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Critical blog

What are the key areas / disciplines / ideas that are being explored


The key ideas that are being explored are: the student as consumer is what the author is calling here a “double problem” In a sense, it is both inherently destructive to the university, and it is being wrongly implemented, even under its own conditions.


In academic fields such as higher education (HE), it is generally believed that the character and determination of British universities are being reshaped by marketization. Although the purpose of these reforms is to surge answerability, receptiveness, and worth of education for the expanded higher education area rather than the exclusive education sector. Academics from different corrections have put forward in detail the threat of marketization to the basic purpose, value and ideals of true “higher” education ( Boden and Epstein 2006; Lynch 2006; Marginson 1997; Naidoo and Williams 2015; Natale and Doran 2012; Potts 2005; Ritzer 1998, and also student comment, e.g. Afolabi and Stockwell 2012).

The problem stems from why they are unwilling to treat students as customers. This reluctance seems to be based on the idea that if students are treated as customers, academic rigor will automatically disappear. (Albanese 1999; Bay & Daniel 2001; Franz 1998).


Rajani Naidoo and Joanna Williams argues that, the attempts by various national governments to restructure higher education according to market principles have constructed the student consumer as a social category, thereby altering the nature, purpose, and values of higher education. The curriculum designed to meet the needs of large numbers of students, increase incomes and address short-term financial pressures can undermine the sociocultural measurement of higher education. Due to the “marketization” of disciplines and the narrow focus on the economic competition view of students as customers, the decline of the humanities and social sciences will lead to the loss of professional knowledge and applicable skills in the responsibility system in many fields, and these academic knowledge and practical skills Is essential to the sustainable development of a democratic society. (Rajani Naidoo and Joanna Williams 2014)

What broad fields of inquiry or ideas is the paper drawing on


The author used participant observation to identify that If it repeats endlessly what the students think they already know, then it can’t be a university education at all; in particular, the implementation of structures and procedures at all levels, constantly requiring and forcing faculty, staff and students to obey, directly undermining the goal of any university teaching is to cultivate and pursue the key factor of independent inquiry, which restricts the academic freedom of university institutions and students themselves, the development of knowledge and independent thinking within the university.

The author only briefly explained it in the literature and kept claiming that students are customers. This view is to change the process of basic education in universities.

What is the main contribution to knowledge that the paper is claiming?


According to Palya (1992) and the National Academy of Engineering (2003), the contribution of knowledge is not only based on previous literature, but also based on rationality and exploration to create new theories.


With this in mind, Professor Karín Lesnik-Oberstein (2017) has contributed a somewhat in-depth of research to the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 and the government’s introduction of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), regarding the ‘double problem’. The first aspect of the “double problem”—students as consumers have essentially undermined university education—when considering how to define the “excellence” of university education is knowledge that can be identified and verified in research in various academic fields. The second aspect of “dual problems” is that the system’s working procedures are single and there are serious problems-relying on Microsoft data can only reflect the quality of teaching and cannot fundamentally solve the problems raised by the students themselves.


The author uses the literature about the harm caused by the concept of “students as consumers” to universities, faculty, and students as the basis for forming the article’s argument.

What is the core methodology that underpins the research


In this article, the abduction method is used to criticize, which can be seen as a mixed model of deduction and induction, which is displayed in surprising facts. (Ketokivi and Mantere 2010). This surprising fact is a conclusion, not a premise. The author uses facts to criticize the new insights of the impact of the concept of students as consumers. In abduction, the article puts forward logical conclusions that are acceptable but not necessary. Experience events are related to rules and provide new insights on issues (Kovács & Spens 2005).



This study uses qualitative research methods, using primary and secondary data. There are many reasons for using qualitative methods. First of all, the human factor in British universities is very important for academic research. Therefore, by contacting scholars who understand the “University Philosophy” to conduct investigations, obtain more accurate information and answer research questions. Second, since the purpose of this article is to criticize the hidden dangers and consequences caused by the concept of students as consumers, rather than confirming or rejecting hypotheses, qualitative methods are more appropriate. Third, this method has greater flexibility and adjustability, and is more suitable for authors who collect non-digital data text and written or spoken language. Fourth, qualitative research has been conducted. For example, a large amount of data on the academic freedom of European universities is published every year. Therefore, the author conducted identification data collection. Finally, the qualitative method can be completed in a relatively short time.

