After reading Jenny and Carmen’s paper on Connectivism and Dimensions on Individual experience and now Heli’s post, I would like to reflect on what those three theories mean under Networked Learning and Connectivism, with a particular focus on the five factors and Autonomy. Heli has wonderfully posted the juxtaposition of the three theories in her post.
Here Carmen and Jenny provides a wonderful framework upon which Connectivism could be expanded – to include the psychological elements, superimposed on autonomy, connectedness, diversity, and openness as the key components of connectivism conducive to (or required for) learning in networks (Stephen Downes).
“While there have been calls for more or different efforts on the part of MOOC facilitators (Dron, 2011), the psychological insight brought by contemporary personality theory and self-determination theory suggests that the manipulation or envisioned refinement of MOOC environments and processes may be moot, or certainly less effective than it is typically assumed to be in the promotion of learning and curriculum design. Indeed, in their exploration of self-direction and personality in college students, Kirwan, Loundsbury, and Gibson (2010) conclude with a parallel consideration: “It may be that personality traits, not academic and personal experiences, are the major determinants of college student self-direction in learning.”
If the idea that learning experiences (and, by association, perhaps their facilitation) are less influential for learning than personality traits, there may be benefits to increased attention to the role of self-determination and personality.”
I reckon the basic structure of MOOC with the facilitation has now become the necessary condition for networked learning, whereas the sufficient condition would be determined by (a) the prior experience and intrinsic motivation of the MOOC participants, (b) the renewal of new or novel interests of MOOC, based on its application in different domains, and (c) how the participants personal experience as an individual would be valued as an important part of the network, creating a personal and shared identity and developing as a growth agent rather than a mere node sending and receiving information, in a vast network configuration. Here the values of learning experience would be based on the cognitive gains and social relationship build-ups, from a weak tie to a gradually strong tie, in order to become an active participant.
When I reflected on the 5 big personality factors here relating to blogging:
Why would people blog? Why would people (bloggers) switch to other social media like Facebook and Twitter?
Why blogs: Personality prediction of blogging provides an interesting account on personality factors and how these factors could be used as a prediction of the likelihood of being a blogger.
1. Is blogging and openness related? Are bloggers more open as compare to others who do not blog? What happens when bloggers shift their choice of expression from blogging to other social media such as Facebook and Twitter? Will such people maintain their openness in those media?
2. Are the 5 major personality factors able to predict people’s involvement, participation and interaction in social media like Blogging, Facebook and Twitter?
3. What are the critical factors in determining whether people would use social media and Web 2.0 (apart from the personality factors)?
Relating to self-determination theory, I have commented here in George’s post:
Why can’t learners be self-directed? Self-directed learners could rely on networks to learn, however, they must also need to make their own decisions on learning, based on critical thinking and reflection. In other words, self-directed learners could also be network directed learners. I would argue that both network directed learning and self-directed learning are equally important, in order to learn effectively. This also ensures a balance between networked learning and personal autonomy, so the learner could grow and develop, in a networked learning environment and global learning ecology. Based on Self-determination theory, autonomy, relatedness and competency will be important factors in motivation. Options and choice is important for individuals in networked learning. Professionals could learn and network effectively in networks and teams as they have already possessed the adequate literacy and skills needed, and are motivated to share because that is part of their profession. John
I have conceived that autonomy is at the heart of learning in a networked learning environment, in order to have active engagement, participation and dialogue.
Comparing the factors between bloggers and forum poster based on the research by Mak, Williams & Mackness (2010) here
1. Space to develop my own ideas
3. Self expression
1. Familiarity with forum
2. Faster pace
3. More lively debates
Here blogging strongly correlates well with the personality factors, and to a great extent relates to the autonomy under self-determination theory. This tends to suggest a growth model of individuals based on personal goals and learning pathway centred around the learners, for the learner, by the learner, under a connectivist learning ecology.
The recent MOOCs have all tended towards the development of blogging and Twittering as a way to connect with others, rather than the use of forum postings (on Daily or FB), suggesting that the facilitation elements could only be “scaled” if participants are clustered around a central forum (like the Blackboard synchronous Elluminate session). There are also clusters of networkers with interests interacting using different platforms over distributed spaces. However, it seems that forum posting and sharing have never again been grounded as that in CCK08, probably due to the lack of novelty elements to reboot the debates and discourses- such as new and innovative ground breaking topics of interests geared to the mass participants’ interests. This further led to relatively small groups of participants having some active conversation and engagement, and a high proportion of participants either lurking or loosely participating in the recent MOOCs. Other factors included the introduction of other MOOCs like the DS106, eduMOOC, LAK12, Stanford AI and Machine Learning, and various MOOC initiatives, which might have attracted the veterans to attend, thus further de-centralising, diluting and fragmenting the conversation.
What might be the future MOOC like? How would Connectivism’s growth model emerge? Have you got the crystal ball?
Picture: George’s post
Slide: from suifaijohnmak