Connectivism

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Welcome to the Connectivism and Connective Knowledge Online Course 2009 support wiki.

Syllabus, weekly schedule, and speaker's list will be posted in August, 2009.

The syllabus from last year's (2008) course can be accessed here.


Course tags: CCK09

Contents

Course Details

Delivered in partnership with: Extended Education and Learning Technologies Centre, University of Manitoba custom written papers

Course Code: 98813- 08-01

Course Description: Connectivism and Connective Knowledge is a twelve week course that will explore the concepts of connectivism and connective knowledge and explore their application as a framework for theories of teaching and learning. It will outline a connectivist understanding of educational systems of the future. This course will help participants make sense of the transformative impact of technology in teaching and learning over the last decade. The voices calling for reform do so from many perspectives, with some suggesting 'new learners' require different learning models, others suggesting reform is needed due to globalization and increased competition, and still others suggesting technology is the salvation for the shortfalls evident in the system today. While each of these views tell us about the need for change, they overlook the primary reasons why change is required.

Programs: For credit in Certificate in Adult and Continuing Education and Certificate in Emerging Technologies for Learning.

Date: September 14, 2009 - December 6, 2009

Technologies Used: Through out this "course" participants will use a variety of technologies. For example, participants will use blogs, Second Life, Page Flakes, attend UStream sessions, attend Elluminate sessions, participate in discussions in Moodle forums, and so on. Additional technologies will be introduced as is required to attend to concerns or opportunities arising over the next 12 weeks.

Facilitators: George Siemens and Stephen Downes will co-facilitate this innovative and timely course.

Weekly Activities

Each week will consist of the follow activities

This course will be a different type of learning experience. Learners from around the world will be participating, creating an opportunity for peer-to-peer learning and feedback. While facilitators will be active in the conversation, and will provide feedback to the work of students who have enrolled in the course for credit, the number of participants makes it impossible for traditional teacher-centric instruction to work well.

Each week will begin with a series of short readings (1-2 pages), podcasts, or video recording by both instructors. Course readings and online videos will be provided each week as well. These resources will accessible late Sunday (GMT-5). Weekly reading lists are provided below. Additions will be made based on the nature of the ongoing discussion. Please visit the weekly reading list prior to the start of each week for the most updated version.

Monday morning (according to CST zone (GMT -6) you will receive an email with a link to a short podcast/paper/video or online presentation by both George and Stephen. These short presentations will serve to provide a brief introduction to activities during the week.

During the balance of the week, you will receive daily emails summarizing key aspects of the existing conversation.

Wednesday/Thurs will consist of an elluminate session. As our learner base is global, we will schedule different session times each week. These sessions are not structured and can best be seen as informal conversations with other participants. George, Stephen, or invited guests will moderate the weekly discussion. Where guests have been invited, they will provide a short 20 minute presentation, followed by discussion.

We want to move beyond didactic presentation of information. The discussion around readings and short presentations we provide will form the central part of the learning experience. As learners, you can participate in the Moodle forums, your own blog, or any other open forum.

Learner Assignments and Evaluation

Learners will be asked to complete the following activities during the course (students enrolled for credit through University of Manitoba will receive feedback from facilitators.

  • Weekly reflections on blogs
  • Participation in moodle forums and commenting on blogs by peer learners in the course
  • Two short reflective papers (500-750 words)
  • Concept map (using a tool like CMAP)
  • Final presentation - video, podcast, presentation addressing "What is the quality of my learning networks: diversity, depth, how connected am I? How has this course influence your view of the process of learning (assuming, of course, that it has)? What types of questions are still outstanding?"


In-course Conferences:

  • Personal Learning Environments/Networks (October 12-18) (in conjunction with National Research Council, Canada)
  • Net Pedagogy (November 13)
  • Policy-level implications (timed with UNESCO conference in Barcelona on Connectivism)


Resources and general information

Course blog

The Daily - Please subscribe to this daily newsletter around course topics/posts and general discussions

Recordings - live sessions and presentations will be posted to this page shortly after each event.

Moodle

Weekly Topics:


Week 1: What is Connectivism? (September 14-20)

This week provides an overview of Connectivism as a theory of learning.

Presentations & Papers

Richard Schwier interviews George on Connectivism

Video Recap of Connectivism and Connective Knowledge 2008

George Siemens presentation on Defining Connectivism and Comparing connectivism with other learning theories

Stephen Downes presentation: A quick introduction to connectivism (ustream) (Spanish, German)

Readings

What connectivism is

What is the Unique Idea in Connectivism?


