The Development of Connectivism and MOOCs (Diagram)

I ran a short workshop for colleagues on the topics of connectivism and the rise of MOOCs earlier this week . As part of the workshop I wanted to show the relationship between connectivism  and the first MOOCs in a diagram. I also wanted to show some of the ideas and theories that formed the basis for connectivism and for the first open online courses. Lastly, I wanted to show some of the outcomes from the first MOOCs and from George Siemens paper on connectivism .

The resulting diagram is below and it’s available under Creative Commons license for re-use and, preferably, improvement. I say improvement because I’m not entirely happy with it and I think some relationships are missing or could be re-interpreted. Inevitably, it is trade off between presenting complex ideas and relationships in as simple a way as possible. I’d welcome suggestions for improvement or you’re welcome to it yourself.

I created the original in Visio and the file is available here for download.

Connectivism and MOOCs

Connectivism and MOOCs

6 Responses so far.

  1. Hi Mark,

    I’m doing the course on Coursera on Gamification. In all honesty, enrolled in it to see what all the fuss was about with MOOCs. It’s interesting so far but I’d like to know what the Peer Review is about. Is this something that all MOOCs do? Is it too subjective? What are your thoughts on electronic peer review (especially when there may be language barriers between cultures – if this is an issue?)

    Interested in your thoughts.

    Kind regards


    • Hi Helen,
      Daphne Koller talks about the peer review in Coursera in her TED talk ( Not all MOOCs do things this way. I do think peer review has value. I used to use it many years ago in my face to face lecturing. Given the dire state of assessment practices in most higher education courses I’m not inclined to criticise peer review as being bad and, I suspect, it’s probably much better than other methods.

      For a well designed MOOC I don’t think cultural or language issues should be an issue.


      • Helen Blunden says:
        Thanks Mark, the TED talk was very interesting. I guess there’s simply no other way to try and grade thousands of assignments across the world. The stats are amazing especially around deeper student connection online vs face-to-face. What I find fascinating are the cultural groups that are formed around this framework and that education is open to all (I believe education must be free and not for the few – but that’s another matter for another day!)
        Thanks for the response!



  2. Dr. Geoffrey A. Walker says:
    Excellent diagram, Mark. Well done! Will prove very useful to me as a teaching resource, I think.
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