#CCK11 The flow of Connectivism

This is a post* I created in CCK09. Does it look familiar in CCK2011?  Have I been able to see some patterns.  There are some changes here in CCK11. May be this time, the Moodle forum is gone.  The participants have all developed their own PLE or continued their lurking.

We have another practice as shared in CCK11: Aggregate, Re-mix, Re-purpose and Feedforward.  A few CCK11 participants have been very active in practising this best practice of networking.  That is exciting.

Learning is about learners, and teaching is about teachers.  Or may be learning and teaching has become all in one, that is learners and teachers roles are blurred here in MOOC.  But are there any missing links here, even in self-organised learning?  The affective domains which need to be addressed in any interactions in networking.  Without affection to ideas and people amongst networkers, what would happen?  How is the curiosity of people in learning fulfilled?  By Web 2.0?  By interaction!  I don’t know if technology and tools alone could fill the gap in learning, but may be we need a higher form of intelligence to “promote” or stimulate this self organisation, so people will be motivated to network in a mesh-like distributed structure.

Is learning distributed?  Or is learning aggregated?  Knowledge is distributed across networks, and learning is the capacity to create, construct and navigate across networks, and so under Connectivism, learning seems to be an aggregated act or practice based on accumulation of experience (network creation, formation and growth), and recognition of patterns.  So learning is not distributed but aggregated to make sense for us and for our community.

Is Connectivism about distributed learning? I think if we argue that each of us is learning using our own PLE or PLN to achieve our own goals, and aspirations, then that is personal AND distributed learning, as we accomplish learning with and through others (networks, tools, media,  artifacts, resources – including books, agent, human etc.), though that others may also be a knowledgeable other, a sounding board, a comment from a person or even a machine. As we learn, our network could learn, and as our network learns, we could benefit and learn through interacting with and through the network.

*In this Where have all the people gone in CCK09 Moodle forum

Ulop says “That said, there is no troll in CCK09 and people have left the forums. For what reason(s), this time?”  I would like to know too!

People have left the forums for various reasons.  Some participants (especially new to CCK09) have already indicated the reasons at the start (introduction): they felt overwhelmed with information, and have since then moved to other media such as cck2009 Ning.  But was that the only reason?   And why didn’t they join back to the forum?

Some (especially the new CCK09 participants) might have expected the instructors (George and Stephen) to facilitate or moderate the forum discussion, as in a typical on-line course.  However, they might have noticed that George and Stephen would more likely meet them in the Elluminate session instead.  Others might have used other media such as twitters, facebook, their own blogs, their own PLE/N to interact, learn and reflect, rather than using the forum.  Many might still like to lurk though.

Does this fall into a similar pattern to CCK08?  May be in a much smaller scale in the forum, but their involvement or interaction may be spreaded all over with a much wider arrays of networks, media and tools.

This time, a lot of past CCK08 participants rejoining CCK09 might have already experienced “enough” forum discussion, and so they would like to consider other “new” or emergent personalised learning network or media.  This leaves a few CCK08 participants remaining active in the forum.  Roy, Frances, Ailsa, Ulop, Ken, Dolores, Geoff, Roel, Mary, Nicola, Edgar together with other CCK09 (new?) participants – Gus, Luz, Leila, Maijann, Dean, James and Roland, and some others.

Another possible reason is that: Connectivism is about new and emergent learning, not just (online) teaching.  A lot of educators might be expecting to learn “how to teach or moderate” or the teaching or net pedagogy in an online course using forum or virtual learning Environment (i.e. using Moodle etc.).  However, as Stephen (and George) has mentioned in the past forum, connectivism is a theory about learning at this digital age, and so the emphasis is on learning.  For some of the educators/learners who might have used to instructivism, constructivism or social constructivism as a teaching/learning theory or pedagogy, they might have expected a similar approach to be adopted under connectivism in online teaching/learning.  What are their reactions?  Are they convinced of the connectivist approach?  Does connectivism as a learning theory resonate with their teaching practice?

