Globalization or Colonization in Online Education: Opportunity or Oppression?

Melanie Reyes, Elizabeth A. Segal

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Scopus citations


    A proliferation of student enrollment in online higher education, particularly in social work, may reflect a neoliberal shift from public good to private commodity. Critical theory is an excellent lens to assess whether there has been such a shift. While online higher education represents opportunities for information globalization, consciousness-raising, and social justice, it may also be an instrument of colonization related to profit generation, reliance on market transactions, and power related to discourse. Recommendations made here include targeted student recruitment and accessibility, geographically and culturally grounded knowledge integration, cultivation of market skills and student voice, and intentional outcome measures.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)374-386
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Teaching in Social Work
    Issue number4-5
    StatePublished - Oct 20 2019


    • Online education
    • critical theory
    • distance learning
    • globalization
    • higher education

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education
    • Sociology and Political Science


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