The teacher bandwidth problem: MOOCs, connectivism and collaborative knowledge

Abstract

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have, in recent years, become increasingly popular. An important challenge facing MOOCs is the ‘teacher bandwidth problem’: In the MOOC environment, where there are potentially hundreds of thousands of students, it is impossible for a few teachers to interact with individual students—there is not enough ‘teacher bandwidth’. According to Siemens and Downes’s theory of ‘connectivism’ (Siemens, 2004) one can make up for the lack of teacher bandwidth by relying on collaboration between students; philosophically speaking, however, this theory is underdeveloped. In this paper, we consider the question of learner collaboration in online courses, and the theory of connectivism, from the perspective of social epistemology. We note the similarities between Siemens and Downes’s theory and virtue reliabilist theories of epistemic collaboration more broadly. Our paper has two main aims. First, we offer an illustration of how it is possible to conceptualise learner collaboration in online settings as analogous to collaboration between scientists. Second, we attempt to expand on and clarify what Siemens and Downes had in mind when they proposed the theory of connectivism.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,923

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

  • Only published works are available at libraries.

Similar books and articles

The MOOC and the Multitude.Matthew X. Curinga - 2016 - Educational Theory 66 (3):369-387.
Collaborative knowledge.Paul Thagard - 1997 - Noûs 31 (2):242-261.
Users or Students? Privacy in University MOOCS.Meg Leta Jones & Lucas Regner - 2016 - Science and Engineering Ethics 22 (5):1473-1496.
Power, Bargaining, and Collaboration.Justin Bruner & Cailin O'Connor - 2017 - In Thomas Boyer-Kassem, Conor Mayo-Wilson & Michael Weisberg (eds.), Scientific Collaboration and Collective Knowledge. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
Exemplary Teacher Induction: An international review.Edward R. Howe - 2006 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 38 (3):287-297.

Analytics

Added to PP
2020-08-07

Downloads
50 (#326,226)

6 months
12 (#242,841)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Ben Kotzee
University of Birmingham
S. Orestis Palermos
Cardiff University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Knowledge and social imagery.David Bloor - 1976 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Experience and education.John Dewey - 1938 - West Lafayette, Ind.: Kappa Delta Pi.

View all 32 references / Add more references