ABSTRACT: Connectivism: A knowledge learning theory for the digital age?
The emergence of the internet, particularly Web 2.0 has provided access to the views and opinions of a wide range of individuals opening up opportunities for new forms of communication and knowledge formation. Previous ways of navigating and filtering available information are likely to prove ineffective in these new contexts. Connectivism is one of the most prominent of the network learning theories which have been developed for e-learning environments. It is beginning to be recognized by medical educators. This article aims to examine connectivism and its potential application.
The conceptual framework and application of connectivism are presented along with an outline of the main criticisms. Its potential application in medical education is then considered.
While connectivism provides a useful lens through which teaching and learning using digital technologies can be better understood and managed, further development and testing is required. There is unlikely to be a single theory that will explain learning in technological enabled networks. Educators have an important role to play in online network learning.