Are these educators/learners joining the course for their own reasons which we have all assumed?  That they would join the forum to discuss, to interact, to teach or to learn?  Or they would set up their PLN/E?  Or they would just like to lurk?

In summary, it all comes back to the choice of learning amongst participants (with learners and some educators).  And whether they would resonate with the theory of Connectivism as espoused by Stephen and George.

Again this leaves us with more questions.

1. If you are coming from CCK08, what would you expect from CCK09?  What are your needs?  How are your needs fulfilled? Are these needs fulfilled in the forum?  What sort of “new and emergent concepts, knowledge, connections” would you expect from the forum?

2. If you are new to CCK09, what would you expect from CCK09?  What are your needs?  How are your needs fulfilled? Are these needs fulfilled in the forum?  What sort of “new and emergent concepts, knowledge, connections” would you expect from the forum?

Do the concepts and theory of Connectivism resonate with you?  Why/Why not?

May be the research question is: Why would you like to join/not join the forum?

I hope the above could provide some reasons why the Attacks on Connectivism as shared by Jenny here is unfounded.  Our search for “truths” in Learning with learning theory is not based on “arguments”, but empirical results, and a description and explanation on how and why learning has or hasn’t happened.  These should be based on solid evidence, and may be learning analytics, and researches done individually, connectively, and collectively  (collective inquiry).

The acclaim they receive typically comes from classroom teachers who are unfamiliar with the pre-existing theories. Unfamiliar with the vast amount of literature on the web covering the same issues a lot more ably. Let’s face it. The “theory of Connectivism” was published as a blog post! It was later published by Educause, a non profit organisation. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Connectivism)

With the same token, the post on the attacks is on wikipedia.  Does this post on wikipedia make it more credible than a blog post?  Any postings on wikipedia need to be based on evidence, and so is blog post, if it is to be justified as a theory.

Where is the evidence that participants were from classroom teachers who are unfamiliar with the pre-existing theories?

To “disprove a theory” needs to be based on evidence, and most of these evidences should be based on empirical data, with a theoretical backup.  So, I reckon such claim of NON-THEORY is not the same as attacking people personally, or about the personality of the Theory proposers George and Stephen.  In order words, it is not about the persons that we should base our discourse on in the development of learning theory, but the behaviour of networks, communities, and the process of learning and learning outcomes that we would need to critique on.  Our focus should be on the principles and practice of learning at this digital era.  Not about emotions!


3 thoughts on “#CCK11 The flow of Connectivism

  1. Pingback: Who is the teacher in connectivist and network learning? #cck11 « connectiv

  2. My observation: Under a connectivist model of learning, demonstration and modelling is the way how one teaches (attributed to Stephen). So, who is the teacher and who is the learner in a MOOC? Would there be a need to clarify the roles of the teacher and learner in a peer learning environment?

    One of the challenges with participation in a MOOC course could be: Who would be learning in a particular learning platform (like Moodle, or Facebook) and who would be teaching?

    Would peer learning turns into peer teaching? One could ask: Who is the knowledgeable other who could teach me in MOOC? Would it be the facilitator who is qualified to teach me? How does one know whether the one who teaches is teaching me with the right concepts? Would some of these questions be puzzling for the learners in an online course?

    In an institutional teaching and learning environment, only qualified teachers are allowed to “teach”. Would this principle be equally applicable in an online learning environment under institutional control? Yes. This is a requirement of teaching in countries like Australia.

    Would we need to address these questions in open online courses, especially when accreditation is part of the features of the course? Why? One who teaches could also be responsible for the assessment.

    Would the above questions be too sensitive in a MOOC? I am posting them as “critical questions” only for discussion.


  3. Pingback: #CCK11 The flow of Connectivism | Learner Weblog | Connectivism and Networked Learning | Scoop.it

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