From digital commons to the data-fied urge: Theorising evolving trends in the intersections of digital culture and open education


  • Giota Alevizou The Open University



Mediation, Datafication, Digital Education, Learning Analytics, Openness, MOOCs, Critical Media Literacy, Digital Culture


This paper aims to unravel the interlacing of learning theories and media theories in order to map out how the link between digital culture and open education has been argued in related research and scholarship. Taking into account evolving trends and trajectories in the fields of digital networked technology and education since the 1990s, it argues for the multiple articulations of mediation as a core component in competing discourses about competence formation. These are centred on three evolving and interrelated trends: a) the increased emphasis on computer mediated communication and collaboration as shapers of meaning and improvement; b) the introduction of media logics in particular fields and domains of education; and c) datafication and metrics as means of both self-organization or management and cross-promotional strategies. While several scholars within critical media literacy traditions and critical educational technology have dealt with evolving trends in technology and competing discourses as writing passage from the information to data-driven society, developing a fuller sense of these trajectories can enable us to chart out interconnected threads of power, conflict and subversion that frame learning as a competitive endeavour and reconfigure the expansion of education in broader areas of society.

Author Biography

Giota Alevizou, The Open University

Dr Giota Alevizou is a Digital Cultures/Citizenship fellow at the Department of Politics and International Studies, at the Open University in the UK. Giota’s primary domain of research is at the intersections of knowledge and learning technologies with activism and civic engagement. She’s had the opportunity to investigate these topics in more than five national and European projects, often as a principal investigator and a lead researcher, leading to a co-authored book, the Creative Citizen Unbound, published by Policy Press, in 2016. Giota has published widely in the cultural politics of technology in education, digital culture as well as digital and participatory methods.  Her monograph, The Web of Knowledge: Encyclopaedias in the digital age, is forthcoming by Cambridge Polity.




How to Cite

Alevizou, G. (2017). From digital commons to the data-fied urge: Theorising evolving trends in the intersections of digital culture and open education. First Monday, 22(6).