In his DEHub summit keynote Terry Anderson spoke on the technical challenges and opportunities of 3 generations of distance (in its loosest sense) education pedagogies. It was a balanced, eclectic approach that aligned to our approach in designing the PiE course at SWSI (moodle based).
He began by explicitly stating his values:
- student control and freedom
- continued educational opportunities as a human right, and that
- we can continuously improve the quality effectiveness, appeal, cost and time efficiency of the learning experience
and his belief that ‘technology sets the beat and timing, and pedagogy defines what you do with it’.
The 3 generations – behaviourist, constructivist and connectivist – in themselves and their definitions were nothing new but he did a good job at positioning them as an integrated approach to meet the needs of life long learners in complex contexts.
A behavourist approach was presented as useful for
- logically coherent self-paced study
- context free skills and concepts
- transmissable knowledge
- presenting multiple representations
- a support for student modelling and adaptation
- reflection amplifiers
- highly scalable teaching
- reducing insecurity
Interestingly he placed most OER content in this bucket.
A constructivist approach is useful for:
- presenting multiple perspectives
- a focus on negotiation
- small group learning
- less structure
- google docs, locked down spaces, discussion forums, voicethread
and a connectivist approach for:
- learner control
- highly scalable
- emergent, soft skills related to real world engagement
- connection forming
Terry encouraged a focus on NETWORKS of practice (as opposed to CoPs) and asked the audience ‘what is YOUR footprint online for others to connect with?’ and stressed the need to:
- challenge our assessment models
- use the network to filter/manage connections
- rethink learning as a process of filtering and pruning
- stop trying to MANAGE learning in a connectivist model but trust self-based accountability
My question is how do students learn the underpinnings of a connectivist approach to learning – the ability to filter, prune, connect?
Are some individuals destined to be excluded from the benefits this approach offers? What are the implications of this?