My response to co-learner Maru on the course CCK08 and connectivism

After reading your post, I have mixed feelings.  First, I am glad that you recovered from your bronchitis and feeling of powerlessness.  And I greatly appreciate your openness in sharing how you think about connectivism, in that it is not entirely new, but one that is Christened. 

On the other hand, you have pointed out one the most important elements that may be missing from connectivism – the human element and emotions arising out of the connection, especially in this CCK08 course.  And you are disappointed with the lack of concerns from the group and teachers.  Also, you think you are in a network and your feelings won’t be cared by others. 

Let me share this with you and Ken: when I first read about Sia’s blog on her feeling of loneliness, my first reaction was not to extend my emotional rescue as a co-learner.  Why?  I think it is part of anyone on this “connectivism” journey, and may be how one could develop into a “co-operative, collaborative and independent” learner through such experience.  I remember when I first set up my web pages some 8 years ago, with those Google and other first generation web development tools.. no one was interested in my website.  Even when I set up my blog 2 years ago, no one visited mine.  Why?  Because blogging could be a lonesome journey, and so is an on-line course, with so many participants.  And it’s very difficult to identify the “group” and yourself in the “group” or “network”

But at the end, if you think you have learned something that you have conceptualised in your goals, you have already succeeded in achieving your goals.  It is not because of any theories, not because of any “constructive criticism” or “praises” by others, though some of them may be helpful in your learning, but because of your enthusiasm and passion towards learning.  That intrinsic motivation which sparks the learning, that keeps the learning on fire, and that shines.

So, congratulation as you have already found your way.  Assessment marks to me has little significance, so whether it is A or A+ or a C- in any test, assignment does not make any difference, though one could say it’s reflective of understanding and performance.  What makes a difference is one’s attitude towards learning and education.  People can be trained on skills, but you can’t educate people on attitudes, because it’s learned. 

I also share your view on the  efforts that George and Stephen have made in planning and facilitating the program.  They did it with their passion, but obviously might not be appreciated as much.  To this end, I hope this experiment could be a success to them and us, as that was the reason why we are here.

And I enjoy reading your inspiring post. 

2 thoughts on “My response to co-learner Maru on the course CCK08 and connectivism

  1. Hi John!

    Thanks for your visit and kind words. It’s strange, isn’t it? You´re feeling glad for someone else recovery and you really don’t know that person. What this tells me is that you are a nice person, you can be glad for someone well being. I’m glad to have met you. 🙂

    I cannot academically sustain or say the following as a proven fact. I suspect that the network doesn’t care not only about feelings but disregards the person itself, in a network so big the person kinds of disappear, what matters is the content that person brings in. It’s not a complain, it’s an attempt to describe. Probably I’m wrong, I don’t know.

    I resonate with you also with the grades, I don’t care about them, you cannot really evaluate or assess learning unless you’re dealing with practical issues. That is, you can evaluate if a person learned when they can perform what you taught. Otherwise, you’re guessing.
    I mentioned the grade because it doesn’t correspond, how can you give an A to someone and in the comments tell him that he did not answer your question? Why did you give an A for? That is the issue that intrigued me not the grade itself. If I did not answer in my 1st paper “What connectivism is” I should have failed the assignment, don’t you think so?

    See you. Maru :X

  2. Hi Maru,
    Thanks for your kind words too. I have often visited your website and have found your posts both interesting and stimulating. As a co-learner, I learnt a lot from you.
    I was so impressed with your passion towards learning – with attributes of empathy, humility and honesty as displayed in your posts. I thought, wow! you are a fantastic role model for others to learn from.
    Being a teacher myself, I realise how difficult it is when one is learning in “isolation”, especially under such a huge network, where it is pretty hard to connect or communicate with others. Despite the motto of actively connecting with others (under connectivism, knowledge is in the network, and connectivist should learn proactively by traversing through the network), how could you connect with others when you are sick? And who cares?
    I share your views and feelings as I have had similar experience before, when I was sick but have to complete my research studies. It could be a hard time to study and work.

    I couldn’t answer your question on assessment. I suppose only George could provide the appropriate response to you.
    However, I also realise the challenges that any teacher has to face when it comes to assessment of students. This is especially difficult under such a network or e-learning environment. And so assessment could be one of the toughest decision a teacher has to make, because it is really a judgment on the adult learner.

    On some occasions, I ask my adult learners to set their own alternative assignment and criteria, and this could then be negotiated. I also encourage them to conduct self assessment using their/our negotiated criteria.
    Based on my experience, I think the use of a portfolio approach may be an alternative way to assess learners with a course like this. Participation of forum discussions (with learning points), reflective journals on blogs, co-operative and collaborative projects with others on wikis, and action projects (based on work-based or problem-based projects or research) could be used for assessment.
    As these are just my own views on assessment, they may not be useful for others. So, each assessment may have to be customised and negotiated with the individual learner. And that is the way I used to conduct my on-the-job assessment or recognition of prior learning with my learners.
    Renewed thanks for your sharing, and I wish you every success for the rest of the studies. See you. John 🙂

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