“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”
Thanks George for your insights. I agree.
There are both opportunities and challenges:
- Reinforce the theory of connectivism – especially a deeper understanding of the concepts and principles governing connectivism.
- Inform authorities and stakeholders (i.e. higher education in particular) of the theoretical framework of “emergent” connectivism
- 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).
- 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?
- Which is more important in research? Applied connectivism? Empirical research? Cross discipline research?
- Will any of the researches be funded?
- Given that such researches may be based on individual initiatives (such as a PhD thesis), competition (in funding) rather than collaboration may arise.
- If the researchers are to form networks, will copy right (or plagiarism) be an issue? How original will such researches be?
- How will peer review be coordinated? Is it through instititutions or networks? How will credentials be achieved?
- 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.
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…
Your comments please.