Does the evidence / argument presented substantiate the claims being made?


Although the author implement structures and procedures at every level that continuously demand and enforce staff were analyzed from three dimensions: assessment indicators, assessment methods and assessment methods discuss how to practice the aims of any university teaching to develop and the practice of obedience and compliance to pursue independent enquiry and knowledge, the author should also explain that students’ evaluation of teachers leads to teachers’ lowering of academic standards through surveys and interviews (Dennis E. Clayson and Debra A. Haley 2005.) For example, a Birnbaum’s survey found that more than 65% of teachers believed that holding scores to a high standard in the classroom would lower students’ evaluation of themselves. When asked if students’ assessment encouraged teachers to discount the course content, 72% of teachers gave the affirmative answers, and almost 49 percent said they provided less material in class than before. A third of teachers said they lowered standards to get students to pass exams. Only 7 percent of them raised the bar on their test scores. Seventy percent of students believe that grade scores affect a teacher’s ranking. (Birnbaum, M.H. 2000)


Furthermore, Michael Delucchi and Willian L. Smith provide research that agrees that the damage caused to universities, staff and students by the notion of the “student as consumer” is reflected in the relationship between teachers and students. Once it is determined that students are consumers, when students’ expectations are inconsistent with teachers’ educational purpose, based on the basic principle of satisfying consumers, the administrator will think that the fault lies with teachers, because they fail to satisfy consumers. Michael Delucchi and Willian L. Smith have pointed out this educational dilemma: “Teachers must avoid asking students to complete difficult tasks, because it may lead to students unpleasant or anger. We regard this approach to higher education as an obstacle to pedagogy.” (Michael Delucchi and William L. Smith. Satisfied Customers Versus Pedagogic Responsibility: Further Thoughts on Student Consumerism. Teaching Sociology, 1997(25):335) Which further supports the importance of the research Karín Lesnik-Oberstein (2017) carried out exploring the hidden dangers caused by the notion of student as consumer.


Does the author have a biased/prejudiced position?


The author carries out research to prove the argument, that the author does not fully understand what the link between the National Student Survey [NSS] and universities’ status and funding is, what these are used for and the meaning behind these feedback forms.


Although some of the author’s views in the article may be regarded as biased, the research does clearly confirm that the fatal impact of these radical measures can be used as an important reference for reserve scholars to solve similar problems. Mutual recommendation and research and a clear explanation of the critical thinking link in the article. Next, I will summarize and conduct in-depth research on the problems in my two blogs





  1. Boden, R., and D. Epstein. 2006. “Managing the Research Imagination? Globalisation and Research in Higher Education.” Globalisation, Societies and Education 4 (2): 223–36
  2. Afolabi, F., and L. Stockwell. 2012. “Graduate View: We Are Not Customers.” The Guardian, November 7. Accessed December 14, 2015.
  3. Lynch, K. 2006. “Neo-liberalism and Marketisation: The Implications for Higher Education.” European Educational Research Journal 5 (1): 1–17
  4. Albanese, M. (1999). Students are not customers: A better model for medical education. Academic Medicine, 74, 1172–1186.
  5. Marginson, S. 1997. Markets in Education. Sydney: Allen and Unwin
  6. Naidoo, R., and J. Williams. 2015. “The Neoliberal Regime in English Higher Education: Charters, Consumers and the Erosion of the Public Good.” Critical Studies in Education 56 (2): 208–223.

