar
  92. Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  93. Wedemeyer, C. (1981). Learning at the back door: Reflections on non-traditional learning in the lifespan. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
  94. Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Wittrock, M. C. (1992). Generative learning processes of the brain. Educational Psychologist, 27(4), 531–541.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Woodley, A. (2008). But does it work? Evaluation theories and approaches in distance education. In T. Evans, M. Haughey, & D. Murphy (Eds.), International handbook of distance education (pp. 585–608). Bingley: Emerald.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Educational Research, Lancaster UniversityLancasterUK

Personalised recommendations