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The Porous University: Openness, space and place in Higher Education

This two-day symposium arose out of a series of conversations and reflections on the nature of openness within Higher Education. It started with the observation that openness is increasingly seen as a technical question, whose solution lies in employing the low transaction costs associated with digital technologies with open licences to open up academic content to new groups of learners.

When May 08, 2017 to May 09, 2017
from 9am
Where Inverness Campus
Contact Name
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Overview

This two-day symposium arose out of a series of conversations and reflections on the nature of openness within Higher Education. It started with the observation that openness is increasingly seen as a technical question, whose solution lies in employing the low transaction costs associated with digital technologies with open licences to open up academic content to new groups of learners.

Where critical voices have engaged this partial reading they have often rightly critiqued the degree to which this is truly open, for example, drawing on older traditions of open to question the freedoms free content allows for those already distanced from education.

However, other questions also arise in a critical reading of open, and these include:

  • What does open mean beyond releasing content?
  • What is the role of open academics in dealing with problems ‘in the world’
  • How should staff and students become learners within community contexts, developing and negotiating the curriculum based on those contexts?
  • What would it mean for openness as a way to allow new voices into the academy, to acknowledge knowing and ways of knowing outside the academy, and where can and should our open spaces – both digital and physical – intersect? 
  • If we are to advocate allowing learners' experiences and organisations to inform the academy how open should academics be to the influence of private capital?

These. and other questions were explored in this symposium.

Contributors

Colleagues who contributed to the symposium included:

  • Alex Dunedin, Ragged University
  • Richard Hall, Professor of Education and Technology, De Montfort University
  • Mark Johnson, Centre for Educational Development and Support, University of Liverpool
  • Derek Jones, Lecturer in Design, The Open University
  • Ronald Macintyre, Open Education Practices Scotland (OEPS), The Open University
  • Shelia MacNeill, Senior Lecturer (Digital Learning), Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Frank Rennie, Professor of Sustainable Rural Development, Lews Castle College UHI
  • Keith Smyth, Professor of Pedagogy, University of the Highlands and Islands
  • Gina Wall, Deputy Head School of Fine Art, Glasgow School of Art