Online Education and “Creative Mythology”: the Phenomenon of Mass Open Online Courses Through the Prism of Critical Media Theory

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Ilya V. Kiriya

PhD in Philology, Professor, Head of the Media Department of the National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

e-mail: ikiria@hse.ra

Section: Theory of Journalism and Media

This paper considers online education from the perspective of critical media studies and attempts to fit the phenomenon of mass open online courses into the context of such studies related in the first place to the criticism of industrialization of culture and the media. Due to the rise of social media, aggregators and mass user­generated content, these directions have flourished in the past 20 years, yet so far no one has tried to consider mass open online courses as a new industrialized media product. In this paper, online education is viewed as a new stage of mediatization of education and consequently its industrialization. Therefore, this phenomenon exhibits the properties of other kinds of online media content and problems the given platform generates: globalization and the blurring of national cultural boundaries, a positivist perception of technology as able to solve most complex social problems, precariat and shifting common good concerns from the government and other institutions on to self-employed individuals, increasing commodification (making common good into a market commodity), supremacy of platforms over the format. This complex of problems is part of “creative mythology” built around the phenomenon of “creative industries” and “creativity” in the past 20 years.

Keywords: online education, mass open online courses, media theory, political economy of media, industrialization of culture, creative industries
DOI: 10.30547/vestnik.journ.1.2019.324


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