09 September, 2008

'Connectivism and Connective Knowledge' Open Online Course

The new Connectivism and Connective Knowledge Open Online course run by George Siemens and Stephen Downes started yesterday at the Univeristy of Manitoba. It is a 12-week course that "will explore the concepts of connectivism and connective knowledge and explore their application as a framework for theories of teaching and learning."

It is particularly interesting because it is an open course that anyone can take part in. Only those who are wanting credit need to pay fees. It also uses a wide variety of online services to enable communication. Matthias Melcher has created a diagram to try and show how some of the tools and services link together and the course Pageflakes page brings together all the RSS feeds related to the course. The university's Wiki is probably the best place to get an overview.

It'll be interesting to see what happens, but at the moment I think open courses like this can bring benefits to the paying students as well as those who just take part. There are lots of readings and learning materials, but there is also real value is in the conversations surrounding them. An increase in the number of people in the debate can, in my experience, help undertanding by making more connections between ideas and bringing diverse ways of looking at things. For an example of the numbers that are at least thinking about getting involved, there are currently about 250 people in the course Facebook group.

1 comment:

***** said...

In my experience, open courses like these degrade the integrity of the group. A group must be measurable by a whole number in order for it to be rational. Without a whole number, it is impossible to calculate any relative quantities such as equality, majority and minority. The result is an incoherent "group" with feeble discussion, deliberation and decision making processes.

What is a forum?