I am very interested in teaching innovation in Higher education as seed for professional development and how to support it in a way that facilitate the transit toward a sustainable transformation of the teaching practice. In that constellation I see connected learning as a rich innovative experience that can extend what I call the "imaginary universe" of the ones who participate on it. because our imagination can be expanded by new experiences...
now reading back and editing my already posted comment, I see that the comment of @jmenglund03 jmenglund03 is in line of what I am thinking,
"> explore how the teaching practices of the Connected Courses participants may have changed as a result of their involvement with the course
explore the potential long-term impacts and benefits that educators accrued as a result of their participation in Connected Courses community (thinking more along the lines of the lurker<->active participant spectrum here). The ongoing #rhizo14 conversation also came to mind."
Connected learning can be very messy, i've done some attempts and I have to recognize that I see that only the ones that are already very enthusiastic about, that are convinced that it's worth to try it out, that are excited and intrinsically motivated to participate go forward. the question posted some posts above by Bali_Maha:
how do we make the “connected”/”connectivist” learning experience more comprehensible to someone who has never tried it or tried but could not manage or enjoy it?
it is a very valid question that I am trying to apply to myself. I am still trying to understand what it is about. I know the theory behind, I could talk very scientifically about learning theories and approaches that support connected learning in the various interpretations described in the referred post from Laura. But the practice is something different, and I can not imagine how to implement it in higher education, with teachers that are not educators, that are struggling with their own research and some are already indeed trying to do some interesting things with their teacher practice, but the difference between the two worlds is so huge that even some innovative ones can not really imagine how to implement such a cool ideas.
There is a lot of informal learning going on here, but there is indeed space for the formal learning?, there are learning goals defined?. I am still struggling myself with this questions and trying to answer them while I am taking part on this chaotic space (explicitly chaotic for the seek of openness). I was even not able to read all the post that where already here when I jumped in, and i'm fighting against the impulse that I can not post if I have not read all!!... although I am posting anyways
then the questions that are coming to my mind are: how do we introduce a rather 'chaotic' system in a pretty much structured one?, make it sense a connected learning approach in a disconnected and fragmented curriculum?. do we really can attempt to change understanding of learning and teaching only motivating teachers to adopt or try an approach, when the context where they are working have pulling forces against the intended change?
I would be happy to participate in the elaboration and analysis of the survey to teachers participating and Implementing connected learning in their own teaching practice. which disciplines are associated to this approach (if there is any difference), how were they coming to the point of even getting to know connected learning?, do they have any institutional support to implement it in their institutions? are they working alone or 'connected' with other teachers?. @jmenglund03 I was also thinking in creating a sort of 'focus group' or 'reflective practice' group in one of these spaces where those teachers can share their experiences and reflect on how things are going and can help us to understand if their conceptions of learning/teaching have changes after this experience(s) or they had to be already on the way to be changes to be able to even give a try...
I think the implementation of connected learning goes beyond a conceptual change at the teachers and student level, but it present also a strong critic to the current organization of higher education curriculum and institutional structure.... I think is more than research on instruction, is about really thinking "what is the role of higher education/university in our society and what it should be?".... but I guess I am going to far from the topic...
BTW , thanks for creating this group!, great idea!