Differences in understandings of networked learning theory: connectivity or collaboration?

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In this chapter, we pursue and discuss a number of pertinent questions raised in a recently published book on networked learning practices. In this book, the editors contrast a current trend towards personalisation and individualisation of learning with a focus on mutual interdependency and collaboration amongst networked learners, and ask which directions designers of networked learning should take. Related to this, they express concerns with notions of personal learning environments, asking whether these might erode collaborative or communal patterns of interaction and the commonality of experiences amongst students. We continue these discussions by critically examining recent ideas articulated by researchers promoting the notion of “connectivism,” as this concept has strong relations to the recent popularisation of web 2.0. Terms such as “connections,” “networks,” “sharing,” “learner-centric,” “collaboration,” “participation” seem to be shared between networked learning theory and connectivism. We argue, however, that there are subtle, but fundamental differences in how these terms are understood, which might have implications for pedagogical orchestrations of networked learning. In particular, we query into different understandings and values around the “interactional interdependencies” between people, and how we should orchestrate networked learning in higher education. In doing so, we provide examples from our own practice to discuss how we might address or dissolve dichotomies, such as between individualisation and collaboration, and how ideas from networked learning and connectivism can inform each other.
TitelExploring the Theory, Pedagogy and Practice of Networked Learning
RedaktørerLone Dirckinck-Holmfeld, Vivien Hodgson, David McConnell
Antal sider16
ForlagSpringer Science+Business Media
Publikationsdato25 okt. 2012
ISBN (Trykt)978-1-4614-0495-8
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-1-4614-0496-5
StatusUdgivet - 25 okt. 2012


  • collaboration
  • connectivity
  • learning
  • networked learning