LITERATURE REVIEW: OPENNESS: EXPLORING CONCEPTUALISATIONS OF PEER-TO-PEER (P2P) COLLABORATION AND PEER LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION.    

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LITERATURE REVIEW: OPENNESS: EXPLORING CONCEPTUALISATIONS OF PEER-TO-PEER (P2P) COLLABORATION AND PEER LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION.        

Abstract:  

Concepts of ‘openness’ in education hinge on interactions between individuals and organisations and boundaries within which these interactions exist. The future development of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) technologies in Higher Education rests on the critical decisions of ‘openness’ (‘open’ & ‘free’ education). The conceptualisations are largely influenced by those responsible for making political, economic and social decisions. I argue that NZ is currently in a favourable position to take advantage of P2P technologies because it has the basic infrastructure to support collaborative technologies (digital interconnectivity-Web 2.0 moving into Web 3.0).  This literature review explores the value of philosophical perspectives or ‘foundational schools of thought on openness’ from theorists such as Karl Popper, Michel Foucault, and Jürgen Habermas  - which act as a measuring stick in this literature review to gauge the position of NZ HE’s ‘open’ education within a global tertiary education context.  

‘Openness’ and the concept of ‘neoliberalism’ in the two main philosophical theories of Michel Foucault on Governmentality (‘biopower’) and Jürgen Habermas on Communicative Action are at the heart of the ‘democratisation of the knowledge economy’ debate. There is no point of convergence when comparing the theory of Foucault and Habermas. Foucault is mainly concerned with providing a genealogical account of the diffusion of power (political & economic), whereas Habermas is concerned with creating a political philosophy based on the recognition of the communicative capacities of rational human beings. Foucault neglects this notion of Habermas. I reason that openness and collaborative networks for teaching and learning are powerful tools for HE in NZ if it is ‘free’ (or low cost) and open. NZ has been part of a neoliberal ‘experiment’ (1980 to the 1990s) where political, economic and social structures were reformed.  NZ was influenced by ‘Reaganism (USA)’ and ‘Thatcherism (UK)’ – these are Neoliberal approaches which include elements of ‘free market’ principles, privatisation and minimum interference with the private sector (individualistic concepts).  

 

P2P technologies implemented by some OECD countries compared to NZ (New Zealand) shows that NZ HE (Higher Education) is utilising and implementing P2P technologies (VLE’s, video, podcasts, vodcasts, microblogging, and Moodle) successfully and effectively to enhance peer teaching and learning. I reason, with specific reference to the fundamental notion of the ‘openness school of thought’, that the P2P learning and teaching technologies in NZ HE are well developed, and NZ takes every opportunity to develop and refine the infrastructure and software available.  

 

The Neoliberalist (‘laissez fair’) approach refers to an economic system in which transactions between private parties are free from government interference, such as regulations, privileges, tariffs, and subsidies (Peters, 2011; Olsen & Peters, 2005). I reason that this approach in HE shows agendas seeking profit over altruism. The paradigm of education as a ‘social good’ within the knowledge economy (knowledge to be shared) is at the heart of the philosophical approach in this paper. Peters (2011) suggests that what is required is a change in ‘ethos’. “It is not the confidence and trust of the markets but rather the development of trust that comes with the radically decentered democratic collaboration that epitomises distributed knowledge, political and energy systems” (Peters, 2011, p.182). 

 

It is clear in that NZ HE tertiary institutions are becoming more ‘open’ through sharing resources, for example, the Research Commons (Waikato University), nzresearch.org.nz, OpenDOAR (Authoritative Directory of Academic Open Access Repositories), and ROAR (Global Registry of Open Access Repositories), and other.  

I also show how indigenous Māori culture (New Zealand context) embraces concepts of ako [reciprocal learning/teaching [ and Te Whāriki [‘a woven mat for all to stand on’] which is illuminated in social media (Twitter), as an empowering platform for connected learning. The P2P networks within a collaborative digital ‘communicative’ framework provide the ‘woven mat of co-created experiences and knowledge’ (devolved-communicative action principle) as an alternative to a neoliberalist approach (‘Reaganism/Reaganomics & Thatcherism’). Finally, it is recommended that a ‘community’ paradigm and the reinstitution of the ‘welfare state’ (education for the good of all), away from the current ‘individualistic’ approach where the wealth (and knowledge) does not trickle down to the large ‘base’ section (typical pyramid hierarchy) of society, be established. I agree with a rollback of the neoliberal state to a ‘welfare state’ as experienced in NZ before 1980 neoliberal reforms/experiments (Peters, 2011). From the second (interactionist) perspective, I reason that knowledge is socially constructed through shared understandings (‘communicative action’ - Habermas). This process could contribute to a better understanding of NZ HE's conceptualisation of P2P technologies to promote openness.  

