From this critical viewpoint we will explore the extent to which open education can act as a bridge between formal institutional cultures and learning within physical and digital ‘third spaces’, and ask whether it is possible to balance and constructively align the open education agenda with the strategic priorities of institutions and their values and responsibilities to civic society.
Drawing our on work to date in developing a matrix for conceptualising the ‘Digital University’, and then applying this to various institutional contexts and initiatives, we will explore how open education practice can extend, develop and promote notions of the digitally distributed curriculum. We will also argue for the need to reframe and broaden our current discourse on open education beyond digital and online contexts, if we are to better understand the complexities of being a ‘Digital University’ and, in turn, more fully realise what open education can offer at sectoral, institutional and personal levels. (Smyth et al, 2015)
In offering concluding points relating to where we are at, and how we might move forward, we will also draw out potential implications for the open education research agenda.
MacNeill, S. and Johnston, B. (2012) A conversation around what it means to be a Digital University (Parts 1 to 5). http://blogs.cetis.ac.uk/sheilamacneill/2012/01/26/a-converstaion-around-what-it-means-to-be-a-digital-university/ [Accessed: 12 January 2015]
Smyth, K., MacNeill, S., and Johnston, B. (2015) Visioning the Digital University – from institutional strategy to academic practice. Educational Developments, 16(2). pp.13-17.
McCluskey, F.B and Winter, M.L. (2012). The Idea of the Digital University: ancient traditions, disruptive technologies and the battle for the soul of higer education, Washington: Policy Study Organization.
Selwyn, N. (2014). Digital Technologies and the Contemporary University: degrees of digitization, London: Routledge.