Optional Readings/References:

http://ltc.umanitoba.ca/connectivism/?p=101

Little Boxes, Glocalization and Networked Individualism (.pdf)

Week 2: Patterns of connections: Attributes of networks (September 21-27)

Readings

Unfortunately, it's difficult to find a comprehensive introductory resource detailing structures of networks online. Many excellent articles exist...but are behind pay walls. (If you have access and are interested in exploring, start with Barabasi, Watts, Granovetter). The articles listed below will provide a bit of an introduction. We will go into greater depth during our live discussion this week (time to be posted). During the live session, we will explore in greater detail terms such as: strong/weak ties, hubs, scale-free networks, small worlds, centrality, etc.

Short Introduction to social network analysis

Network science

Stephen Downes: Learning Networks: Theory and Practice .ppt and audio (this link may not work early in the week as Stephen is experiencing issues with his website) Google cache version of the presentation for this week's readings is http://tinyurl.com/n3ysqe and the audio is available at http://tinyurl.com/mf58cy

Optional:

Networks for Newbies .ppt

Assignments:

1. Live elluminate session: Friday, 3 pm CST (time zone conversions). We will be meeting here in elluminate

2. To take advantage of other open online courses, you may wish to visit Alec Couros course this week by attending a presentation by Richard Schwier on learning communities. The session runs at 7 pm (Saskatchewan time) (GMT-6) here in elluminate

3. Post comments and reflections on week 2 readings on your blog. Participate in week 2 discussions in the Moodle forum...in particular, share resources on networks that you encounter in your browsing this week.

4. Start developing your concept map (you may have to scroll down for details on completing the CMAP

5. Review the assignment requirements for your first paper

Additional Resources for Network Theories:

Challenges of Collaboration in a Small-Firm Network, Hanna Toiviainen - PhD thesis using Activity Theory to understand learning within networking activities of small metal-working subcontracting companies in Finland in the 1990s [1]

Very brief summary of Actor Network Theory with useful links [2]

Excellent book on Networks (no link to open content) by Clay Spinuzzi that compares the use of Activity Theory and ANT in rich organisational study of Telecomms industry [3]

Week 3: Connectives and Collectives (September 28-October 4)

Week 3 Introductory Video


Readings

Groups Vs Networks: The Class Struggle Continues - Stephen Downes

That Group Feeling - Stephen Downes

Downes Interview: Groups and Networks (here's the image from the video)

Group and Network (presentation, George Siemens...this presentation is from CCK08...but still reflects my view that groups are a type of network)

Optional

Collectives, Networks and Groups in Social Software for E-Learning - Terry Anderson and John Dron

7 Habits of Highly Connected People - Stephen Downes

Activities:

As mentioned at the start of CCK09, we want to take advantage of cross-course learning opportunities. This week, George will be presenting on the topic of What is Connectivism? to EC & I 831, an open course offered by Alec Couros: Tues 7 pm Regina Time (conversion to other time zones) (NOTE different Elluminate link for this session)

Elluminate discussion: Thursday, Oct 1, 2 pm CST (time zone conversion). This session will be held in our regular Elluminate room

Assignments:

1. Continue regular weekly activities - blogging, developing your concept map, and follow the distributed conversation through various sites (pageflakes, delicious, Google Alerts). In your blog posts, consider the question: Have you begun to see the rudiments of a learning network forming? Has some of the conceptual uncertainty settled?

2. If you have not done so, set up an account with Google Reader and subscribe to a few of the blogs from fellow participants that you've found to be insightful or valuable in your learning.

Week 4: Connective Knowledge: Is epistemology still relevant? (October 5-11)

Readings:

Learning Networks and Connective Knowledge

Rhizomatic Knowledge (Dave Cormier) – free registration to Innovate is required to read the article.


Assignments:

1. Post comments and reflections on week readings on your blog. Participate in discussions in the Moodle forum. Provide comments to blog posts of other course participants.

2. Work on your concept map – capture key themes in the ongoing conversation that resonate with your views of learning and knowledge

3. If you haven’t done so to date, begin to follow the CCK09 tag via Google Alerts, search for recent posts on CCK09 on Twitter, and begin tracking and contributing to del.icio.us tags on connectivism and networked learning

4. Weekly live session in elluminate on Thursday at 6 pm CST (Time Zone Conversion)

Week 5: Conference Week: Personal Learning Environments & Networks(October 12-18)

This week is a conference week. The foundation of connectivism have been addressed in the first four weeks of the course: details of the theory, network structures, collectives/connectives, and a networked view of knowledge. In week five, we'll discuss how connectivism is reflected both technologically and pedagogically through Personal Learning Environments.

