Small Steps Across the Chasm: Ideas for Embedding a Culture of Open Education in the University Sector

Lisa Harris, Lorraine Warren, Jean Leah, Melanie Ashleigh


The authors critique the commonly accepted notions of "digital native" students and the widening generation gap between them and "technophobic" faculty. Their case studies, from UK higher education, demonstrate that attempts to introduce new models of learning are inhibited by 1) prevailing structure and culture within universities and 2) expectations (or even a stated preference) for traditional delivery and assessment of knowledge by the students themselves. The authors recommend a strategy for more systemic integration of social technologies and new learning styles into the curriculum to help ensure that universities remain relevant and add value to learners and employers in the digital age.

Keywords: digital native; technophobic; higher education; social technologies; learning styles

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