MOOCs and Connectivist Instructional Design

Geoff Cain, Brainstorm in Progress, Oct 28, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Geoff Cain describes designing a class to teach "the core skills that allowed anyone to adapt to any technology they might find themselves in." What's interesting was what happened when they set up an open class form at. "We wanted a space where local students could drop in physically if they wanted to or participate remotely. What we noticed was that students started helping one another as much as we were helping students." This shades into a discussion of connectivism as a learning theory and the design of MOOCs. "Based on the principles of connectivism, learning should:

  • Provide for a diversity of opinions
  • Allow students to create connections between specialized nodes and learning sources
  • Foster their capacity to learn (teach metacognitive learning skills)
  • Increase their ability see connections between fields, concepts, and ideas
  • Teach students to build networks that will allow students to keep current in their field
  • Allow students to choose what to learn and how."

I think this is a nice summary of the pedagogical intent behind connectivism, and ties in well with the structural and functional accounts Suiemens and I have provided over the years.

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