Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The Theory of Connectivism

The Theory of Connectivism Educational theory Learning is a crucial activity in the lives of humans and its forms the basis of the educational process (Isman (2011). Consequently, a lot of attention has been paid to the understanding of how learning takes place, leading to the formulation of numerous theories of learning and instruction. These theories have evolved over the years as developments in other areas of education continue to happen.Advertising We will write a custom dissertation sample on The Theory of Connectivism specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More There is no one theory that can be described as the perfect theory that fits in all learning situations. This means that different theories are applied to different learning situations. The various theories of education and learning describe how learning occurs, the factors that shape learning, the importance of memory in learning, and how knowledge is transferred (Ravenscroft (2011). Behaviorism is one of w ell known learning theories. The theory posits that human beings receive a stimulus in the process of learning, which they respond to. According to Isman (2011), this mode of learning is best promoted by task-based learning. Learning under behaviorism is also influenced by the rewards that are obtained from learning, as well as punishment. Repeated experiences end up establishing memory. Cognitivism is the other theory of learning, which posits that learning occurs in a structured way. Yilmaz (2011) argues that knowledge is transferred by duplicating the knowledge of the instructor in cognitive learning. Consequently, problem solving type of learning highly promotes this mode of learning. The third most common learning theory is constructivism, which is a theory that proposes that knowledge is passed through socialization. Social and cultural factors seem to influence learning under this theory. A more recent theory of learning is the connectivism theory, which posits that knowledge is transferred by connecting to the source if knowledge. According to Ravenscroft (2011), connectivism is a complex learning mode where learning is distributed in a web and it is enhanced by technological advancement. Connectivism According to Thomas (2010), the emergence and development of diverse communication tools and the subsequent deployment of these tools in the discharge of education has resulted in the alteration of the learning environment. What is meant here is that there is a lot of change in the way education is discharged.Advertising Looking for dissertation on education? Let's see if we can help you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More This comes from the fact that education is changing from the traditional perspective where it was delivered in specific learning environments that were largely confined in nature to the development of a virtual learning environment where content is not only guided by the teachers, but is also discharged by students who use technology to advance learning between and among themselves. This literature review contains the discussion of how the theory of connectivism has been applied in the field of education. Siemens (2011) argues that information technology has transformed the traditional learning environment in a significant way that necessitates a new learning theory. One rationale for the creation of a new theory of learning is that in the digital age, most learning environments are intertwined, technological, and social in nature (Kaufman Mann, 2007). Kaufman and Mann (2007) further observe that the different connection points in learning have been developed in learning where the use of technology, especially the web 2.0 technology tools are used to create learning groups by students. This is done both in formal literacy and informal literacy within the wide learning environment that is becoming wider due to the prevalence of diverse technology platforms for discharging learning activities. Dunaway (2011) observes that connectivism is one of the foundational theories that provide a critical framework on which learning on the part of the students is characterized in the contemporary learning environment where information and communication technology is taking center stage in the learning environment. The contemporary application of information and communication tools and technologies in learning is slowly but surely resulting in limiting the role and actual influence of teachers as the moderators of learning and is promoting scenes where students are taking the center stage in the contemporary learning environment. At this juncture, it is imperative to revisit the observation by Thomas (2010), whose argument about the application of the connectivism learning theory in the modern learning environment that is technology driven, reiterates on change in the manner in which literacy instruction is discharged.Advertising We will write a custom dissertatio n sample on The Theory of Connectivism specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More The connectivist approach to learning can, thus, be better informed by looking at the real attributes of learning and literacy as fostered by both the learners and the educators (Dunaway, 2011). Pan and Franklin (2011) found that students had a comfort level customizing social media and educational tools to meet their learning needs. However, for many teachers, it was their first experience with online collaboration and Web 2.0 tools in an educational context. Kvavik (2005) noted that for Web 2.0 tools and a connectivist theory to be embraced, teachers should be eager and ready to utilize the technology. As the online environment matures, the role of both teachers and students grows, especially within group discussions where students interact with one another as opposed to interacting exclusively with the teacher. The connectivist learning theory alters the role of the t eacher, ensuring that students are involved and engaged in learning by answering each others posts as opposed to answering the teacher (Livingston, 2011). In a case study of blogging and its use in the connectivist learning theory, Garcia, Brown, and Elbeltagi (2013) found that connectivism has influenced the way blogs are used in teaching and learning. The change may not only be from the acceptance of blogging as a part of the instructional process, but also in how teachers and students have embraced the connectivist learning style (Garcia et al., 2013). Blogging provided collaborative opportunities for students to communicate online (Richardson, 2010). Another component of blogging that supported the connectivist learning theory is the manner content or remotely located experts could become involved in the learning environment. Blogging also represents