Rajani Naidoo and Joanna Williams, professors, in Student Agreements and  Student Consumers: The Marketization of Learning and the Erosion of Higher Education as a Public Good, 2014

  1. Natale, S. M., and C. Doran. 2012. “Marketisation of Education: An Ethical Dilemma.” Journal of Business Ethics 105 (2): 187– 96.
  2. Potts, M. 2005. “The Consumerist Subversion of Education.” Academic Questions 18 (3): 54–64
  3. Ritzer, G. 1998. The McDonaldization Thesis. London: Sage
  4. Bay, D., & Daniel, H. (2001). The student is not the customer: An alternative perspective. Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 11, 1–19.
  5. Birnbaum, M. H. (2000). A Survey of Faculty Opinions Concerning Student Evaluation of Teaching. Fullerton: California State University. Retrieved from faculty3.htm
  6. Terence Karran and Lucy Mallinson, Academic Freedom in the UK: Legal and Normative Protection in a Comparative
    Context, Report for the University and College Union, 2017. The report was also featured in an article in the Times Higher
    Magazine – see at:
    (accessed on 14-06-2017) The UCU also issued a press release about it, at:
    academics-warn-of-low-levels-of-protection-for-academic-freedom?list=1676 (accessed on 14-06-2017)
    The full UNESCO recommendation is available from UNESCO at
    URL_ID=13144&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html (accessed on 14-06-2017)
  7. Two strategies for inductive reasoning in organizational research M Ketokivi, S Mantere – Academy of management review, 2010 –
  8. Gyöngyi Kovács (Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration, Helsinki, Finland), Abductive Reasoning in Logistics Research (2005)
  9. Academic Freedom in the U.K.: Legal and Normative Protection in a Comparative Context Report for the University and College Union by Terence Karran and Lucy Mallinson (2017)
  10. Dennis E. Clayson and Debra A. Haley. Marketing Models in Education: Students as Customers, Products, or Partners. Marketing Education Review, 2005,15(1):5,4,6-8.
  11. Ostrom, A. L., Bitner, M. J., & Burkhard, K. A. (2011). Leveraging service blueprinting to rethink higher education: When students become ‘valued customers,’ everybody wins. Center for American Progress. Retrieved from 10512/leveraging-service-blueprinting-to-rethink-higher-education/
  12. Mazzarol, T. (1998). Critical success factors for international education marketing. International Journal of Educational Management, 12(4), 163–175
  13. Mark, E. (2013a). Student satisfaction and the customer focus in higher education. Journal of Higher Education Policy & Management, 35(1), 2–10
  14. Cuthbert, R. (2010). Students as customer? Higher Education Review, 42(3), 3–25.
  15. Hemsley-Brown, J., & Oplatka, I. (2006). Universities in a competitive global marketplace: A systematic review of the literature on higher education marketing. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 19(4), 316–338.
  16. Caru, A., & Cova, B. (2003). Revisiting consumption experience: A more humble but complete view of the concept. Marketing Theory, 3(2), 267–286.

23. Michael Delucchi and William L. Smith.1997(25):335

Critical and contemporary essay issue

A brief critical review of Hopkins_2016


Focusing on how the digital devices challenge existing pedagogies and whether the Connectivism is a pedagogy for the digital age, the article speaks volumes about what could be considered as the The changing learning framework will be implemented in the future. In the article, do tablets cure the pedagogy headache? Firstly, Hopkins (2016) explores it from existing paradigmatic positions: two epistemological camps of objectivism and constructivism. On an objectivist approach to learning based on memory and testing, Hopkins (2016) discusses that he believes the tablet computer support this kind of pedagogy and advanced mobile devices and well-structured systems make teaching beneficial. Instead of being replaced by technology, teachers can use technology in a variety of ways to complement and expand on what good teachers already do. He discusses, tablet technologies can support these social constructivist pedagogies. The use of mobile devices not only promotes different situational learning and real three-dimensional learning inside and outside the classroom, but also promotes cooperative learning and collaborative learning. He concludes,. Although there are many benefits of technology and equipment in supporting existing teaching, we still need some new methods to develop the potential of technology equipment


Secondly, Hopkins (2016) explore whether the Connectivism is a pedagogy for the digital age to encounter the challenges brought by the digital devices for the existing pedagogies and the schooling of the future.