Conclusion:

The real value of openness, “…open source, open access, and open development, is that it enables people to work together to solve common problems” (Peters, Besley & Araya, 2014, p.284). Openness in HE inaugurates a new era of social development and production. ‘P2P technologies of openness’, within an HE context, promotes and enhance the development of “social labour”, “social media”, and “social production” (Peters, Besley and Araya, 2014).  I have argued how Popper, laying the foundation for openness, on which Foucault and Habermas’ theories build in this paper, opposes the inevitable and deterministic pattern of history. According to Popper (1966), it is the democratic responsibility of everyone to make a free contribution to the evolutionary process of society. Hence, transparency and trust are the keys to this ‘ethos’. 


Keywords:


 Peer-to-Peer Collaboration (P2P), Peer Learning (PL), Peer Assisted Learning (PAL), Openness,  Neoliberalism, Post-Neoliberalism, Higher Education (HE), New Zealand (NZ), Conceptualisation, Governmentality & Biopower (Foucault), Communicative Action (Jürgen Habermas), Karl Popper, Microblogging, Twitter, and P2P Technologies.


Theorists:

Jürgen Habermas: Habermas's theoretical system is devoted to revealing the possibility of reason, emancipation, and rational-critical communication latent in modern institutions and in the human capacity to deliberate and pursue rational interests.

Karl Popper: Popper allows that there are often legitimate purposes for positing non-scientific theories. He argues that theories that start out as non-scientific can later become scientific as we determine methods for generating and testing specific predictions based on these theories.

Michel Foucault: Foucault's entire philosophy is based on the assumption that human knowledge and existence are profoundly historical. He argues that what is most human about man is his history. He discusses the notions of history, change and historical method at some length at various points in his career.

Henri Bergson: Bergson considers the appearance of novelty as a result of pure undetermined creation instead of as the predetermined result of mechanistic forces. His philosophy emphasizes pure mobility, unforeseeable novelty, creativity and freedom; thus, one can characterize his system as a process philosophy.

George Soros: Soros is a supporter of progressive and liberal political causes, to which he dispenses donations through his foundation, the Open Society Foundations.

APA citation:

Van Zyl (2016)

APA referencing:

Van Zyl, W. (2016). Literature Review: Openness – Exploring Conceptualisations of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Collaboration and Peer Learning in Higher Education. Published to five House Publishing. https://fivehousepublishing.com/product/literature-review-openness-exploring-conceptualisations-of-peer-to-peer-p2p-collaboration-and-peer-learning-in-higher-education/

 

Start FairStarts! A project that aims to create a network of incubators to help develop transnational, open and cooperative projects in the collaborative P2P economy. Article - by Enric Duran - March 2015. Credit: https://cdn3-blog.p2pfoundation.net/wp-content/uploads/fairstarts_featured.png


ACADEMIC ARTICLE - Link to the ebook: https://fivehousepublishing.com/product/literature-review-openness-exploring-conceptualisations-of-peer-to-peer-p2p-collaboration-and-peer-learning-in-higher-education/

Foucault (theorist) and ‘Biopower’ (panopticon concept):

Above image: Presidio Modelo prison, inside one of the buildings, 2005. The deserted prison, designed with the idea of a panopticon in mind, is located in Cuba. Source: “Presidio-modelo2” by I. Friman. Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Presidio-modelo2.JPG#/media/File:Presidio-modelo2.JPG

Referring to the panopticon concept the philosophy of Foucault (1977) opposes this ‘system’ of society. Applied to a P2P perspective, he calls for reciprocal observation, transparency, and the sharing of power. It suggests a top to bottom and bottom to top transparency of the typical hierarchical pyramid of power. Reciprocal transparency, openness and scrutiny are the cornerstone within such a system (Peters, 2011). The notion is that P2P networks and power structures, by being combined and generalised,  attain a level at which the formation of knowledge and the increase in power regularly reinforce one another in a circular process (Foucault, 1977). This component of trust has to be communicated and negotiated into P2P structures. The population engaging in the P2P activities and technologies are to ensure that authentic, transparent, and trustworthy networks are established, and the sharing of knowledge is maintained including the protection of privacy (Peters, Besley, & Araya, 2014). It is critical that all parties involved feel protected and valued.


