Connectivism’s Implications for Instructional Design

Yesterday I watched George Siemens presentation on Situating Connectivism in preparation for the Online Connectivism Conference. The presentation was helpful in providing context, but I admit that I’m still not sure I completely understand connectivism. Right now, I feel like I know it sort of superficially, but not well enough to do anything with it.

With Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, it means I should try to introduce concepts and allow practice through multiple channels. Same with VAK (Visual Auditory Kinesthetic) or any of the variations. The implications for me as an instructional designer are that I can’t design classes that are just online textbooks with multiple choice quizzes at the end.

With constructivism, it’s all about active learning instead of passive learning. As an instructional designer, I need to expect students to do more than just read something–I need to have them do something.

OK, those are greatly oversimplified summaries. Hopefully you get the point though.

This is the question: How do I apply connectivism in my instructional design? Is it just about allowing people to network and create connections through discussion boards or blogs or wikis, or is there something more? I feel like I missing something, but it’s just out of my mental reach right now.

I guess that is the big question for me that will be in the back of my head as I attend the conference. Who knows? By the end of next week I may have some great answers–or I may realize that I was asking entirely the wrong question. Do you have any ideas?

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