The reconceptualization of knowledge as a shared entity within society has led towards a transformation in the thinking related to intellectual capital and considerations towards intellectual property and open source offerings. As the academic community has developed innovations within the online learning environment framework and is continuously innovating with respect to learning communities and communications technologies, the knowledge-based economy has led towards the sharing of original and novel improvements in the role of learning within distance learning. As such, the open source dynamic has created advances in the knowledge economy more readily than would have previously occurred. To further advance the changing role of information and communications technologies within the knowledge-based economy, a new framework has emerged; academics will no longer conceal their innovations and developed conceptual frameworks of understanding behind password-protected course management system firewalls. Knowledge will be reframed towards three levels of communication with considerations towards creation, access, and communication of knowledge within degree programs, course design, and professional development opportunities: creation of customized online learning environments for purposes of degree-granting coursework; open accessibility to the knowledge for purposes of knowledge dissemination and course redesign; and, creation of knowledge-based professional development opportunities. This shift in the open availability of knowledge, initially based upon the design and development of online learning environments, supports integral components of societal communications, connections and meaning-making, and supports the shift from the Information Age’s Knowledge Economy towards the Conceptual Age (Pink, 2005). Yet how will the open knowledge economy be reconceptualized from “closed” community learning environments? The open knowledge economy is supported through innovations focused upon framing the supportive scaffolding of information literacy, the roles of learning and the learner, the philosophical underpinnings and instructional design, and the open source distance learning course management system.
|Keywords:||Learning, Open Source, Online Learning, Distance Learning, Web-Based Learning, Web-Enhanced Learning, Cognitive Load, Higher Order Thinking Skills, Communication, Information Age, Conceptual Age, Knoweldge Economy, Social Equity, Social Justice, Social Change, Responsibilities, Lifelong Learning|
Associate Professor, Instructional Technology, University of Houston-Clear Lake, Houston, Texas, USA
Associate Profesor, College of Business, Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas, USA
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