Block 2 Activity 18 : Theory of connectivism and its critics

Connectivism 4

image from : Connectivism – Mmswiki

This activity entailed reading two resources.  The first by Siemens (2005), Connectivism: a learning theory for the digital age and the second by Downes (2007), What Connectivism is.

I have created two mind maps with what I consider to be the important aspects from the two resources.  This will be followed by my reflections.


connectivism 2




connectivism downes 2




Knowledge can be found and shared across a network of connections and this network of connections is more important than the content.  Some of this learning may live in non-human appliances and knowledge stored in a database needs to be connected with the right people and in the right context.

These connections form naturally, they are not constructed. Siemens (2005) gives the starting point for Connectivism as being in the individual. Personal knowledge is comprised of a network and this feeds into the organisation (another network). This in turn informs personal knowledge helping the person to keep up-to-date in their field through these connections as their capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known. Downes (2007) described this as being more like growing or developing ourselves.

A systems view of learning calls for a diverse team with different viewpoints to provide a critical structure and implementation of ideas needs to be quick before someone else gets in there first.

Design of learning environments is important as the pedagogy of abundance opens up the need for the new skills needed regarding practice and reflection. Skills are needed to find the relevant knowledge that is needed and how to use it best.



Downes, S. (2007) ‘What Connectivism is’, Half an Hour, 3 February [online]. Available at (last accessed 18 April 2016).

Siemens, G. (2005)’Connectivism: a learning theory for the digital age’, International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, vol. 2, no. 1 [online] Available at (last accessed on 18 April 2016).



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