Friday, April 8, 2011

Suzanne Darrow's Connectivism Learning Theory: Instructional Tools for College Courses

A related thesis that I have failed to cite in my project is Suzanne Darrow's Connectivism Learning Theory: Instructional Tools for College Courses (2009). I came across her work only after I have submitted my project report.


It's abstract follows:

This qualitative thesis explores the work of George Siemens and connectivist learning theory, 'A Learning Theory for the Digital Age'. Findings are based on a literature review which investigated the foundations, strengths and weaknesses of connectivism and synthesized conclusions into a knowledge base of practical applications for the college level, Instructional Technology classroom. The half-life of knowledge is shrinking, especially in the field of Instructional Technology; connectivism helps to ensure students remain current by facilitating the building of active connections, utilizing intelligent social networking and encouraging student-generated curricula. Connectivism allows the future of education to be viewed in an optimistic, almost utopian perspective, as individuals co-create knowledge in a global, networked environment (Darrow, 2009, p.ii).

Darrow tries to associate the term "digital natives" with connectivism. I wish she had taken into consideration Siemen's criticism of this concept at http://www.elearnspace.org/blog/2007/08/29/digital-immigrants-and-digital-natives/ (2007). A list of works criticizing the term can be found in Doug Holton's blog- http://edtechdev.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/the-digital-natives-digital-immigrants-distinction-is-dead-or-at-least-dying/ (2010).


Nevertheless, it's a good introduction to connectivism for teachers. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

Hopefully more theses on connectivism will be shared online this year.

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