He explains the development of the definition and the core principles of Connectivism, he discusses the critics to assure whether the Connectivism fulfills the requirements for a learning theory. He explores the link with the ideas of communities of practice (Lave and Wenger, 1991) and dialogic communication, simply using Self-Organised Learning Systems (SOLE)and school of cloud(Dolan, Leat, Smith, Mitra, Todd and Wall, 2013) advocated by Sugata Mitra who took the idea of distributed cognition.


He concludes, Connectionism poses challenges both in terms of teaching methods and teaching structure in the convenience and boundary constraints of time and comprehensive geographic environment.

Connectionism, which recognizes that the network is connected to each other with a more complex and complete teaching system

Finally, he identifies that the online-environment is important for the development of he introduces connectionism occurs in the interconnection of networks. He concluded: Connectionism will become a transformative learning model for contemporary students. The main reason for the change is that the current teaching method is under regulation and control, but it is incompatible with the connectionist teaching method.

Although he has some good points, he fails to express throughout the article how to redesign the mobile learning in schools via the “new” pedagogy of Connectivism, focusing more on moving from formal, rigid learning into an environment of informal, connection-based, network-creating learning (Siemens 2005b).


  • What ideas / papers have influenced this paper? 


Connectivism Learning Theory was proposed by George Siemens in 2005. In the information age when human society is increasingly open and complex, in the context of knowledge explosion and accelerated updating speed, the learning theory was proposed for how human learning should change in order to meet the challenges to human development in this era. According to this theory, knowledge is a network phenomenon (Downes, 2012), and learning is the establishment of connections and the formation of networks, including neural networks, conceptual networks and external/social networks (Siemens, 2005b). The goal of learning is knowledge growth based on creation, that is, knowledge circulation (Siemens, 2012; Downes, 2012).



What are the key areas / disciplines / ideas that are being explored?


The author of the article, Professor Hopkins, believes that these original principles indicate that they will bring about substantial changes to the learning environment of current schools, universities and world-wide learning organizations, and will be familiar to the majority of students and popular in learning in most parts of the world. It is difficult and challenging.


This is an understandable statement. As the product of the development of computer technology in the digital age, Connectionism reveals how we should learn in the digital age. Connectionism defines learning as the process of connecting and forming a network. It is a constantly developing process, and its purpose is for the circulation and growth of knowledge.


From the point of view of Kuhn, a science and technology philosopher, pedagogical research and educational practice must make a paradigm shift in accordance with the characteristics of the times (Thomas Sammual Kuhn, 1962). “The development trend of education is to shift from traditional education institutions, to a mixed, diversified and complex learning pattern, realize the formal learning, non-formal learning and informal learning, let the school education and normal education institutions to interact closely with other non-formal education experiences, and this interaction should start from early childhood, and last for a lifetime.”(UNESCO, 2017, P48) At the same time, with the development of artificial intelligence, we need to liberate students from outdated education models, so that they can control their own future, enable them to have a high degree of information screening ability to coexist with robots and defend against them in the workplace (Joseph E. Aoun, 2019).


Thanks to the development of MOOCs and various high-quality online education resources, universities are also opening up. Many universities are starting to offer online courses, establish university alliances and conduct mutual credit recognition. In the future, it is possible to form a global network system of multiple universities (Joseph E. Aoun, 2019).


What conceptual frameworks / theories are being quoted?


George Siemens was the first introduced the concept of Connectivism in 2005 (Siemens, 2005a, 2005b) and later Steven Downes put forward on his own blog (Downes, 2007), although the idea has been substantially criticqued as well,  Siemens and Downes are not only the core representatives of the theory of Connectivism, but also the core promoters of the practical form of the theory -cMOOCs.



What wider body of knowledge is the author drawing on?


The author has drawn on two epistemological camps those of objectivism and constructivism. Objectivism focuses on teaching, while constructivism focuses on learning.


The objectivist view of knowledge holds that knowledge is an objective truth,  which is manifested through natural and social phenomena. The function of teaching is to convey this knowledge correctly to the students, who should ultimately gain the same understanding from the knowledge transmitted. Teachers are the master of knowledge standards, so they should be in the central position.


