Learning, connectivity and networks

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose: This is paper is concerned with the learning outcomes associated with connectivity through online networks, open online exchange and wider changes associated with contemporary information practices. The theme of connectivity is used here to capture both the detailed specificity of relations that define networks of learners and the ambient effect of wide accessibility to resources and people through open, online forums. Design/methodology/approach: The paper follows the idea of a network from the ground up, outlining the social network perspective as a way to consider the foundational bases of learning and networks, as well as the effect of ambient influence. The paper addresses the ways learning may be viewed as a social network relation, an interpersonal relationship and an outcome of interaction and connectivity, and how network connectivity can be used as input for design for learning. Findings: The paper presents a range of perspectives and studies that view learning from a social network and connectivity perspective, emphasizing both the person-to-person connectivity of a learning tie and the impact of contemporary data and information sharing through the dynamics of open contributory practice. Practical implications: The outcome of connectivity in the service of learning is bound up with digital information practices, including individual practices of search, retrieval, participation, knowledge dissemination, knowledge construction and more. This paper provides a network perspective on learning relations that accommodates analysis in online and offline environments, but incorporates attention to the open, online retrieval and contributory practices that now influence learning practices and which may support design of new learning environments. Originality/value: This paper offers insight into the way social networks and connectivity combine to show network relations, relationships, outcomes and design input at the actor, network and societal levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-38
Number of pages20
JournalInformation and Learning Science
Issue number1/2
StatePublished - Jan 23 2019


  • E-learning
  • Learning networks
  • Networked learning
  • Online learning
  • Social learning
  • Social networks
  • Ubiquitous learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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