My inbox brought a present today. In the latest issue of The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (Vol 9, No 3, 2008), Rita Kop and Adrian Hill discuss whether Connectivism represents a theory of learning. They reach the conclusion that while not necessarily a theory, Connectivism represents an important development in the contemporary learning and teaching landscape, “A paradigm shift, indeed, may be occurring in educational theory, and a new epistemology may be emerging, but it does not seem that connectivism’s contributions to the new paradigm warrant it being treated as a separate learning theory in and of its own right.  Connectivism, however, continues to play an important role in the development and emergence of new pedagogies, where control is shifting from the tutor to an increasingly more autonomous learner.”

While I enjoyed reading this paper, I would like to see a conversation around connectivism and this paper situated within one location, such as an IRRODL special issue. While I am sure that Siemens and Downes will respond in one way or another to this paper (after all, there is a blog post dedicated to the issues and arguments against connectivism on the Connectivism & Connective Knowledge online course and from Rita’s blog it seems that George and Stephen already have Rita’s paper), discovering this information can be rather difficult. On the other hand, dedicating a special issue of an open access journal to dicsussing connectivism and its ctitique may be worthwhile.