Defining a next-generation ecosystem for online learning: from changing the platform to shifting the paradigm


  • Sarah Thorneycroft University of New England



Ecosystem, Virtual learning environment, change, third space, organisational practice


While disruptive and disconnecting, the events of the last two years have also created a rich opportunity to change how we think about what we do and the contexts we work in. This conceptual paper explores the development of a more complex realisation of the ecological view of online learning and educational technologies as a new paradigm to reconnect people with technology in the organisational context. Drawing on a range of disciplines and practices, a 'next-generation' ecosystem establishes the social and organisational domains as critical additions to the technological and pedagogical domains. Also explored are the ways in which third space practitioners are pivotal in the design and delivery of such an ecosystem, and examples of the ecosystem development in practice. By considering and designing a wide range of experiences and practice domains, the 'next-generation ecosystem' concept may provide a way to meaningfully reconnect people with educational technology.