Details of the conference - speakers, abstracts, and times can be found on the conference website (schedule). All sessions will be recorded, so if you are unable to attend them live, an archive will be available.

All sessions will be held in this Elluminate room.

Activities for the week:

1. Continue working on your first paper on connectivism

2. Flesh out your concept map (short overview of concept mapping)

3. Contribute to the Moodle discussion forum for the PLE conference. What is your reaction to PLEs? What are obstacles to adoption?

Week 6: Complex Adaptive Systems (October 19-25)

Focus on:

  • Implications of complexity and adaptivity on the learning process

Week 7: Power & Authority (October 26-November 1)

Week 8: Openness & Transparency (November 2-8)

Week 9: Net Pedagogy: How shall we teach? (November 9-15)

Online Conference: Net pedagogy


Week 10: Research (November 16-22)

Week 11: Weltanschauung: Changing views, changing systems (November 23-29)

Online Conference: Systemic Change


Week 12: From grassroots to policy (November 30-December 6)

Online Conference: Connectivism & Policy

Learner Evaluation

Short Paper 1: Your position on Connectivism

Details:

The first few weeks of this course have provided a backdrop against which to consider the need for new views of learning. Strongly suggested through the readings is the view that information growth, technology, developments in social learning theory, and advancements in our understanding of minds and cognition require a reconsideration of learning theory. This course is partly concerned with providing participants access to learning through networks - experiencing the value of forming connections between people and ideas/concepts. This short paper (between 500-750 words) is an opportunity for you to clarify and state your position on connectivism. Is it a new theory of learning? Or is the concept of theory distracting? What are the weaknesses of connectivism as formulated in this course? What are the strengths? Does connectivism resonate with your learning experiences? If so, how? What are your outstanding questions?

Length: 500-750 words. Please provide citations/links to support your position. Citation formatting will not factor into your paper mark, but use of APA formatting is appreciated.

Due: October 23


Short Paper 2: Changing roles of educators

Details:

The shifting basis of certainty has been a critical focus during week 5-9. Through readings and discussions, we have focused on complexity, chaos theory, instructional design, power and control, and the changing roles for educators. For your second paper, select your point of emphasis as that of the instructional designer or educator. Explore changing roles for your selected field. Do you agree their roles are changing? If so, what are appropriate responses? What are impediments to change? If not, how can current trends be best utilized to serve in the traditional role of educator or designer? In your paper, focus on creative conceptualizations of different roles (or different approaches to serve new needs in existing roles) played by educators. Consider metaphors that capture your views. Times of change permit reformulations of existing viewpoints. Take this opportunity to enjoy a creative stroll in rethinking "what could be".

Length: 500-750 words. Please provide citations/links to support your position. Citation formatting will not factor into your paper mark, but use of APA formatting is appreciated.

Due: Nov 22

Concept Map

Details:

This course will require you to use a concept map to capture and express relationships between ideas. Concept maps are an opportunity to relate ideas and concepts and demonstrate connections that are often not noticed in more linear instructional processes. Throughout the course, you will be asked to take the key ideas discussed each week and detail how the concepts are connected. You may find that you only add a handful of items per week, or you may find that you get quite detailed in expressing conceptual relationships and add dozens (or more) items.
Tools: You can create your concept map by downloading CMAP (free tool) or using TheBrain (free trial version). Throughout the course you will be asked to export (with CMAPs) your concept map and post online for feedback. If you use TheBrain, you can export your entire "brain" and post on a site (via ftp) contributed by lawyer in california.

Due: Dec 6

Final Project

Details: Your final presentation can be handled in a variety of formats: podcast, slidecast, Articulate presentation, video recording, Second Life presentation, or, if your feeling creative, an approach of your choosing (if you're enrolled in the course for credit, please confirm your project with instructors). The final project should answer questions such as: "What is the quality of my learning networks: diversity, depth, how connected am I? How has this course influence my view of the process of learning (assuming, of course, that it has)? What types of questions are still outstanding? How can you incorporate connectivist principles in your design and delivery of learning?" Midway through the course, you will be given the opportunity to voluntarily form small groups to bounce around ideas on how to handle this assignment and to submit your work for peer-review before your final submission.

Due: Nov 30

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