The rise of EdTech platforms in higher education: Mapping themes from emerging critical literature

Luiz H.A. De Andrade*, Duncan Andrew Thomas, Vito Laterza

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapport/proceedingBidrag til bog/antologiForskningpeer review


There is growing criticism of Big Tech platforms across different sectors of society. There is also increasing scepticism towards seemingly wholesale digitalisation of higher education (HE), largely enabled by platform firms, that followed COVID-19-related emergency online teaching. However, there is a scarcity of critical studies of the multiple, interconnected ways in which HE is affected by the rise of educational technology (EdTech) platforms and their providers. The goal of this chapter is to provide an extensive thematic review of the emerging body of work that takes a critical perspective, and particularly of work that highlights political economy dimensions of ongoing HE platformisation. We identify nine key, interrelated themes in the literature that may also signal structural shifts in HE related to rising platforms and providers. We note two meta-themes, platformisation and learnification, and seven sub-themes: datafication, assetisation, modularisation, crowdification, and peer-to-peering (under the meta-theme platformisation); and unbundling, and skillisation & short-circuiting (under the meta-theme learnification). Finally, we discuss the implications of our review, and propose a critical approach to EdTech provision, considering both negative aspects of ongoing platformisation and the need to preserve the public mission of HE in different contexts.

TitelDigital Transformations in Nordic Higher Education
RedaktørerRomulo Pinheiro, Cathrine Tømte, Linda Barman, Lise Degn, Lars Geschwind
Antal sider25
ForlagPalgrave Macmillan
Publikationsdato14 jun. 2023
ISBN (Trykt)978-3-031-27757-3, 978-3-031-27760-3
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-3-031-27758-0
StatusUdgivet - 14 jun. 2023


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