Popper, Bergson and Soros (Openness):

Popper’s notion is that the future path of a society cannot be predicted on a purely scientific basis (Peters & Britez, 2008). The work of Henri Bergson (born 1859-1941) and George Soros’ (born 1930) work on fallibilism (Latin “liable to err”) is anchored in the philosophical notion that human beings could be wrong about their personal beliefs. Soros and Popper (1966), builds on the work of Henri Bergson (1859 –1941) and the German philosopher Kant (1724-1804). Their works are supported by the notion that humanity had come to crossroads where it must allow space for free will to unfold in an autonomous and unpredictable fashion. The expectations and eventually humanity’s interpretation and understanding of the world and how it functions could be incorrect within the context of an individual’s personal belief system. Irrespective of human belief, Popper (1966) continues to argue, that the person could still be justified in holding their incorrect beliefs. Relating this notion to the ‘openness’ of the education debate, they suggest that society must allow the ‘free flow’ of knowledge in an unrestricted way. Knowledge should not be controlled and restricted where the ‘top of the knowledge pyramid’ has the exclusive rights and they allow the filtering of knowledge to the ‘base of the pyramid’ at a set price. It is the abolishment of this restrictive flow of knowledge and education which Bergson, Popper, and Soros call for; free will has to unfold in an autonomous and unpredictable fashion. Hence, the crucial nature of conceptualising openness in education through this lens is the focus away from ‘individualism’ to a ‘community’ approach, as will be discussed.



DETAILS: WORD COUNT: 15,000 words (129 pages size A4 -font size P 12). APA Reference style.

The relevance of this literature to researchers

This literature review could be useful to scholars researching topics on P2P collaboration and other P2P-related areas of interest. It provides the groundwork and basic premises for P2P-related research. It also introduces the philosophical theories of Bergson, Popper, Soros, Foucault and Habermas within a P2P and open society (knowledge economy) context.

Who could benefit from this Literature Review?

Graduate and postgraduate students could find this review useful.

 

Glossary and Abbreviations

 

Higher Education – HE

Peer-to-Peer (collaboration) – P2P

Peer Learning – PL

Peer Assisted Learning – PAL

Open Education – OE

Open Education Resource – OER

New Zealand – NZ

Open Society – OS

Student-centred learning – SCL

Prosumer Innovation – PI

Collective Intelligence – CI

Global Citizens – GC

Open Access – OA

Artificial Intelligence –AI

Intelligent Web – IW

Background to the Literature Review:

This review is part of a dissertation by the author (2016) with the title “Exploring Conceptualisations of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Collaboration and Peer Learning in New Zealand Higher Education”.  The review could be used within a global context, and scholars could adapt and modify the review to fit a specific comparative study on P2P Collaboration and Peer Learning in Higher Education (HE). The theoretical perspectives on openness (open education theorist Popper), and the other philosophers (Foucault & Habermas) could be useful in exploring these conceptualisations in a P2P context.

Biopower and Communicative action (theories):

‘Openness’ and the concept of ‘neoliberalism’ in the two main philosophical theories of Michel Foucault on Governmentality (‘biopower’) and Jürgen Habermas on Communicative Action are at the heart of the ‘democratisation of the knowledge economy’ debate. There is no point of convergence when comparing the theory of Foucault and Habermas. Foucault is mainly concerned with providing a genealogical account of the diffusion of power (political & economic). In contrast, Habermas is concerned with creating a political philosophy based on the recognition of the communicative capacities of rational human beings, which Foucault neglects. I reason that openness and collaborative networks for teaching and learning are powerful tools for HE in NZ if it is ‘free’ (or low cost) and open.


Categories: 

Ebooks - Academic Papers, Ebooks - Peer to Peer (P2P) Collaboration and Learning Tags: ako [reciprocal learning/teaching], Biopower, collective intelligence (CI), Communicative Action, Conceptualisation, democratisation, digital interconnectivity, ethos, five house publishing, George Soros, global citizen, Globalisation, Governmentality, Henri Bergson, Higher Education (HE), interactionist view, Jurgen Habermas, Karl popper, Knowledge-Economy, laissez fair, Liberalism, Michel Foucault, Microblogging, MOOC’s, Moodle, Neoliberalism, New Zealand (NZ), Open Education (OE), Open Education Resources (OER), Openness, P2P Technologies. Maori, Peer Assisted Learning (PAL), Peer Learning (PL), Peer-to-Peer Collaboration (P2P), podcasts, Post-Neoliberalism, prosumer innovation (PI), Reaganism, Reaganomics, reciprocal learning, research Commons, student-centred learning (SCL), Te Whāriki [‘a woven mat for all to stand on], Thatcherism, Twitter, video, VLE’s, vodcasts, Web 2.0, Web 3.0, the welfare state, william van zyl

