Centre de recherche interuniversitaire sur la formation et la profession enseignante (CRIFPE)

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Sokolovskaya, A. (2015). Connectivist Knowledge Building, Collaborative Learning, and Social Presence in a Connectivist Massive Open Online Course: A Study of PLENK2010. Mémoire de maîtrise inédit, Concordia University, Montréal.


Mémoires et thèses


The pedagogy of connectivist massive open online courses (cMOOCs) is based on the new learning theory proposed by G. Siemens in 2004. This theory, called connectivism, takes to consideration the changes in learning process as a result of advancements in technology. The first cMOOCs, completely open and online courses, attracted thousands of participants from all over the world. The popularity of cMOOCs later gave rise to xMOOCs – massive online courses based on more traditional behaviourist theory. This study examines student interactions in weekly discussion forums of PLENK2010 - a cMOOC that ran for ten weeks in Fall 2010. The goal of this research is to investigate whether the student interaction in the context of weekly forums supports the ideas of connectivist knowledge building, allows for collaborative work to happen, and increases the sense of social presence. Using qualitative content analysis to analyse over 2000 forum posts, it was found that PLENK2010 was successful in fostering collaboration between students. The levels of social presence in the course were high and connectivist learning processes were shown to be successfully fulfilled. Results from this study can help to better explain ways of increasing the sense of presence in xMOOCs and promoting teamwork and collaboration through discussion forums in online course environments.

Keywords:MOOC, cMOOC, Massive Open Online Course, connectivism, collaborative learning, online learning, social presence,


Logos des universités associées au CRIFPE

Adresse civique

Université de Montréal
Faculté des Sciences de l'Éducation
90, avenue Vincent d'Indy
Pavillon Marie-Victorin – C-536
Outremont (Québec) H2V 2S9

Adresse postale

Université de Montréal
Faculté des Sciences de l'Éducation
CRIFPE – C-543
C.P. 6128, succursale Centre-ville
Montréal (Québec) H3C 3J7