13 August 2012

Theories and methodologies

I thought I should share on my own blog my recent posts to our eteam work blog. This post was on Theories and Methodologies. 

This week in our office we have been discussing appreciative inquiry model and connectivism. We decided that we should share so others can also have conversations about learning theories.
Appreciative Inquiry
Appreciative inquiry is a deliberately positive model, rather than a negative or deficiency model. When we ask “what is wrong” we are assuming a deficiency, and this model takes an alternative approach by asking “what is working?”.
The following table and list has been sourced from Wikipedia:
Problem Solving Appreciative inquiry
Felt need, identification of problem(s) Appreciating, valuing the Best of What Is
Analysis of Causes Envisioning what might be
Analysis of possible solutions Engaging in dialogue about what should be
Action Planning (treatment) Innovating, what will be
  1. DISCOVER: The identification of organizational processes that work well.
  2. DREAM: The envisioning of processes that would work well in the future.
  3. DESIGN: Planning and prioritizing processes that would work well.
  4. DESTINY (or DELIVER): The implementation (execution) of the proposed design.

When talking about the learning theory “Connectivism” the first name to come to mind is George Siemens. In this theory knowledge exists within systems and is accessed by people through participation in activities. Siemens talks about Connectivism as a “learning theory for the digital age” as technology has impacted on how people communicate and learn together. The other area to read up on is Stephen Downes’ writing on networks and nodes.
Wikipedia has the following list of principles of connectivism:
  • Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions.
  • Learning is a process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources.
  • Learning may reside in non-human appliances.
  • Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known
  • Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning.
  • Ability to see connections between fields, ideas, and concepts is a core skill.
  • Currency (accurate, up-to-date knowledge) is the intent of all connectivist learning activities.
  • Decision-making is itself a learning process. Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality. While there is a right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision.