Open, Flexible and Participatory Pedagogy in the Era of Globalisation: Technology, Open Education and International E-Learning

Open, Flexible and Participatory Pedagogy in the Era of Globalisation: Technology, Open Education and International E-Learning

Catherine McLoughlin (Australian Catholic University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4498-4.ch013
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The socio-political and economic conditions of the world signal that the global society is moving towards an era of international, cross-border collaboration in education. International higher education by its very nature sits at an intersection of socio-cultural, economic, and geopolitical variables. Over the years, we have seen the complex interaction of the factors that influence patterns of student mobility, institutional strategies and economic forces. Worldwide, institutions of higher education (IHEs) are including global and international themes in their mission statements, courses, and strategic plans. Internationalization is seen as the integration of an international/intercultural dimension into teaching, research, and service of an institution. Internationalizing educational delivery can require significant change and is systematically complex, requiring faculty, staff, students, administrators, and community members who aspire to communicate with, understand, and connect with the diverse 21st-century global community. In this globally connected millennium, as institutions are moving towards Open Access and the use of OER (Open Education Resources) to widen participation and access to higher education, there is a consequent need to redesign pedagogy, teacher roles, and the use of technology to support learning.
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Drivers For Change: Mobility And Uptake Of Digital Tools And Sns’S

The increasing demand for skills in the global knowledge economy signals the need for expanded provision of education and training, had resulted in changes to the delivery of higher education, and an expansion of elearning and blended learning. Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace are all commonly identified as representative of the new wave of social networking tools while the Encyclopedia Britannica, Microsoft Outlook and even learning management systems (LMS’s) are seen as portraying old, outdated information sources and educational tools.

On the one hand, Facebook, with 100 million users, and other Web 2.0 sites constitute the most popular pages on the web (Washington and Miller, 2010). In view of this finding, the value of digital, mobile technologies is being tapped by educators, who recognize that social networks provide a versatile, popular and powerful infrastructure for learning. At the same time, institutions of higher learning have been experiencing a time of turbulence and change, with demands for flexible, self-paced learning, personalized options for professional skills development and an increase in demand for cross-border higher education (Daniel, 2013). As the uptake of digital tools and global connectivity increases, it is certain that that a high proportion of people worldwide who are in a position to study at a university, already have the skills to use online and mobile technologies at a fairly advanced level. Internationalisation of the curriculum is therefore a feature of curricula worldwide and transnational providers often operate with domestic universities to develop and offer programs of study, increasingly in blended or elearning delivery modes. Digital access alone is not the only push factor as the global marketplace requires skills such as digital communication, multimodal literacy and netiquette as essential skills.

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