What is needed for research?

“Connectivism can draw much from research in related fields such as neuroscience for understanding biological basis of learning, AI for how neural networks function, sociology for external connections, psychology for conceptual formations, systems thinking for understanding how the entire system of education relates”

http://ltc.umanitoba.ca/moodle/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=1223

Thanks George for your insights. I agree.  approve

There are both opportunities and challenges:

Opportunities: smile

  1. Reinforce the theory of connectivism – especially a deeper understanding of the concepts and principles governing connectivism.
  2. Inform authorities and stakeholders (i.e. higher education in particular) of the theoretical framework of “emergent” connectivism
  3. Introduction of psychology for conceptual framework and connections would provide a leverage to connections, and a framework in understanding the dynamics of both strong and weak ties (at all three levels – neural, conceptual, external/social).

Challenges:wide eyes

  1. Some critics viewed connectivism as a blend of different theories – including behaviourism, cognitivism, constructivism, social constructivism, complex and chaos theories, constructionism,..and are similar in certain ways to Actor Network Theories (ANT).   How would such research be “integrated” given that each theory proponents have their own views on those theories?  Extending those theories into connectivism would need to be considered under specific context.  Will the findings be inconclusive?  And I am not too sure when it comes a “virtual world” whereas some research findings may not be reflective of reality (will provide evidence based on url in coming threads).  How would one overcome that?
  2. Which is more important in research?  Applied connectivism? Empirical research?  Cross discipline research? 
  3. Will any of the researches be funded?
  4. Given that such researches may be based on individual initiatives (such as a PhD thesis), competition (in funding) rather than collaboration may arise.
  5. If the researchers are to form networks, will copy right (or plagiarism) be an issue?  How original will such researches be?
  6. How will peer review be coordinated?  Is it through instititutions or networks?  How will credentials be achieved?
  7. It’s difficult for novice to weave through the different theories, and any research on those other areas create conflicting views in connectivism (which may turn up to be a good idea). 

I think getting research done in those areas is not too difficult, as there are already many PhD candidates doing research in this connectivism area.  Getting coordinated results and colloborations amongst researchers would be the most difficult part of it.  A “network” or “community of practice” approach would likely yield better result.  But would it be easy to coordinate such efforts?  Networking amongst researchers is never an easy task – note the “autonomy of scholars” and “islands of researches” that has happened in the past.thoughtful 

Even by now, only you and Stephen are the main pioneers in this area, would we need more people to join?  But again, this will add complications to the theory, as it is evidenced in this course, towards a learner centred approach, and as an emergent learning theory. 

I am still learning…blush

Your comments please.

Suggestion of a wiki, ning or edublog on connectivism

Do we need more ideas from others?

The options could be

(a) an existing wiki (such as this course)

(b) a new wiki

(c) a new Ning

(d) an existing edublog

(e) a new edublog

(f)…

If we have a few of us starting it, I think it will just take a few days to build the initial one – we can have a few suggestions on the title of the “wiki or blog”.  And if people like to contribute, just leave your blog contact here and we could keep in touch with each other to have a go.  What do you think?

Everyone is welcome.  And I trust that all of “us” are equal in sharing the “power” if there are any!

What’s next for connectivism and connective knowledge?

Here is a talk by Mary Poppendieck on the Role of Leadership in Software Development http://au.youtube.com/watch?feature=user&v=ypEMdjslEOI Thanks to Jenny Mackness for showing the URL.
What are you building?
Three Stonecutters were asked:
What are you doing?

  1. I’m cutting stones
  2. I’m earning a living
  3. I’m building a cathedral

The suggestion by Mary was: Move responsibility and decision-making to the lowest possible level.

The Litmus Test: When workers are annoyed by their job

Under the same concept, when learners or teachers are annoyed by the “teaching and learning ecology”, what option will you choose?

Are you going to be the cathedral builder?

Some suggestions:

  1. May be we can do experiments
  2. Try innovative solutions – develop open course/coursewares, build networks, community of practice
  3. Be adaptable in learning new ICT tools via continuous personal learning and development – applied connectivism
  4. Go out and learn more - join communities, networks, open courses and forums
  5. Use creativity in building constant improvement both individually and collectively (connectivism and connective knowledge with brain power) with the exploitation of ICT (Web 2.0), networks, community of practice
  6. Leadership in place – every learner a leader – takes ownership in learning and teaching
  7. Network leadership – co-operation, collaboration  amongst networks, community of practice
  8. Research

Your suggestions….

May be a wiki to collect more ideas…

Or a set up of a community/network to continue our exploration on connectivism…