1. What is the quality of my learning networks: diversity, depth, how connected am I?
[Viplav] --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*
Extremely connected. Although I was unable to contribute as comments as frequently as I would like in the Moodle forum or CCK08 blogs, I think I managed to read/skim through a very large number of the forum and blog posts with the help of the subscriptions and the Daily. Maybe I need to be more involved in ideas that others propose to be able to interest others in mine! However as far as learning goes, I think the blog posts themselves, rather than the sparse conversations through comments around most of them, served more as thought triggers. The Moodle discussions were real conversations though that provided a far greater diversity and depth. Diversity was immense though I did feel the lack of interaction with profiles similar to my own. I think there was a lot of depth across all the weeks of discussion that the participants exhibited. This depth is really what made me understand the gaps in my own education. The biggest decisions I had to make was to balance the travails of running a company with the ambitions I had to transcend these gaps.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------....[Viplav]
[Carlos]
The quality of the network is always very difficult to assess for the person/node who is involved in this network... But in my case there is an objective assessment: My learning network in English is bigger and deeper than never before. My facebooks contacts, my blogroll, my subscription about learning, connectism and technology are now more develop in quality and quantity. I am now more connected than never before, but also with the Spanish side of this "connectivist world". In this course I meet people new people like Maru, collaborate deeper with old friends like Dolors and know better other Spanish contacts. My learning and friendships network is now more international and multilingual, and that means for me a better quality, because I received more information from different nodes: Diversity is quality in this case.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------[Carlos]

My learning networks are more deep and diverse now. Most of them are focused on online learning and have different subjects of study.
My earlier networks, all in English, have become stronger, diverse and deeper, it seems that placing myself in different forums and live events has also enriched them. I see the latter as proof that everything goes back to the network, the knowledge travels, gets modified and it's placed back for further additions, modifications, challenges, etc. The new contacts I made formed a new network that holds deep conversations, I have a few valuable connections there and I hope to acquire more with time. Although I gained a lot of knowledge, by reading the articles suggested, the threads at Moodle and the individual blogs, I perceive that network too advanced for me to contribute in a useful way. I need to keep learning to interact with more confidence there. Lack or confidence also kept me from posting more in Moodle.
Besides my family and friends I didn't have Hispanic nodes in my network before the course. My recent Spanish network needs further nutriment, lack of time during the course, to my regret, prevented me from interacting more with the Spanish community. After the final project is handed over I will pursue those connections.
[Maru] --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*

2. How has this course influence my view of the process of learning (assuming, of course, that it has)?
[Viplav] --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*
This course, for me, actually started a few months before it did physically. I had been following up with George and Stephen's writings and debates all over the web (started with Learning 2.0) and was very impressed and in-line with what I read and heard. But for me, the real impact was not learning how connectivism was defined, was distinct and was impacted by a confluence of many theories/concepts, but the basic understanding that knowledge could really be connective and that learning could be the process of making connections. I struggled with the technology bias because I usually resist that in whatever I do, despite being a technologist, but I think I am at peace now with the way George and Stephen approach it (especially from the last Friday session of the course). This course has also exposed a number of factors to me that can influence (both engender and impede) connective learning, but has not yet gone more beyond the use of technology per se in the implementational aspect.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------....[Viplav]
[Carlos]
It did, of course it did, it influenced my point of view about learning and give me new theoretical arguments to implementation of a more autonomy learning in my courses, and that is important, because it is always important to be conscious of the theories and ideas that can be useful to understand why you do what you do, or why it doesn't work like you want. The theoretical existence of a "chaos and complexity learning" in a connectivist theory of Knowledge had a deep influence in my actual perspective of how I am teaching with the tools of the social web or web 2.0.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [Carlos]
Of course this course influenced my point of view about learning! The information I found was new for me in every sense. I must admit I had not heard about connectivism before and I had not given serious thought to online learning. To think that knowledge is on the network and that learning is the ability to navigate through the connections made no sense at all at the beginning. Now, after this connective experience, it all makes sense. The last live session added the cherry to my pie, thanks for answering my question, even if a George mentioned, it was off topic. I know, because I've tried, that to explain my experience with words leads me to terrible misunderstandings and endless discussions. You have to live it to understand it.
If I ever have the opportunity to give another online course I will plan it completely different. (More on question 4)


