Week 7/8: Reflection

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A woman thinking” by ÁWáOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

This is a bit of hybrid post for Week 7 and 8. I will start by commenting on one of the readings David provided at the end of Week 7 that talk about the challenges of NGL. The one that resonated most was Keith Brennan’s article, In Connectivism, No one can hear you scream.

His comments around self efficacy and cognitive load, although not foreign were very interesting to consider from the viewpoint of NGL. He makes a few valid points around factors that contribute to “failure” in NGL:

“Too high cognitive load, and no assurance, or anxiety relieving measures.”

 “Decentralise the learning process to a degree where clarity and structure require skills you don’t have to access the information you need. “

“Tasks that are too complex with no guidance in how to achieve them.”

Regarding point 2, I would actually go further and argue that for me the problem isn’t so much about the skill I don’t have – but the time. EDU 8117 is a hybrid of connectivism and traditional education and one of the challenges of learning in a decentralised environment is that it requires more time commitment than a centralised and more traditional approach.

Even more interesting and helpful for me was the response to the Brennan article from Stephen Downes on his blog:

“Indeed, so long as you think of knowledge and learning as something to be acquired and measured and tested – instead of practiced and lived and experienced – you will be dissatisfied with connectivist learning. And – for that matter – there’s probably a limit to how far you can advance in traditional education as well, because (to my experience) everybody who achieves a high degree of expertise in a field has advanced well beyond the idea that it’s just information and skills and things to learn. Kind of like Dreyfus and Dreyfus said” 

After reading both points of view, I am wondering if perhaps EDU8117 is attempting to reconcile both approaches and philosophies? “…something to be acquired and measured and tested” and “…practiced, lived and experienced”. That might be where my discomfort lies and perhaps also what Keith Brennan is articulating as the challenges of connectivism in his article. I think Stephen Downes is trying to say that true connectivism doesn’t try to do both? I would love to hear other views on this.


Keith Brennan. In Connectivism, No One Can Hear You Scream: a Guide to Understanding the MOOC Novice. 24 July, 2013. Hybrid Pedagogy. http://www.hybridpedagogy.com/Journal/in-connectivism-no-one-can-hear-you-scream-a-guide-to-understanding-the-mooc-novice/

Stephen Downes. Connectivism and the primal scream. 25 July, 2013. Half an Hour (Blog). http://halfanhour.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/connectvism-and-primal-scream.html


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Does learning need to be this stressful? | (sm)art education network
  2. Trackback: Navigating NGL is like going to the amusement park for the first time… | networked, global and learning
  3. Trackback: Flipside of NGL: some critical reflections | insights
  4. Trackback: As a student, participation in NGL was useful for me. | (sm)art education network
  5. Trackback: As a student, participation in NGL was useful for me | GG's Blog
  6. Trackback: As a learner, participation in NGL was useful for me. | GG's Blog

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