Is Connectivism A New Learning Theory Based on Old Ideas?

Bruna Mazzer, Tecnologias e Educação, Feb 18, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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Bruna writes, "the successful students are usually the ones who understand what they have to reach and which path they need to follow. They are recognized and rewarded (good grades) by their abilities to follow rules..." We've seen this observation before, for example, in John Holt.It suggests a strategy for reshaping learning: reshaping the rules (or better, the outcomes) needed to be successful. But this, she writes, points both to a strength and a failingin connectivism: "Students' creativity and engagement are considered of high importance in connectivism but, according to the passage presented above, connectivism may be failing in developing and evaluating those, just as 'obsolete' learning theories do." Thus is a challenge for all theories: how to promote desirable traits in students, without imposing a set of rules and values that promote success by obedience.

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