For whom, and for what? Not-yetness and thinking beyond open content

Amy Collier, Jen Ross


This article traces a line through contemporary critical perspectives on open online education, which challenge an emphasis on content and access that gives too much weight to instrumental goals of education. This article offers the concept of ‘not-yetness’ as a productive lens for examining alternative meanings of openness. Not-yetness emerged as a response to a dominant discourse of technology in education—including technologies of openness—that has been characterised by rhetoric of control, efficiency, and enhancement. Not-yetness invites a rethinking of online learning and digital education in terms of risk, uncertainty, and messiness and brings our attention to the variability of open education contexts and learners. Using examples of a ‘federated wiki’ and ‘agents beyond the course’, the article shows how higher education pedagogies can and should engage with boundary-crossings between openness and closure, and demonstrates the value of the perspectives that such engagements bring to the fore.


boundaries; risk; critical perspectives; open education; online learning; digital education; notyetness; complexity; emergence

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