an essential aspect of the connectivist principle that students can make associations for learning, while being associated within a network (Boitshwarelo, 2011). Technology has facilitated learners to access a wealth of information resources; for instance, online libraries, peer-reviewed journals, and book reference services along with social media, blogging, and Web 2.0 tools (Lemke, Coughlin, Garcia, Reifsneider, Baas, 2009). The availability of content and the fact that leaners can access information through these tools is a positive indicator of using technology in facilitating learning.Advertising Looking for dissertation on education? Let's see if we can help you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More With the availability of information, the use of teachers as the source of information as embraced in traditional learning environment is quite limited. This is in lime with the observation by London and Hall (2011), who noted that the intense deployment of Web 2.0 technology tools in learning in the contemporary learning environment denotes a shift from the teacher-controlled models of learning to the learner controlled model of learning. The emergence of digital literacies (print to paperless) has also intensified the need for connectivism. Lee, Messom, and Yau (2013) studied one school’s e-book implementation and determined that many surveyed students preferred e-books due to the Web 2.0 component. In the case study, students could post information on discussion boards and join to e-books so that their fellow students and educators could react and remark on posts that were freely accessible by course participants. As theory-guided practice in this case study, cooperation a mong students empowered them to interpret e-book content and to impart information among other learners (Lee et al., 2013). This indicates the ease with which collaboration and networking in learning can be attained in social and technological networks that are developed courtesy of the availability of technology. Tu et al. (2012) applauds the fact that learning is broadened because of the fact that learners can easily connect and establish learning networks on the technology platform. Collaborating on discussion boards facilitated many of the features in a connectivist learning model; for example, allowing communication between students, (Ferdig Trammell, 2004) elevating peer groups to assist in learning (Glogoff, 2005), and the evolution of discussion groups (Macduff, 2009). With the use of technology, students can now easily establish and sustain important learning networks, with only limited support from the instructors (Boitshwarelo, 2011). Another important aspect captured in the new paradigm is the emerging collaborative nature of education (Dunaway, 2011). Williams, Karousou, and Mackness (2011) studied Connectivism and Connective Knowledge (CCK08) at the University of Manitoba. With a rolling enrollment, students were able to plan their own path through the course content that was available on the course website. Students agreed that all knowledge would be created collaboratively and openly shared among all course members. Williams et al. (2011) remarked that CCK08 fulfilled key conditions for a connectivist course, such as asynchronous and synchronous learning events, daily aggregation of knowledge, content experts, discussion boards, and student responsibility for their own learning goals. Williams et al. (2011) noted that many of the students in CCK08 withdrew from the course. Consequently, the authors concluded that connectedness alone does not guarantee collaboration, let alone connectivist learning. CCK08 was a failed attempt to illustrate the application of theory, where the learning process has shifted from a one-sided and impersonal process into a dynamic one characterized by interpersonal communication, distant support, and increased platforms for information besides the instructor, such as access to world-class resources and experts (Kaufman Mann, 2007). Connectivism has informed the practice of librarians seeking greater student engagement in information literacy. Dunaway (2011) proposed that the learning theory of connectivism be merged with the framework of metaliteracy. In so doing, librarians can promote the development of personal learning networks for students. Mackey and Jacobson (2011) defined metaliteracy as a framework that integrates emergent technologies with various literacies, such as cyber, digital, media, and information literacy. Here, connectivism learning theory is embedded in the fact that a lot of people are engaged on social networks supported by the emergent technologies that support these ne tworks. Therefore, different locus of knowledge sharing and dissemination emerges, thereby challenging the traditional culture of learning that emphasized on a single dimension of learning; the use of instructors in discharging learning activities. Friesen and Lowe (2012) observed that the social media, which is part of web 2.0 technology tools, is promoting connective learning in the sense that it promotes the creation of engaged learning environments. New forms of leaning environments that are more engaging keep coming up as people embrace the use of social media in communication. References Dunaway, M. (2011). Connectivism learning theory and pedagogical practice for networked information landscapes. Reference Services Review, 39(4), 675-685. Friesen, N. N., Lowe, S. S. (2012). The questionable promise of social media for education: connective learning and the commercial imperative. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 28(3), 183-194. Isman, A. (2011). Instructional design in education: New model. Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology TOJET, 10(1), 136-142. London, M., Hall, M. (2011). Unlocking the value of Web 2.0 technologies for training and development: The shift from instructor-controlled, adaptive learning to learner-driven, generative learning. Human Resource Management, 50(6), 757-775. Ravenscroft, A. (2011). Dialogue and connectivism: a new approach to understanding and promoting dialogue-rich networked learning. International Review of Research in Open And Distance Learning, 12(3), 139-160. Thomas, H. (2010). Learning spaces, learning environments and the dis‘placement’ of learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(3), 502-511. Tu, C., Sujo-Montes, L., Yen, C., Chan, J., Blocher, M. (2012). The integration of personal learning environments open network learning environments. Techtrends: Linking Research Practice to Improve Learning, 56(3), 13-19. Yilmaz, K. (2011). The cognitive perspective on learning : its theoretical underpinnings and implications for classroom practices. Clearing House, 84(5), 204. doi:10.1080/00098655.2011.568989

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