connectivism

January 4, 2015  |  By  | 


the grounds for this measure? If connectivism is to build on older theories, how is the integration of the old and new theories to be conducted? Forster (2007) maintains that for connectivism to be a learning theory, the theory’s limitations and the full range of contexts in which learning can take place must be accounted for. Otherwise, connectivism’s implementation by teachers may be insufficient and misguided. With the changes that have occurred as a result of increased accessibility to information and a rapidly evolving technological landscape, educators in higher learning institutions have been forced to adapt their teaching approaches without a clear roadmap for attending to students’ various needs. The wide range of approaches and learning paths that are available to redesign curricula cause friction for educators and instructional designers who are required to deliver course materials in accordance with learning outcomes prescribed and mandated by educational institutions. Overview of Connectivism Connectivism is a theoretical framework for understanding learning. In connectivism, the starting point for learning occurs when knowledge is actuated through the process of a learner connecting to and feeding information into a learning community. Siemens (2004) states, “A community is the clustering of similar areas of interest that allows for interaction, sharing, dialoguing, and thinking together.” In the connectivist model, a learning community is described as a node , which is always part of a larger network. Nodes arise out of the connection points that are found on a network. A network is comprised of two or more nodes linked in order to share resources. Nodes may be of varying size and strength, depending on the concentration of information and the number of individuals who are navigating through a particular node (Downes, 2008). According to connectivism, knowledge is distributed across an information network and can be stored in a variety of digital formats. Learning and knowledge are said to “rest in diversity of opinions” (Siemens, 2008, para. 8). Learning transpires through the use of both the cognitive and the affective domains; cognition and the emotions both contribute to the learning process in important ways. Since information is constantly changing, its validity and accuracy

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