Title

The Algorithmic University: On-Line Education, Learning Management Systems, and the Struggle over Academic Labor

Publication Date

9-2-2020

Document Type

Article

Department

Political Science

Disciplines

Higher Education | Higher Education Administration

Publication Title

Critical Sociology

Volume

47

Issue

2022-07-08

DOI

10.1177/0896920520948931

First Page

1065

Last Page

1084

Abstract

The use of on-line education (OLE) to deliver higher education using learning management systems (LMS) has received growing critical attention for its reliance on precarious faculty, high dropout and failure rates, and as a form of privatization. While these critiques are well grounded, they overlook the role of OLE as a strategy for rationalizing teaching and deskilling academic labor in order to produce more self-disciplined precarious “platform” workers who can labor remotely under the control of algorithmic management. To recompose the power of academic workers, new tactics, strategies, and objectives based on an analysis of the new technical composition of capital in higher education are needed.

Keywords

academic labor, algorithmic management, edtech, learning management systems, on-line education, rationalization of labor, unbundling

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