IRRODL is now requesting contributions for peer review and possible publication in an upcoming special issue.
Emergent Learning, Connections, and Design for Learning
Editors: Roderick Sims, PhD and Elena Kays, PhD
Connections? Emergence? Chaos? Complexity? Fractals? Quantum Theory? Although many of these terms originated and have been widely studied in the natural sciences, they are emerging as important interdisciplinary ways to understand both natural and social sciences, including education. The question therefore arises … are the traditions of what it means to teach and learn being challenged by these concepts, or are we simply experiencing the natural evolution of education through a process of emergence?
- Emergence encourages random encounters, paying attention to your neighbours, and “more being different”. Through such encounters and interactions we can look for patterns in the signs which can be extrapolated to an entire system, the intelligence of which comes from the bottom up, and where low-level rules can create high levels of sophistication.
- The connections being made between people through social networks has emphasised “connectivism”, an emergent theory of learning where the interactions that are generated by these connections, whether informal or formal, have the potential to result in new, emergent knowledge.
- For designers, taking account of emergence and connections can challenge the traditional models which have been used to create ‘instructional order’. Emergence theory offers insights into complex adaptive systems that can self-organize, a quite different way of conceptualising the teaching/learning space.
Given this link between connections and emergence, and the significant impact this association would have on how we teach and learn, it is therefore important to analyse what it means to design for emergent, connected learning experiences.
The purpose of this special issue of IRRODL is to provide a forum to explore connections, emergence and design for learning, and in so doing be sensitive to emergent ideas. Because we’ve designed and implemented education in one way for decades does not mean it’s the right way!
We encourage your ideas for topics, with the following list (by no means exclusive) identifying possible topics to be covered in this special issue.
• Methods for studying emergence in distributed , online contexts
• Extensive literature reviews of emergence and related disciplines focusing on their significance for education
• Empirical studies on extent and impact of emergence in learning contexts
• Emergence and social networks
• Connections and emergence – is ‘design’ realistic?
• Designs for learning in connected worlds
• Connecting affordances – virtual worlds, networks, social media
• Open Educational Resources and Emergent Learning
Submissions, especially those that apply multi-disciplinary approaches to online and distance teaching and learning, are welcomed for this edition.
Articles due: May 27, 2011
Editorial decision: September, 2011
Publication: November, 2011
Authors submit their manuscripts online by registering with IRRODL then logging in and following an automated, five-step submission process.
For more details see http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/announcement/view/7