Learning Theories



Watch overview videoAn introduction to Connectivism (2:03)


The Connectivism theory founded by George Siemens explains learning in the digital age. Information is circulated across networks and connects us to new information over these networks. Without technology, the information wouldn’t be able to be shared worldwide as quickly as it is now.

Guidelines for Use

Guideline 1 – Using the Web to Expand Knowledge

The key feature of this theory states that learning can happen over networks online. (Learning Theories, 2017) When designing an online course taking a connectivist way would mean to step away from the idea of teaching and guide the students to do research online to find answers and expand their knowledge. A module activity can take what the student already knows and connect it to new knowledge they will find online.

Guideline 2 – Connecting to Others

The second way to use connectivism in an e-learning module is by using the connections the student has outside of the classroom to gain knowledge. By using twitter, email, and other social networks students can ask questions to their peers to help obtain knowledge outside of the classroom. This way they gain knowledge but as well could receive an opinion and new viewpoint.

Good Examples of Use

Example 1 – Canvas

Having access to classes online is key to being able to access knowledge anywhere and anytime. Using Canvas provides a community of individuals where you can connect and share information no matter the location that you are.

Example 2 – YouTube 

Nowadays students aren’t just in the classroom and we use online platforms such as YouTube to teach us how to do tasks we don’t know how to do. For example, if a student wants to learn about editing they can search a YouTube video about how to edit a picture and follow the instructions from the experts in the video.

Helpful Resources

Resource 1 –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8kqcs2aR9c

This is a 3-minute overview video on Connectivism from YouTube.

Resource 2 – https://www.learning-theories.com/connectivism-siemens-downes.html

This article provides some overview of the Connectivism theory.

Resource 3 –  http://edutechwiki.unige.ch/en/Connectivism

Wiki with information on connectivism created by the University of Geneva.


Accounting Videos (2016, April 22). Connectivism. [YouTube video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8kqcs2aR9c

Connectivism (Siemens, Downes). [Web page]. (2017, February 4). Retrieved from https://www.learning-theories.com/connectivism-siemens-downes.html

EduTech Wiki (2019, May 17). Connectivism. [Web page]. Retrieved from http://edutechwiki.unige.ch/en/Connectivism

Siemens, G., & Conole, G. (2011). Special Issue – Connectivism: Design and Delivery of Social Networked Learning. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 12(3), 1.


Submitted by: Delaney Jones
Email: delaney.jones@uoit.net
Bio: Delaney Jones works with children who have been diagnosed with learning disabilities or ADHD.



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