The Prehistory of MOOCs: Inclusive and Exclusive Access in the Cyclical Evolution of Higher Education

Date

2014

Authors

Longstaff, Emily

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Volume Title

Publisher

Intellect Ltd.

Abstract

In providing free access to educational resources from some of the most prestigious universities in the world, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been hailed as both a revolution and threat for the 'traditionally elite' higher education system. Stepping away from the label of 'traditionally elite', this article argues that universities actually have relatively open origins and that the democratisation of higher education, as espoused by the big MOOC providers, is not entirely new. Instead, this retrospective analysis of the development of universities indicates a cyclical model of change, one in which waves of inclusivity alternate with bouts of exclusivity. In highlighting this issue, and parallel ideas about university as a 'place', this historical overview provides a useful backdrop to contemporary debates about MOOCs. It shows how MOOCs, as they currently appear, are neither revolutionising nor destroying higher education, they are simply part of its cyclical evolution

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Citation

Source

Journal of Organisational Transformation & Social Change

Type

Journal article

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Access Statement

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DOI

10.1179/1477963314Z.00000000028

Restricted until

2037-12-31