Connectivism

It seems to me that connectivism is a theory for understanding learning as opposed to how to design learning as the theories we have previously studied during this class.  In the article by Siemens, it discusses how connectivism can address challenges that corporations face in managing knowledge with their employees and disseminating knowledge.  This is different from other theories in that they discuss teaching knowledge to the learners.  I liked that the Siemens article refers to “the health of the learning ecology of the organization depends on effective nurturing of information flow.”

This nurturing of information flow is what I think would be beneficial in my project.  My content would be to provide (or flow) information on diabetes to new MMAC’s joining the medical group.  I could see this theory fitting my project better than any of the theories we have studied to date.  The way that I envision this module is that it would be used repeatedly for each MMAC that is on-boarded to the medical group and thus would be in essence transferring knowledge to them.

Obstacles that I foresee in implementing a connectivist approach to online courses is that both articles refer to connectivism as being ever changing.  The information that is taught/learned in this approach is constantly changing.  This can cause issues in validating the material since it does change over time.

I do see parts of connectivism in this course in that the Siemens article discusses social networks and developing hubs connecting people to help facilitate knowledge flow.  The blogs that we create and respond to each week builds these hubs allowing us to knowledge share with our classmates.

4 Replies to “Connectivism”

  1. The main tenet to connectivism is that the individual is a node of knowledge which interacts with other nodes (humans) to co-construct new knowledge. The difficult part is ensuring there is a baseline of prior knowledge to access, or that you are providing.

  2. Hi Kim,
    I too felt the connectivism related more to the learning rather than the teaching presence and saw this as a difference between the theories we’ve learned about so far. I like how you’ve focused on the nurturing of the flow of information. I’m guessing we’ve all dealt with issues/problems in our work setting where nurturing wasn’t done and poor outcomes occurred. Your statement about this lead me to think about some of those situations such as when rumors aren’t addressed or persistent poor communication in corporations. Thanks for highlighting this- I feel that nurturing of information is extremely important.
    For your thoughts about using this theory in your module, have you given any thought to possible methods for the participants to connect to one another as they move through the program? Some of the technology methods we’ve learned in this class may be alternatives (blogging, Twitter).
    Thanks again Kim,
    Beth

  3. Hey Kim,

    I think the key of connectivism is that every learner accesses and contributes to knowledge in their own way. Connecting with people on social networks, watching YouTube videos (then posting their own videos ideally), adding 3D design to an online repository, etc. . . I totally agree that the trick is managing the flow of information. Making sure learners are making informed decisions about what information is valid and what information they should reject. I think of wikipedia as a good example (really all wikis). There can be valid information but because of the ability for anyone to edit an article extra caution needs to be to examining sources.

    Thanks!

    Matt

    1. Matt,

      Great point about “valid information”. Do we trust the masses. Seems like we kind do (ie. wikipedia), Do you think there is checks and balances in place? I think some places (ie. Stack exchange) have them, but that might be an anomaly. Thoughts?

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