Table of Contents

 

Literature Review: Openness – Exploring Conceptualisations of

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Collaboration and Peer Learning in Higher

Education. Page 4

Abstract: Page 4

Concepts of ‘openness’ in education hinge on interactions between individuals and organisations and boundaries within which these interactions exist. The future development of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) technologies of Higher Education rests on the critical decisions of ‘openness’ (‘open’ & ‘free’ education). The conceptualisations are largely influenced by those responsible for making political, economic and social decisions. I argue that NZ is currently in a favourable position to take advantage of P2P technologies because it has the basic infrastructure to support collaborative technologies (digital interconnectivity-Web 2.0 moving into Web 3.0).  This literature review explores the value of philosophical perspectives or ‘foundational schools of thought on openness’ from theorists such as Karl Popper, Michel Foucault, and Jürgen Habermas  – which act as a measuring stick in this thesis to gauge the position of NZ HE’s ‘open’ education within a global tertiary education context. 4

Keywords: Page 8

Glossary and Abbreviations  P 9

  1. Collaboration and P2P networks P 15

1.1 What is P2P     Page 15

1.2 The Semantic Web, Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and Web 3.0  15

1.3 Henri Bergson, Karl Popper and George Soros on ‘free will’ and the Open Society  24

1.4 P2P collaboration, and the disadvantages of P2P collaboration, PAL and PL  29

1.5 Comments below on disadvantages listed from no. 1 to 6 by W van Zyl – referring to Table 4 (Topping & Ehly, 1998): 32

Disadvantage no. 1: Build time into PAL courses and tutoring  32

Disadvantage no. 2: Monitor PAL and P2P closely and give feedback as soon as possible  32

Disadvantage no. 3: The ‘range and depth’ of PAL and P2P teaching and learning  33

Disadvantage no. 4: Close monitoring of PAL and P2P and the rapid changes required by tutors to keep learning and teaching on track  34

Disadvantage no. 5: Ethical concerns: accountability, peer competence, and informed consent regarding PAL and P2P courses  34

Disadvantage no. 6: General misconceptions: No equal opportunities; students are not teachers; not effective for all groups (e.g. gifted and talented, students with learning difficulties, physically disabled students, and other categories). 36

1.6 Openness and New Zealand Higher Education; the focus of the literature review   36

1.7 The Intelligent Web (IW) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) 38

2.0 Openness: Prosumer engagement in Peer-to-Peer collaboration and Peer Learning (PL). Page 40

2.1 P2P Collaboration and PL in the Knowledge Economy  41

2.2 A short historical overview on Neoliberalism (‘Reaganism’ & ‘Thatcherism’) and the New Zealand ‘Neoliberal Experiment’ (1980 to 1990) 44

2.3 Education generations in higher education: Education 1.0, Education 2.0 and Education 3.0  46

2.4 The industrial revolution as an analogy of prosumer production  51

2.5 The three vital aspects of the P2P collaboration process and the four levels of P2P  52

The four levels of the P2P collaboration process (Bauwens, 2014) 52

2.6 Prosumer innovation: The free and open knowledge economy  58

2.7 Benkler and commons-based peer production: The ‘Wealth of Networks’. 59

2.8 Some examples of new terminology, and methods of engagement within the collaborative knowledge economy  62

2.9 The future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Web 3.0 technologies in PAL, PL and P2P collaboration in HE  64

2.10 Democratising innovation and the encouragement of prosumer innovation  66

2.11 Sharing and control in networks and social media platforms  67

2.12 Global efforts to provide a fair and open education landscape, the United Nations  68

  1. Philosophical Perspectives and P2P Technologies: Jeremy Bentham’s penitentiary concept and P2P networks Page 69

3.1 Foucault, biopower [also called neoliberalism] and the role of the state in P2P networks  71

3.2 Habermas, critical theorist, on communicative action and P2P collaboration  74

  1. Pedagogy 2.0 in HE teaching and learning P 76

  2. The relevance of this literature to researchers P 79

  3. Conclusion P 79

  4. References P 81

  5. APA Referencing (Author) P 98

  6. About the researcher P 99

VIDEO: YOCHAI BENKLER EXPLAINS SOCIAL PRODUCTION.

 

Book by Yochai Benkler: The Wealth of Networks (Free PDF)