Friday, September 12, 2008

Connectivism: Week 1

With little time these days, I'll be auditing the auditor's version of the 12 week Connectivism course happening now. I haven't signed up anywhere, I haven't taken part in any of the sessions, but I'm like a moth drawn to the flame: as I peer in on all the conversation beginning to happen, I can't help but join in. In my own lazy way, at the very least.

As I sift through this week's reading assignments, I'm trying to pick out how this learning theory effects my work as a creator (an instructional designer) of self-paced eLearning experiences for the corporate market. (Justifying why I might spend my time doing this...filtering this info through my own context in order to create patterns that make sense to me and can be applied to me...)

Little nuggets that stand out to me:

George Siemens writes, in Connectivism: Learning Theory or Pastime of the Self-Amused?:

Educators today face challenges relating to: (a) defining what learning is, (b) defining the process of learning in a digital age, (c) aligning curriculum and teaching with learning and higher level development needs of society (the quest to become better people), and (d) reframing the discussion to lay the foundation for transformative education—one where technology is the enabler of new means of learning, thinking, and being. (p. 9)

Stephen Downes (What Connectivism Is) talks about the role of the teacher = model and demo; the role of the learner = practice and reflection. The best self-paced eLearning does this well, providing scenario-based learning and demos with plenty of opportunity for reflection and practice.

More on this later?

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1 comment:

Dave Ferguson said...

Cammy, I'm glad you're doing the auditing. I was tempted to sign up, but didn't think I could make the time commitment -- at least not in a way that would satisfy myself.

One angle that came to me as I read your post: what about the definition of learning that's in the client's mind? (Or, often, the undefinition of learning.)

By that I mean guys like Siemens and Downes are serious about learning and are working at figuring out how it happens and how a person can foster it.

A great challenge for those working in the corporate world, though, is overcoming the expectations (or unexamined stereotypes) of our clients.

Someone defined LMS as "learning means sitting." People who smile ruefully at that tend to be people who've tried to work with the constraints (restraints?) of a honking big pigeonhole-and-record-keeping system. Some people would just walk away; others try to do the best they can under the circumstances.

I realize that some people think there's no real point to training or learning in an organizational setting. I disagree with that, though heavens knows that at times organizations seem opposed to learning.

I'd be interested in your take on my (somewhat unformed) notion.