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Connectivist Learning: How new technologies are promoting autonomy and responsibility in education


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In this presentation I discuss the topic of autonomy as it relates to connectivism. I begin by making a case for autonomy, and then apply the four-factor model of autonomy to connectivist practice. For audio and resources please see

Published in: Education, Technology
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Connectivist Learning: How new technologies are promoting autonomy and responsibility in education

  1. 1. Connectivist Learning:How new technologies are promotingautonomy and responsibility in education Stephen Downes Barcelona, Spain, October 22, 2011
  2. 2. Visitors and Residents:A Better MetaphorVisitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagementby David S. White and Alison Le Cornu.First Monday, Volume 16, Number 9 - 5 September 2011
  3. 3. Dimensions of EngagementVisitors & Residents: The VideoDavid S. White, TALL blog
  4. 4. Knowledge as CommunityKnowledge Building: Theory, Pedagogy, and TechnologyMarlene Scardamalia and Carl Bereiter, Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences
  5. 5. The Learner as Visitor Guide to Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Malcolm R. Forster
  6. 6. A Map of the City
  7. 7. A Map of the CommunityConnectivism: A Theory of Personal LearningStephen Downes, December 3, 2008, Educational Development Centre, Ottawa
  8. 8. Connectivism: The TheoryConnectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age What Connectivism Is,George Siemens, elearnspace Stephen Downes, Half an Hour
  9. 9. Connectivism: The PracticeThe Massive Open Online CourseChange 2011, George Siemens, Dave Cormier, Stephen Downes
  10. 10. The Anatomy of a MOOC
  11. 11. Learning as a Network• Teachers are nodes,students are nodes• Both teaching andlearning consists ofsending and receivingcommunications toother nodes
  12. 12. Personal KnowledgeWe are using one of these To create one of these Personal knowledge consists of neural connections, not social connections
  13. 13. Network Learning: Success FactorsAutonomy – each node is self-governingDiversity – nodes encouraged to have varying statesOpenness – unhindered movement of signals, nodesInteractivity – knowledge and learning are emergent
  14. 14. Mapa conceptual de Stephen Downes traducido por Potâchov,e-learning, conocimiento en red
  15. 15. Autonomy and Connectivism• Wikipedia: Autonomy means freedom from external authority.• Autonomy is what distinguishes between personal learning, which we do for ourselves, and personalized learning, which is done for us. Autonomy Stephen Downes
  16. 16. Autonomy as Capacity to ActDo it yourself? A Learners Perspective on Learner Autonomy and Self-Access Language LearningHayo Reinders
  17. 17. Four-Factor Model of Autonomy ExperienceFactors affecting Scope and range ofepistemic states autonomous behaviour EngagementEmpowermentCapacity to act on Effects of autonomousepistemic states behaviourA Model of Autonomy EffectStephen Downes
  18. 18. Factors Effecting Experience Frames Metaphors Memory Cause SpiritTraumas Phobias Ethics and morality Needs Perceptions World View Empirical Inference Emotional state CognitivePain Suffering Fear Literacy Numeracy Certainty Punishments Vision Rewards External Money Recognition Expectations Satisfaction Standards Less Autonomy More Autonomy
  19. 19. Connectivism and Experience (1)1. Minimize the factors limiting autonomy, such as pain, fear, punishment, rewards A connectivist course does not have tests and grades, competition, passing, failure…
  20. 20. Connectivism and Experience (2)2. Encourage a diversity of non-debilitating factors, such as memories, perceptions, visions, expectations A connectivist course provides many resources, varied exercises, new technology and media
  21. 21. Connectivism and Experience (2)3. Maximize the factors strengthening autonomy, such as perspective, point of view, literacy, numeracy A connectivist course models and provides scaffolds encouraging development of personal capacities
  22. 22. Factors Effecting Empowerment Mobility Perceptual SupportStatic Physical More Autonomy Laws, rules, regulations Peer pressure Social Effective Threats and Sanctions Structural Accessibility Complexity Design Predictability Resources Barriers Locks Detours Range and Depth Traps Loops Language, Presentation Less Autonomy
  23. 23. Connectivism & Empowerment (1)1. Maximize the factors providing greater physical flexibility and control A connectivist course supports the learner’s own physical environment, including mobile
  24. 24. Connectivism & Empowerment (2)2. Minimize social pressures and encourage people to participate in their own way By supporting multiple environments, and not (say) a central forum, negative social impacts are minimized
  25. 25. Connectivism & Empowerment (3)2. Minimize structural constraints and reduce forced detours, loops, and requirements Connectivist courses as a whole are not ‘designed’ and do not attempt to engage a particular structure
  26. 26. Connectivism & Empowerment (4)2. Maximize the range, depth, openness and accessibility of resources Connectivist courses use open resources; all participants may create or submit resources
  27. 27. Factors Effecting Engagement Languages More Autonomy Scope Media Word Use many Directionality Expression Association Pedagogies Groups Method Operating Broadcast Less Autonomy Choices Principles Selection one Channels Range Noise Results and EffectsAllocation Background Tools Colours Lighting and Clarity
  28. 28. Connectivism & Engagement (1)1. Maximize the range and flexibility of association and groupings Connectivist courses do not create a single group or community, but encourage the creation of many
  29. 29. Connectivism & Engagement (2)2. Encourage multiple languages and diverse communications environments Connectivist courses are run in multiple languages and varying modalities: images, audio, simulation…
  30. 30. Connectivism & Engagement (3)3. Expect different reasons for engagement, multiple outcomes, and varying mechanisms Connectivist support cooperation over collaboration, with varying pedagogies to support multiple aims
  31. 31. Factors Effecting Effect Audience (How Many) Impact Efficacy (How Much)More Autonomy(Requires Both) Community Social Improvement Public Good Internal Associative External CharityKnowing More Rights Feeling Better Employment Social Justice Wealth
  32. 32. Connectivism & Effect (1)1. While at the same time emphasizing the personal, maximize effect range and impact Connectivist courses support massive participation and growing impactful engagement in community
  33. 33. Connectivism & Effect (2)1. Recognize and support the potential for improvements both social and personal The impact of connectivist courses is measured by one’s engagement and improvement in the wider knowledge community
  34. 34. Learning OutcomesWe recognize this By perfomance in this There are not specific bits of knowledge or competencies, but rather, personal capacities (more on this later)
  35. 35. 2010: Stephen Downes, Rita KopCritical Literacies & PLENK 2010 PLENK 2010 involved a significant research effort
  36. 36. PLENK AnalyticsRita Kop Supporting ongoing MOOC participation
  37. 37. Critical LiteraciesUnderstanding how we use artifacts tocommunicate in online and other learningnetworks
  38. 38. 2011: Year of the MOOC
  39. 39. Connectivism & Connective Knowledge CCK11: How to Learn in a MOOC
  40. 40. How to be Successful in a MOOC Dave Cormier
  41. 41. Learning Analytics LAK11: How to measure success in a MOOC
  42. 42. MobiMOOC Inge de WaardSupporting Mobile Learning Technology
  43. 43. The madness and mayhem ofDS106 Jim GroomDS = Digital StorytellingDS106 redefined activities and participation
  44. 44. eduMOOCLarge, well publicized, but not very interactive
  45. 45. eduMOOC underground Jeff LebowJeff Lebow, Google+ hangout, and Livestream:Taking something ordinary, and making itsomething special – YOU make the MOOC
  46. 46. AI-Class: Redefining MassiveMore than 100,000 people signed up for pre-registration
  47. 47. Change 2011 Downes, Cormier and Siemens try againImage:
  48. 48. Stephen Downes