Connectivism Learning Theory. Crystal Zeng University of Victoria

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1 Connectivism Learning Theory Crystal Zeng University of Victoria

2 Definition Connectivism is a learning theory that describes how internet technologies provide people from all over the world with opportunities to learn and share ideas across networks and among themselves. These internet technologies including s, facebook, twitter and all kinds of other social networks really help us a lot both in learning and study. Nowadays, people have easy access to the internet and we go to internet for help when we meet into troubles. Advantages and Disadvatages Obviously, connectivism is a learning theory for the digital age. It has a lot of strengths. With internet increasingly covering more areas in the world, people are linked through networks and they benefit from each other. What's more, the development of internet technologies has already reorganized our ways of communication and learning. In the past, students were used to sitting in the classroom and having face-to-face interact with their instructor. Students were required to attend every class to be engaged in the learning process. If they missed a class, they might found it difficult to catch it up later. However, since the connectivism learning theory has been developed, both students and instructors now have more choices. Instructors can create an online course and students can easily learn online instead of going to schools which saves a lot of time for them. In addition, Giesbrecht (2007) points out that connectivism is founded in connections where learners should interact with elements that extend the learning practice

3 beyond the classroom and allow real life experiences. Also, spencer (2004) mentions some advantages of using internet technology and states that ideas and discussions among students can continue beyond the classroom meeting time, dialogical participation is encouraged, students gain new options for participating, among others. Moreover, this new learning style provides people with more flexibility. With the use of proper connected tools, individuals can make well use of their personal academic learning time. If individuals feels like learning something, Connectivism helps them to have access to the sources immediately. Conversely, when an individual does not want to work on a planned activity, Connectivism can give him the chance to do that in the right time he or she likes.(şahin,2012) However, it also has some drawbacks. Since connectivism learning theory highly depends on networks. In this way, in the informal learning environment, students may find hard to focus on learning but on the connected tools and in this way they are distracted from study. It's quite in common that people tend to check their facebook when they are actually googling a vocabulary. Related theories There are three learning theories related to the connectivism learning theory: 21st Century Skills, Communities of Practice and Social learning theory. 21st century skills is about Students are required to master lots of skills including digital literacy, content knowledge in the 21st century in order to succeed both in school and life. Communities of Practice is a theory that concerns teamwork. It says that people who work in groups and share their concerns and ideas for something can have better results than working individually. Since communities of Practice emphasizes the importance of collaborative sprit, it has some similarities with the connectivism learning theory because they both demonstrate the idea that the connections between people is important regardless of distance. The third one is social learning theory. In the society, people learn from each other through communication, observation and instruction. The society provides people with opportunities to broaden their eyes and effectively share information. Application of the theory The connectivism learning theory opens a new era for education. Students no longer have to attend class at school to learn, instead, they can learn the same content on the internet. Here is an example of connectivism learning theory. MOOC, A massive open online course (MOOC) is a model for delivering learning content online to any person who wants to take a course, with no limit on attendance. No matter where you are, as long as you have access to internet, you can take the course and learn online. It allows every participant to add dynamic to the course that benefits each other. This kind of Online class provides more flexibility than do traditional ones, making them more convenient for many students. Online classes

4 allow you to attend school but also work, so you can fulfill all your important obligations. This has been the answer to many people's quest to further their education while still meeting their family and work responsibilities. Learning Assessment There are several learning assessment that can help my readers to better understand the theory and implement their learning. First, I suggest them to describe the connectivism learning theory by themselves. Then, I would like them to think about the pros and cons of the theory. At last, I suggest my readers to give a examples of its use in or impact on education.

5 References: Spencer, B. (2004). On-Line adult learning. In griff Foley ( ed.), Dimensions of adult learning: Adilt education and training in a global era (pp ). Berkshire: Open University Press. Giesbrech, N. (2007). Connectivism: Teaching and learning.http://design.test.olt.ubc.ca/connectivism:_teaching_and_learning, Accessed March 26,2008. ŞAHİN Mehmet. (2012). Pros and cons of connectivism as a learning theory.(vol.2, Issue.4, pp ) doi: how Are Online Colleges Different From Traditional Colleges? Rereived from

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