[Maru] --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*

3. What types of questions are still outstanding?
[Viplav] --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*
The types of questions that are still outstanding are around:
a. Neuroscience - can the new developments really describe intelligence?
b. How would connectivism work in the strict absence of technology or language or even people?
c. What other theories are there that could impact connectivism as strongly as self organization, chaos and complexity?
d. What are *acceptable* practical ways of implementing the theory?
e. What kind of a perspective do toolmakers need to adopt when crafting PLEs or the next generation of tools?
f. What kind of open, autonomous ecologies can replace the structures of traditional classrooms - are these ecologies going to be sustainable and extensible?
Many more questions are more domain specific. I think each node in my concept map has covered an entire very large domain of research and thought that I need to explore in a structured manner.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------....[Viplav]
[Carlos]
For me all questions are still outstanding... I wanted to learn more about the idea of connectivism to understand better how the learning activity is changing and going to change in the next years in a world with a bigger access and use of the social web. We have now in a point without return, the "critical mass" is achieve, it is the moment when the change is being reality... The questions were How is it happened? Why is it happened? How can we explain it in a theory with the name connectivism? What is the new in it? What is the old in it?... etc. And all that are question that we answer in different ways in the blogs, forums and other tools. But they are also questions that are going always to be outstanding. There is not a definitive answer, we have to interpret our world continuously, there is never an final answer, there are only answer in context and we answer a lot of answer in the context of this course. But the future... is always be plenty of outstanding questions for people who can learn and think autonomously and free.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------[Carlos]

I still have to digest and place a big chunk of information before I can place intelligent questions but here I go.
An outstanding question left for me is one that is bothering me now. It was asked at the last live session by Suifaijohnmak in the text chat and addressed by moderators: "How do we arrive to agreements in a connective way?"
I've learned a different aspect of connectivism by choosing (risking?) to do a common final paper. At a live session with Carlos I found that it's not an easy task, we didn't know how to go about it and we were only two! Question answered by the listening to the final recording. George: It's not an issue, period. It's beyond learning theory, it belongs to organizational or system theory. It depends on the Context, resort to human nature. Stephen: Each us reach his/her decision individually and submits it to the network. Neurons don't reach agreements, neurons come to conclusions by each network doing its own thing, the collection of results could be called "agreement" because it is a an alien concept in connectivism. It's a collection of movements that appear to be a decision (like the herd "decided" to move to the shade)

Another issue is evaluation or assessment (which from my point of view it's always subjective), a valid evaluation would have to be reached by each adult participant or parent in case of youngsters. Would a course survey taken before and after a connectivis course help the learner to assess his performance?
Something like this? Original image at: http://21stcenturylearning.typepad.com/.shared/image.html?photos/uncategorized/2008/07/15/continum_3.jpg

21centurylearning_Typepad_place_yourself.JPG
I see learner's dependency as a main drawback to a connectivist course, Would it be valid to run a course to foster autonomy prior to a connectivist course?

[Maru] --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*

4. How can you incorporate connectivist principles in your design and delivery of learning?
[Viplav] --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*
At this point, I am dealing mostly with corporate training. I can see how these could be applied, but the predominant question (and it comes from within the dominant paradigm) is how progress can be assessed and measured using designs based on connectivist principles. With the work we are doing in simulations, we have taken a step away from the semantic web / rdbms representation of knowledge to associative knowledge. We are using loosely connected "fragments" to create "patterns" of knowledge, but still need to research how the latest techniques in neurosciences (and AI) can help make these more explicit and sophisticated. Another initiative we have taken is to make the design process itself connective through sharing and collaboration using blogs of training design in a way that is accessible by a variety of stakeholders. The results of that one are still to be obtained.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------....[Viplav]
[Carlos]
I incorporate still the course a lot of ideas of the course and not only the content, but the pipe... I decentralise more my language courses using blogs in a network fashion and integrating different tools. I try to make the most of the serependity learning opportunities that in the learning process my students can find in the web. I try to open the class group to the net in the web with the use of social tools like communities for language exchange, and invite my students to find and meet people in these sites and to add what they learn there to the course by sharing and communicating with the others students through their individual blogs. I copied and used ideas of the content but also of the form of this CCK08 course, in this way I am convinced of my incorporation of connectivist principles to my class if ever in a mix-stile with other ideas and principles.
And now for example this presentation of a final project in collaboration with other three persons of the course: Dolors, Maru and Viplav, let us see how it works to do something together in a connectivist way: Each do what they think is the best for the project in a not centralise way, this wiki is not a central place, only a place to present the results of larges discussion and participation through Skype, emails and forums to try to coordinate us to present a project together. There is not a conclusion in this final project, there is not a "common goal" to present a same conclusion, we stay individual nodes of a network in the network and this node, this project, is other identity, also individual per se. That is maybe a conclusion.


[Carlos] --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*

I may be wrong but I perceive myself as acting in a connectivist way online and offline.
Offline, I work with nodes from different disciplines, mainly Psychiatrists, Neurologists, Language Therapists, Psychologists, Social Workers and Nurses. We are all emergent, depending on the context and the kind of issue we gather to reach a therapeutic path and a solution; in the end it's the patients' (family or individual) actions which tell us if the intervention was successful or not.
Online, I work with basic computer programs offered by LearnFree which let the learner's evaluate themselves, I created a Ning site that is chaotic per se to foster connections with other learners and widen their network and we have a Yahoo Group as mailing list. Every member has his/her own learning objectives, we add resources or comments when we invited to do so and every learner decides when and how ofter to engage in the discussion. I would like to design with more vision the framework of my courses in the future and invest time on modeling or teaching autonomy.

[Maru] --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*