My MOOC experiences

conversations and learning in the digital world


Connectivist Instructional design

I came across an interesting resource while browsing about MOOCs. 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.

In the last few days, our FB group has just exploded with interactivity, information, resource links, tools and general distribution of knowledge. Here is how I am trying to make sense of it all. Although it is easy to get overwhelmed with the responses in the group, I notice smaller groups of people connecting with each other for their problems and solutions. This network offers distribution of knowledge and solutions and it all lies within our brains the problems as well as the solutions. So if I have a problem – it’s in my brain – there is another brain out there who has the solution. This connecting of brains, ideas, solutions leads to continuously improved learning, innovative ideas for me and the entire network. The collective knowledge is staggering.

Forming connections and sharing and distributing knowledge is what I think connectivism is and that is one of the designs of MOOCs I believe. There is always a choice for the learner – whom to connect with, how to expand his/her network. And it all depends on his or her learning needs.

And here is the most interesting part – it is completely learner centred. Connectivism is all about the learner – the tutors and facilitators act as a support and the technology is the enabler. Connectivism perhaps is the best way for self paced learning based on learning styles, intelligences, choice of networks, connections and technology. And all this is happening in our MOOC group.

Any thoughts?



Learning with Coursera (join us!)

I found the Coursera site through a friend who had taken a course on it few months back. So I decided to take the plunge.

This website is brilliant really. It has courses on literature, music, culture, mathematics, science offered by places like John Hopkins, Princeton, Stanford, Edinburgh, Duke Georgia Tech. And the best part is, they are free!

I have enrolled for a course called “elearning and digital cultures” by the University of Edinburgh. The course hasn’t even started yet and we have a lot of interaction already taking place between us learners. I’m already learning a lot of new things. The forums, groups and blogs are super active with new threads of discussion being added everyday. To be honest, it’s a little difficult to keep up with all the information and I need to get more organised to keep a track of things to read – blogs, links, tweets and comments.

The course starts in January so anyone interested go take a look!