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1 Introduction

Connectivism is a kind of learning theory that was created by George Siemens. It also can be understood as educational theory or view or global strategy.

Connectivism was a core principle used for designing the first MOOCs (unlike the "modern" versions that come out of elite universities and rather represent in our opinion a propaganda purpose)

Quotes from Siemens (2004)

Behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism are the three broad learning theories most often utilized in the creation of instructional environments. These theories, however, were developed in a time when learning was not impacted through technology. Over the last twenty years, technology has reorganized how we live, how we communicate, and how we learn. Learning needs and theories that describe learning principles and processes, should be reflective of underlying social environments.

Connectivism is the integration of principles explored by chaos, network, and complexity and self-organization theories. Learning is a process that occurs within nebulous environments of shifting core elements – not entirely under the control of the individual. Learning (defined as actionable knowledge) can reside outside of ourselves (within an organization or a database), is focused on connecting specialized information sets, and the connections that enable us to learn more are more important than our current state of knowing.

Principles of connectivism:

  • Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions.
  • Learning is a process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources.
  • Learning may reside in non-human appliances.
  • Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known
  • Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning.
  • Ability to see connections between fields, ideas, and concepts is a core skill.
  • Currency (accurate, up-to-date knowledge) is the intent of all connectivist learning activities.
  • Decision-making is itself a learning process. Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality. While there is a right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision.

2 Links

  • Downes, S. (2005, December 12). An introduction to connective knowledge. HTML
  • Downes, S. (2006). Learning networks and connective knowledge, HTML
  • Verhagen, P. (2006). Connectivism: A new learning theory? PDF (retrieved March 2011).
Blogs, collections

3 Bibliography

  • Downes, Stephen (2012). Connectivism and Connective Knowledge, Essays on meaning and learning networks, National Research Council Canada ISBN 978-1-105-77846-9 PDF (free 600p. e-book), Version 1.0 – May 19, 2012, retrieved nov 2012.
  • Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 2(1), 3-10. Retrieved 13:44, 9 March 2011 (CET) from
  • Siemens, G. (2006). Knowing Knowledge PDF,
  • Mohamed Amine Chatti, Matthias Jarke, Christoph Quix (2010). Connectivism: the network metaphor of learning, Int. J. of Learning Technology, 2010 Vol.5, No.1, pp.80 - 99 (Abstract)