Online Academia

Online Academia

Magdalena Bielenia-Grajewska (University of Gdansk, Poland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7365-4.ch035
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The aim of this chapter is to discuss the main notions characterizing the academia of the 21st century, examining the sphere of online learning. To investigate the mentioned relations and complexities within academic learning itself, the 5S model of online academia has been discussed by this author. This model focuses the discussion about online academia on such elements as subject, situation, spirit, stakeholder, senses, and subject, and their subcategories to elaborate on the multilevel nature of universities. This framework provides an insight into the current complexities of online academia and offers an insight into its future perspectives.
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There are some important factors of modern academia that shape its current state. First, academia is characteristic of its dual nature, it has been an institutionalized space struggling to secure time for thought, consideration and the slower, time-consuming and lengthy scholarly and scientific conduct deliberately detached from the faster pace of capitalist production, media, politics and their ideological apparatuses; at the same time, it has been a symbol of and an instrument of modern progress, where individual academics and scientists have formed disciplinary associations and alliances, and advocated (to various degrees, and in diverse incarnations), socio-political, economic, scientific and cultural change (Vostal, 2016: 7). Modern academia can also be discussed by looking at it as a complex adaptive system. It can be characterized, among others, by nonlinear behavior, visible in disproportionate responses. Other important features of academia are independence, intelligence, learning and self-organization. Moreover, universities are the places of faculty disagreements and different points of control (Rouse, 2016). Academia can also be studied through the prism of its key determinants. Examining the growing role of technology in the life of universities and high schools, non-living entities such as computer systems, hardware, software and mobile technologies determine the way teaching and research are conducted. These notions are studied in the work by Davey and Tatnall (2012) who discuss the notion of technological adoption, focusing on school management software. In the past, traditional dissemination channels were used to gather and share knowledge. Nowadays there are networked scholars who use participatory technologies and online social networks in their research (Veletsianos, 2016).

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