CCK11 Research into Connectivism, MOOC and PLENK

Here is my previous  post on 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”

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 institutions 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 collaborations 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.

An update on the research into MOOC:

MOOC paper (27 Dec 10)


Here is post – Learning on MOOC by Rita.

Rita highlights the findings:

  1. Power relations on the MOOC
  2. Confidence levels of novice MOOCers
  3. The level of presence of participants and facilitators
  4. The willingness to help by all involved.

I have also briefly shared my observation and discussion here.

  1. Time and information management
  2. Connections
  3. Personal learning and critical literacies
  4. Power and influence

Connectivism: Learning theory of the future or vestige of the past? by Rita Kop and Adrian Hill

Network theories for technology-enabled learning and social change: Connectivism and Actor Network theory by Frances Bell

The networked student model for construction of personal learning environments: Balancing teacher control and student autonomy by Wendy Drexler

I have yet to digest the above researches completed, and how they relate to the findings on the Design and delivery of MOOC – PLENK that I am still working on.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to:

Stephen Downes

Dave Cormier, Bonnie Stewart, George Siemens, and Sandy McAuley

Rita Kop, Hélène Fournier

Frances Bell

Roy Williams, Jenny Mackness

Wendy Drexler

and many other researchers

for their sharing of various research findings.  This would greatly help in consolidating the research into MOOC and PLENK.

I will likely take some more time in the analysis of results before I could publish. Will keep you posted on the progress.

My Reflection:

Would integration of such findings in MOOC, PLENK be the greatest challenge?

Here is a challenge on Connectivism with wiki post.  What could be concluded from such a debate?

What are the merits and demerits in applying a Contemporary Theory of Learning in this digital age?

Is the new learning model replacing the old learning models?  What are the pros and cons with each model of learning?

What makes a valuable learning theory?

Would Connectivism be the Learning Theory of the Present or the Future? Why? Why not?

Or may be a New Learning Theory that could embrace the learning of both digital and non-digital citizen.

Postscript: Useful resource PhD thesis by Andres Meiszner:

Photo: source unknown

3 thoughts on “CCK11 Research into Connectivism, MOOC and PLENK

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention CCK11 Research into Connectivism, MOOC and PLENK | Learner Weblog --

  2. Pingback: #EduMOOC Openness | Learner Weblog

  3. Pingback: My reflection on education and learning Part 1 | Learner Weblog

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