This is the name of a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) devised and hosted by Stephan Downes and George Siemens, two of the sharpest academic minds working with learning. The course is a 12 week program looking at the the newest (anno 2005) learning theory – connectivism. As the name suggests, the theory is concerned with learning and knowledge created and used by connected people.
I have enrolled on the course and will be using this blog to contribute my thoughts to the other participants.
The interesting thing about the theory is that it is really focused, and indeed born out of thoughts about learning in connected, collaborative organisations. This is in contrast to behaviourism, cognitivism and constructivism which must be reworked in order to be applicable in the hyperconnected organizations of today.
Siemens summarises the main characteristics in the following list:
Principles of connectivism:
- Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions.
- Learning is a process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources.
- Learning may reside in non-human appliances.
- Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known
- Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning.
- Ability to see connections between fields, ideas, and concepts is a core skill.
- Currency (accurate, up-to-date knowledge) is the intent of all connectivist learning activities.
- Decision-making is itself a learning process. Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality. While there is a right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision.
The theory also strikes a bell with how I learn myself since I started using Twitter. Hyperconnectivity offers so many connections and opinions, one can actually start learning at the speed of business.
What resources do you use to learn in order to perform better at your job?