Unpacking the Neoliberal Agenda: An Analysis of Cognitive Benefits and Challenges of Large Language Models in Open Educational Resources

Potential Abstract: This research study delves into the cognitive benefits and challenges of using large language models in open educational resources (OER) within the context of the neoliberal agenda. As the availability and utilization of OER continues to grow, concerns regarding the impact of new technologies on cognitive processes and educational systems have arisen. Specifically, this study investigates the potentials of large language models, such as GPT-3, in enhancing cognitive development and engagement among learners while critically examining the neoliberal influences embedded in their adoption.

Drawing on a theoretical framework rooted in sociocultural perspectives, this research employs a mixed-methods approach to analyze the cognitive benefits and challenges of large language models in OER. Firstly, through a systematic literature review, the study establishes a theoretical foundation for understanding the cognitive processes involved in language learning and the potential role of OER in supporting these processes. Secondly, an empirical investigation is conducted, comprising qualitative interviews with educators and learners, surveys, and cognitive task analysis. The qualitative component seeks to capture the perceptions and experiences of stakeholders regarding the cognitive affordances of large language models in OER, while the quantitative component aims to assess the impact of these resources on learners’ engagement, knowledge acquisition, and critical thinking skills.

Furthermore, this study critically examines the neoliberal influences shaping the adoption of large language models in OER. By analyzing policy documents, institutional practices, and implementation strategies, the research interrogates the ways in which neoliberal ideologies such as marketization, individualization, and efficiency impact the integration of large language models in educational settings. Additionally, the study investigates the implications of these neoliberal influences for equity, access, and diversity in education.

The findings of this research have significant implications for educational practitioners, policymakers, and researchers. By shedding light on the cognitive benefits and challenges associated with large language models in OER, this study aims to inform the design and implementation of these resources to maximize their potential in supporting learners’ cognitive development. Additionally, the critical examination of neoliberal influences seeks to provoke discussions on the broader societal implications of technology adoption in education.

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