There are controversies about the advantages and disadvantages of the objectivist teaching method. the objectivist teaching method is still the dominant teaching concept in today’s era, and most educators are still using it and have established a specific evaluation system around it. What is advocated in the newly promoted connectionist teaching method is that tablet computers and similar electronic devices can provide technical support for this leading teaching method.. Technology is not to replace the teacher but to supplement the efficiency and effectiveness of the combination of what the teacher does with the application software and improve the traditional objectivist teaching method. With the development of digital content, teachers can realize multiple teaching methods. The development of applications software (Apps) allow the ‘traditional’ objectivist pedagogic approach to be improved by ‘’efficiency’ and ‘effectiveness’ (McCormick and Scrimshaw, 2001).



Constructivism believes that “reality” is nothing more than the mind of the knower. It is the knower who constructs reality or at least explains reality based on his own experience. The knowledge of learners should be constructed by themselves in their interaction with the environment, rather than instilled. Constructivist theory is not a new point of view. As an epistemology, it can be traced back to ancient philosophers Socrates and Kant. As a learning theory, it can be connected with the theories of famous psychologists such as  Piaget.J , Vygotsky (L), and Bruner (J. Bruner).

A series of technological devices, such as tablet computers, provide information and media technology support for constructivist teaching methods, and promote students’ real-world learning experience inside and outside the classroom. Learners are encouraged to become active constructors of knowledge (Neiss 2005) and build knowledge exploration skills in conversation and collaboration with their peers, so as to meet the basic requirements of the new teaching method for students to cultivate their self-learning ability and learning efficiency.



  1. UNESCO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Rethinking Education:Towards a global common good,2015)

  1. Thomas Sammual Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions1962)
  2. Joseph E. Aoun, Robot-Proof, Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence,2018)
  3. Siemens, G. (2005a). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 2(1), January. Available at:, accessed 24 April, 2016.
  4. Siemens, G. (2005b). Connectivism: Learning as network creation. Available at:, accessed 1 May, 2016.
  5. Connectivism and connective knowledge essays on meaning and learning networks(pdf)(Siemens, Downes 2012)
  6. Downes, S. (2007) ‘An introduction to connective knowledge’. In T.Hug (Ed) Media,

knowledge and education – Exploring new spaces, relations and dynamics in digital media ecologies. Proceedings of the International Conference held on June 25-26. Innsbruck: Innsbruck University Press.

8  Piaget J (author), Duckworth E (translator). Genetic Epistemology. American Behavioral Scientist. 1970;13(3):459-480.


  • Vygotsky, L (1978). Interaction between learning and development. Cambridge, Harvard University Press.
  • Bruner, J. S. (1966).Toward a theory of instruction, Cambridge, Mass.: Belkapp Press.
  • Niess, M. L. (2005). Preparing Teachers to Teach Science and Mathematics with Technology: Developing a Technology Pedagogical Content Knowledge. Teaching and Teacher Education, 21, 509-523.
  • Joseph E. Aoun: Robot-proof: higher education at the age of artificial intelligence MIT Press, 2018, pp 216, ISBN: 978-0-262-53597-7 Rosa Leonor Ulloa-Cazarez Genetic Programming and Evolvable Machines volume 21, pages265–267 (2020).08 October 2019
  • Lave, J. and Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge, CUP
  • McCormick, R. and Scrimshaw, P. (2001.) Information and communications technology, knowledge and pedagogy. Education, Communication and Information, 1(1).
  • Dolan, P., Leat, D., Smith, M., Mitra S., Todd, L. and Wall, K. (2013). Self-organised learning environment in an English school: An example of transformative pedagogy, Online Educational Research Journal. Available at:, accessed 7 June, 2016.












Tai chi is a health-promoting exercise with slow, graceful, continuous movements. In July 2002, the Time, a weekly magazine of the United States, compared the ancient Chinese tai chi to the perfect exercise. It is an aerobic health exercise with more than 150 million practitioners in the world.





There is good evidence that tai chi will help people to reduce stress, improve posture, balance and general mobility. Meanwhile, tai chi allows you to increase the ability of the lungs to absorb oxygen and detoxify. Despite this, however, it is the best way to relieve stress and boost immunity during the COVID-19 epidemic.

