This perspective is somewhat challenging to follow – especially for those not familiar with psychological theories – but it offers some unique insights into the Connectivist world. For example, the authors find that autonomy is both the impetus for getting involved in a MOOC and also behind what is seen as a negative force in connectivity – lurking: “We suggest that thinking about networked autonomy in terms of choice and control offers the active “what” of learning; thinking about autonomy in terms of self underlies the motivational “why” in accepting or engaging (or not) with those choices” (p. 130)
They demonstrate how the MOOC creates an environment where there is an “apparent paradox of simultaneously pursuing connectedness and interactivity while at the same time offering the potential to support the individual and that which is ‘personal’ (p. 134) The author’s development of the themes of both the inspiration of Connectivism and the and also the conflict within MOOCs is interesting and informative.
MOOCs and the theory of Connectivism are both relatively new to the world of on-line learning. They are growing in numbers, and with I tunes University, it is quite likely they will continue to grow exponentially. However, the author’s of this paper write about them as if their whole audience is familiar with this new phenomena. This paper would, perhaps, benefit from a greater explanation of both MOOCS and Connectivism at the beginning Much of the commentary is unclear to the neophyte, which limits the effectiveness of this paper; it seems to speak to a very small ‘inside’ group of people. An example of the narrowness of the references can be seen in this reference: “The presence of a ‘troll’ in the CCK08 forums, for example, evoked varying expressions of anger and discomfort among some learners and was considered a determining factor in participation levels in that environment (Mackness, MaK, &Williams in this paper, p 132). There is no explanation of what a ‘troll’ is or even what ‘CCK08’ is.
MOOCs are still very new, and many potential users have not yet become familiar with them.
A critique of “ Connectivism and Dimensions of Individual Experience ” by Carmen Tschofen and Jenny Mackness MARIAN TAUDIN-CHABOT, MARTIN MCKENNA, AARON JOHANNES MDDE601, ASSIGNMENT 2, FEB 2012
We decided to examine the article, Connectivism and dimensions of individual experience, by Carmen Tschofen and Jenny Mackness, from the January 2012 issue of The International Review Of Research In Open And Distance Learning.
The idea of connectivism as it applies to education is fascinating, but new. It seemed to us that there were a couple of ideas that needed explanation before we tackled the “meat” of our chosen essay:
First, “ connectivism ” ;
Second, “MOOC” – Massive Online Open Course, generally accepted as the current expression of connectivism in education.
“ Connectivism is a learning theory for the digital age. Learning has changed over the last several decades. The theories of behaviourism, cognitivism, and constructivism provide an effect view of learning in many environments. They fall short, however, when learning moves into informal, networked, technology-enabled arena. ”
“ Connectivism, a learning theory for today’s learner,”
Students bring their existing expertise to the table, grow and actuate new learning.
New networks of learning communities form, expand and fade, leaving potential for future connection and new connecting skills.
For the most part, access to free learning.
For the most part, learning without credentials or testing / qualifications either pre- or post- MOOC.
The body of knowledge created returns to all participants, including the sponsoring organizations…
The text: “ Connectivism and Dimensions of Individual Experience ” Successful networks have 4 properties: Autonomy, connectedness, diversity and openness. This article examines a place for the individual in Connectivism. (p. 124, Tschofen & Mackness, 2012)
Identity must be built for each different network vs the given family, ethnicity, status identity in real world. Quantity of connections vs Quality of identity (i.e. How much can be/should be built or disclosed?).
Extraversion & Introversion: sharing and interactivity is a delight for some but onerous for others; both should be valued online.
Privacy, Solitude, Control: Connectivism says learning and knowledge creation do not occur in seculsion vs quiet reflection needed for inspiration and vision.
There is little introduction of what MOOCs are and what Connectivism is.
The authors use a lot of inside references, and jargon – seem to be speaking to an ‘inside’ group of people who are familiar with MOOCs.
This is a problem for 2 reasons:
1. MOOCs are still very new, and the number of people who have used them is still small – thus many potential readers may not understand the jargon and references.
2. Those familiar with MOOCs and Connectivism may not be familiar with psychological theory and may become lost when faced with that jargon.
The paper would benefit from a more inclusive tone.
This paper offers strong ‘insights’ based on research which may be too limited.
It seems that the much of the research for this paper is centered around Athabasca University and a very small number of courses.
It is difficult then, to verify the accuracy of the conclusions the authors reach.
Initiatives like Apple University will allow for the exponential growth of MOOC-type courses world-wide, creating other trends, conflicts and benefits to be explored.
This paper is interesting and thought-provoking, but difficult
The article makes a valiant attempt to look at the tensions and expectations of connectivity as well as what it has to offer.
It falls short of being illuminating to most people because it assumes a level of knowledge and understanding that only a small group of people would have.
At this point in time it could be that this information is too limited in its scope for current users.
To see connectivism in historical context you may want to check out this video….
Interestingly, Connectivism as a learning theory is a perspective on a wider movement of global Change… connectivist theory is already being used in practice by change agents outside of education Thank you! Your thoughts on this are appreciated.
References Boukobza, Philippe. March 12, 2008. “ Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. ” From his blog, “ Visual Mapping. ” Retrieved from http://www.visual-mapping.com/2008/03/connectivism-learning-theory-for.html Cormier, Dave. Writer and narrator; Gillis, Neal; Video. Dec 8, 2010. “ What is a MOOC? ” Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eW3gMGqcZQc Downes,S. February 3, 2007. “ What Connectivism Is. ” From his blog, “ Half an hour. ” Retrieved from http://halfanhour.blogspot.com/2007/02/what-connectivism-is.html Johnson, Steve. “Where Good Ideas Come From.” Uploaded by Riverhead Books on Sep 17, 2010. Youtube video of RSA graphic documentation of Johnson’s text, Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation . Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NugRZGDbPFU&feature=related
References Seimens, George. Undated. “ Connectivism: A Learning Theory for Today ’ s Learner. ” From his blog, “ About. ” Retrieved from http://www.connectivism.ca/about.html Seimens, George. “ Sensemaking artifacts , ” December 14th, 2011. Retrieved from http://www.connectivism.ca/ Tschofen, C., & Mackness, J. (2012). “ Connectivism and Dimensions of Individual Experience. ” The International Review Of Research In Open And Distance Learning, 13 (1), 124-143. Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/1143