eLearning Faculty

Learning, tinkering, making, teaching

Connectivism – it’s a theory. I am “the one who is connected.”

Connectivism is a learning theory that helps me, as a learner, think critically and become adaptable. There is some argument about it from the big brains and thinkers in education. I am sure some might argue with me about this too, but I understand my own learning and that is not a point to be debated. A colleague experienced just such argument when presenting her own educational philosophy to a class of educators. Which I find silly. Why so some educators who feel the need to revise MY learning to fit the “accepted” learning theory? I am an educated educator and learner and how I learn is working for me. So there!

baby with tongue out





Learning baby says Pfffffft!

In my own experience, if I am more connected I learn more than I do learning alone. This connection is not just between individuals but with networks of people, content and my own thinking, too. As a learner who is connected with myself, other people, other groups of people and content and I have more interactivity and I learn more. As the learner , I connect using a bunch of tools, ways and means. These connections are part of my network and I learn through the process of connecting, refining, and reconnecting.

George Siemens has an excellent explanation of Connectivism

In Connectivism, you may find the following practiced:

  • Instructor facilitates the forming of peer learning groups.
  • The role and relationships of instructor and learner changes as instructor becomes becomes facilitator of creating connections.
  • There is specific reference to and discussion about the changed role of instructors and learners, the relationships between the learning groups and with whom we formed the groups.
  • There is an obvious awareness of learning and “ways of learning,” or metacognition if you prefer.
  • There is encouragement to engage and connect to networks through the use of a variety of methods and tools.
  • There is identification of learning objectives through involvement in communities (virtual and IRL).
  • There is emerging knowledge through the integration of information.

T Shirt Connectivism

Start a conversation  – wear this shirt by Ryan Tracey on campus (from Cafe Press, no affiliation).

In Connectivism knowledge emerges from connection. Meaning is discovered and inferred by the learner (“the one who is connected”). The knowledge discovered from this connection is refined through feedback. Connections are not static and need not be synchronous. We need input from different groups to give us a better check for accuracy.

For more on Connectivism, I like:

Foliaki, Vilimaka (2012) Constructivism and connectivism: EDG14 developing learning resources II – Graduate Certificate in Teaching. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

Wanna argue? Go here to be set straight on Connectivism.


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