#Change11 Connectivism and Constructivism – similarities and differences Part 2

I found Jenny’s post thought provoking, and so this is a follow up post on my previous one relating to Connectivism & Constructivism – What’s similar and different.

Referring again to the diagram here.

How learning occurs:

What may happen is that social, meaning created by each learner (personal) could actually happen in a distributed network.  However, social doesn’t necessarily mean it would be within a virtual or digital space, or network, as it could happen in a space that once conceived to be navigation across networks.

I have reflected in my Intelligent and Dark side of Blogging, that:

Also, in networked learning, “it is not just what we learn, but how we feel about what we learn, which counts in the long term.” So is dancing as a metaphor. It’s the feeling of learning which makes a difference from the traditional education and learning, where group learning is believed to be based on a scientific approach, and individual feelings need to be constrained to avoid intervening the group’s performance.

So, it is important to encourage a dynamic between thinking and feeling in order to promote learning more effectively, rather than focusing on critical thinking alone, especially in networked learning.

“Learning is an interactive experience best achieved in a climate of relatedness, care and mutual respect. Such care is offered, not imposed, and respects humans’ need for autonomy, self-determination, and challenge as well as security” Rosyln Arnold (2005) (pg 28). This could be crucial to networked learning, especially where humans are interacting with each others in communities of practice. However, there are still paradoxes in between autonomy, diversity, openness and interactivity when educators and learners are immersed in a complex, emergent learning environment (MOOC).

It would be important to reflect on assumptions behind connectivist learning. Some questions include:
1. How could learning be best achieved under a connectivist environment?
2. What are the pre-requisite literacies and skills for educators and learners to consider in networked learning?

I suppose meaning created by each learner (under Constructivism or Social Constructivism) does assume the recognition and interpretation of networks.

I suppose there are overlaps in the Constructivism and Connectivism approaches

In this Beyond constructivism: navigationism in the knowledge era:

Teachers and educators should become the source of how to navigate in the ocean of available information and knowledge. We should become coaches and mentors within the knowledge era. Instructional designers should start to design coaching and navigating activities instead of designing learning facilitation and learning activities; to configure navigation tools instead of the re-configuration of content.

Here is a video on Youtube:

I think this shows that a shift in the frame of reference would change the way we perceive an object’s appearance.  Similarly, the recognition and interpretation of the patterns as shown in this simple experiment well illustrates how a shift from Social to Network frame of reference (with neuro, conceptual and social) could make a difference.

Relating to Jenny’ example:

A constructivist approach involved challenging this deeply set misconception through physically demonstrating that heavy objects do not reach the ground before light objects. I believed that the physical demonstration had the effect of deconstructing the student’s existing thinking and reconstructing it or replacing it with the correct thinking.

How would a connectivist approach work? Yes, you still require the deconstruction of the student’s existing thinking, but not just based on the teacher’s input.  Rather, you would suggest the students to be immersed in networks, based on navigating activities and the using of appropriate tools or media (i.e. media and technology affordance), in exploring about the “right” and “wrong” concepts, and discerning those right from wrong through navigation tools and reflective thinking.  This is similar to what I have suggested here:

The concepts that are crystallised through such networked learning may be based on the ability of the learner to recognise and interpret the pattern (i.e. principally on the navigation and exploration, with or without the teachers), rather than the demonstration of the teacher and explanation of the concepts via “Constructivism or Social Constructivism”.  This means that the concept development under Connectivism is far more reaching than the typical “classroom” or social networks environment, but would also include technological and media enhancement for its nourishment.

This approach may take the form of Create, Interact and Track as discussed in CCK11.

Picture credit: CCK11

Picture: Garrison, Anderson, & Archer (2001)  Elements of an educational experience.

How would Connectivism and Constructivism differ in terms of the elements of educational experience?

Would explore this in Part 3.

22 thoughts on “#Change11 Connectivism and Constructivism – similarities and differences Part 2

  1. John, this is an interesting series of posts you have and are sharing here. One thing you mentioned above in your Cognitivism / Constructivism / Connectivism example struck me, as it seemed you were using connectivism and networked learning interchangeably. When I think of connectivism, I think of the learning happening in the network itself, while networked learning has me thinking more about learning happening within the individuals because of their interaction and involvement in the network. How do you see these two?

  2. Yes, there are nuances here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Networked_learning
    Connectivism captured the essence and represented the process of networked knowledge creation and learning.
    Networked learning as learning in which information and communication technology is used to promote connections: between one learner and other learners, between learners and tutors, between a learning community and its learning resources.
    Would our “learning” over the virtual or online space be classified under networked learning? Under Connectivism, learning happens at neuro, conceptual and social level, whereas networked learning actually refers to learning where ICT is used to promote connections, and is more related to “social learning” (under social constructivism with or without ICT, though now, we could argue most virtual conversation are based on ICT – even as simple as email, or mobile – on Skype, or SMS or texting). Such social learning is also part of the individual’s learning – in the “construction of meaning out of the conversation or communication”.
    Under Constructivism, such “knowledge construction” needs to be negotiated, through sharing of meaning, and clarification of concepts, by asking questions, or demonstration, modelling and de-construction of incorrect concepts. So, networked learning does happen among individuals through engagement, participation under Constructivism and is influenced by diversity of networks, strengths of ties, and context of occurrence (like this digital space on blog) under Connectivism. What do you think?

  3. @John
    Now I am seeing less and less of a distinction between connectivism and networked learning in your thinking. While I think constructivism is much more individually focused, it seems that may be on one extreme while connectivism is on the other, with networked learning in the middle. Is that what you are thinking as well?

  4. This depends on how learning is situated. In case of CoP, then social constructivism may or may not need ICT (as face-to-face) interaction. For instance, we could have a workshop with participants interacting with some face to face, and others over virtual classroom. The discussion could be one-on-one or one-on-many, and we could say such situation would be based on a combination of “Constructivism” and “Connectivism” in the learning, especially when the candidates are connected via their PLE, in the workshop and after the workshop session. Other examples are the MOOC synchronous and asynchronous sessions. So, I would still think it is nuanced, as we juxtaposed all these blogs, forum, wikis in the PLE, as technology affordance in networked learning (under Connectivism)
    How about your existing work, does it work like that?

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