Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

"The narrative," writes Ben Williamson, "is that HE has been made to resemble a market in which institutions, staff and students are all positioned competitively, with measurement techniques required to assess, compare and rank their various performances." It's an unsettling narrative, he writes. "The sector as a whole is expanding rapidly with the emergence and evolution of ‘the data-intensive university’." This article assesses these developments in terms of ‘metric power’, a concept from David Beer that provides a useful framing, says Williamson. While the organizationms involved "are not necessarily uncritically pursuing a market-focused neoliberal agenda," nonetheless, " these sector agencies are all now part of an expanding data infrastructure that appears almost to have its own volition and authority, and that is inseparable from political logics of competition, measurement, performance comparison, and evaluation."

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Oct 29, 2020 12:50 a.m.