Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Motivation and Connectivism

My previous post asked the question...

Shouldn't motivation be included as an influencing factor in Connectivism?

With a little more time to think about this, I realize that we have to differentiate between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Stephen Downes post Connectivism and its Critics: What Connectivism is Not states that "learners are not managed through some sort of motivating process, and the amount of learning is not (solely or reliably) influenced by motivating behaviours (such as reward and punishment, say, or social engagement)."

Delliotthk (see comment to post below) related my motivation question to our system in Florida, in which 1/3 of students do not graduate, contemplating whether networked learning might be a motivator for these students. I think it might, but my gut feeling (for lack of the requisite knowledge to make a stronger assertion) is that connectivism does not address this type of external motivation. In other words, it does not encompass those things we do as teachers to get our students to care about the work and do it.

I would, however, argue that intrinsic motivation is an influencing factor in the quality of networked learning. I do not mean the motivation of individuals. I'm talking about the motivation that exists within some larger number of participants. Not much learning will take place if no one is motivated to contribute. This begs the question, how much learning takes place when the network includes just a few highly motivated participants versus large numbers of motivated participants? What about those who lurk, but do not contribute? The thought-provoking concept here is just how does learning take place within a connectivist framework? Isn't motivation a critical factor?

1 comment:

Steve Mackenzie said...

Hi Wendy,

I notice you are another fellow credit learner. Steve here,how you doing?

motivation is absolutely massive. I believe one of the strengths of connectivism, through the use of social software is it's motivating power. with social software their is so much variety to facilitate formal learning and great tools to foster independent study.

the hurdles initially is to overcome the discomfort of a new way of learning. The value of participation needs to be emphasized strongly at the outset.

it's not always going to be easy - not every strategy will work in face to face teaching, but if you not had it already I am sure you will experience some really sweet teaching and learning moments using a connectivist theory as a base for learning

that's what i think :-)
hopefully discuss it more at a later date