Tai chi can be done at any age if you do it in the right way. It is acceptable to start at the age of 10 or 20. It’s never too late for the people aged 55 and over. Tai chi is suitable for anyone of any age.




What’s really important is the need for right dress equipment, which will hugely help your tai chi journey, allowing you to practice from the comfort of your own home.

Dress then in any right sort of clothing for tai chi – something loose and comfortable that you can move around in. Of course, you can create the tai chi look with the shirt and trousers showed in the picture above.

Pair with the flat soft shoes. Thick soled shoes should be avoided.




Increase the alertness of the nervous system

There is some evidence that gradually practicing tai chi adjusts the central nervous system to a certain extent. It will really help to increase your brain health, stretch and strength various parts of your body.


Improve cardiopulmonary function

Some research suggests that tai chi can make the abdominal muscles and abdominal mucosa interact to increase the air permeability in the body, and accelerate the blood flow in the abdomen to achieve the regular changes in abdominal pressure. By practicing tai chi regularly, you will gradually keep your heart healthy and blood pressure regulated.

Promote the flexibility of the body

The gentle tai chi exercise can effectively stretch out your back, get your blood circulating and increase your body strength. The more that you can exercise properly, the more ankles and knees health you’ll retain which play a huge part in protecting your joints from the damage.





Outside of the physical benefits, it’s also important to remember a number of mental benefits.

With depression becoming more common, tai chi can be an incredible way for you to fight you own boredom or depression.

Like any low-intensity exercise, you just practice it regularly and make sure you do it right. This will help you to keep your body healthy and running as normal, as well as truly allow yourself to relax.




Here is the basics of tai chi from an instructor to make sure your style is correct, effective and won’t cause injury. It’s a good idea to get advice from your GP before you start tai chi if you have a medical condition or any health concerns.

The is a great place where you can find tai chi classes in your area.


Keep your feet shoulder-width apart naturally

Stand with your feet parallel and your knees slightly bent

The calf should be basically perpendicular to the ground


When leveling your hands, straighten your palms naturally, and your fingertips should not be higher than your eyes.

When pushing the hand according to the curve, you should always adjust your center of gravity and keep it stable.

Don’t bend your knees too much. When moving left and right, don’t concentrate all your strength on the front legs.



Calm down and relax

When practicing Tai Chi, you should centre your mind and keep yourself calm down.  At the same time, tai chi is characterized by its graceful movements that are gentle on the joints and muscles.

Round and coherent

Tai chi is a kind of systemic exercise. Firstly,”Coherence” refers to multiple aspects. the continuity of the limbs, which is based on the waist. Secondly,in the process of movement conversion, the lower limbs are belted around the hips, hips around the knees, and knees around the feet, upper limbs are backed with a belt, shoulders with slings, shoulders with elbows, and hands with elbows. Finally, the connection between actions, there is no break or pause between each action.

Natural breathing and calm movements

Done Correctly, the tai chi poses flow smoothly from one to another. First of all, we must pay attention to the proper transformation of the virtual and the reality. There is no instability in the various parts of the body during the movement. As well as becoming stronger, the legs that mainly support the weight of the lower limbs are solid, and the auxiliary support or movement and step change are virtual; Finally, the arms that reflect the main content of the movement are the real upper limbs, and the auxiliary arms are virtual.

Uniform speed

Beginners in tai chi adopt the deep breathing method. The essence of Tai Chi is to inhale and withdraw breath, making the movements natural and flexible without any sense of pressure.

Proper exercise

Tai chi requires slowness when it changes from one posture to another and the center of gravity transfers from one leg to the other, and it takes a long time. This greatly increases the load on the lower limbs. Therefore, beginners will often feel sore legs after practice.


Practice for a long time

The duration of each exercise, and the amount of exercise should be determined according to the work and study situation and your own physical fitness. The elderly and the infirm should adjust the amount of exercise appropriately according to their physical conditions. Please make sure your style is correct, effective and won’t cause injury. Enjoy !