Connected learning takes advantage of social networking technologies to focus on learning as a connected activity. Connectivism, or ‘connected learning’, merges several approaches and models but is fundamentally led by core values of equity, participation and social connection.
Openness is another core value that is generally incorporated in connectivist approaches.
Before the development of xMOOCs, which tend to adopt a behaviourist approach, connectivist MOOCs (cMOOCs) provided opportunities for educational practitioners to engage in open conversations and collaborations with peers on the kinds of pedagogic approaches that are relevant for an online networked world.
These provide useful courses for staff who want to explore connectivism and experience being an open online student.
Connectivist approaches encourage participation and support learners to develop connections that may last beyond the life of the course. This can be valuable if your institution wants to help students develop a professional network as they study.
A newer concept, rhizomatic learning, takes its name from plants with continuously growing roots that develop new shoots going off in different directions. Rhizomatic learning acknowledges that learners have their own individual contexts and need different things.
Dave Cormier, University of Prince Edward Island says:
“Organising a conversation, a course, a meeting or anything else to be rhizomatic involves creating a context, maybe some boundaries, within which a conversation can grow.”