Given the rapid changes confronting society, important questions remain regarding how theory influences the work of researchers and practitioners. Within learning and knowledge-building literature, cognitivism and constructivism have remained the primary theories. Connectivism is a recent model of learning and knowledge building has been heavily cited over the past 15 years. Unfortunately, it has not been explored empirically and research-informed guidelines for implementation have not been developed.
Connectivism is primarily concerned with connections. These connections occur neuronally, conceptually, or socially. Learning analytics has progressed significantly in methods to evaluate both conceptual and social connections but has only minimally evaluated neuronal connections. Our workshop will launch a research community to focus on evaluating social, technical, and distributed knowledge building in socio-technical systems and how these dynamics differ from existing theories such as behaviourism, cognitivism, and constructivism.
Although connectivist research attained significant attention in recent years, the theory has also been subject to criticism. Those critiques addressed the ontological and epistemological status of connectivism, as well as psychological contents of connectivist assumptions. In spite of these critiques, most researchers who have interacted with the theory agree that connectivism is influential in practice.
In this full-day workshop, we aim to utilize learning analytics methods and techniques to operationalize a future-oriented research agenda. Specifically, we will explore the core assertions of connectivism with the goal of fostering a research community.
Specific outcomes of the workshop are to develop a research community investing connectivism as a knowledge and learning theory. This will include addressing the following challenges:
- What are the trends of connectivism research citations in academic literature?
- How does connectivism relate to other prominent theories of learning, including Community of Inquiry, Actor-Network Theory, and Activity Theory?
- How can the core assertions of connectivism be evaluated? What type of research is needed?
- What is the role of connectivism in the larger LA and learning sciences communities?
- Which methodologies provide researchers with the greatest capacity to understand and evaluate learning and knowledge development in a digital age?
- What types of mindsets and skills should learners develop regarding connectivism?
Oct 29: Workshop calls for participation announced
Dec 3: Workshop papers submission deadline (Template available here)
Jan 4: Notifications sent out (early-bird registration deadline of 8th January)
Feb 5: Final version of papers due for Companion Proceedings