Rhizomatic learning – reflections H817 Wk 11 Act

As part of the ongoing exploration of learning pedagogy in H817, were have been asked to explore “Rhizomatic” learning via a video, and then reflect on it, through a few questions:


Were you convinced as an approach?

  • I think as an extension of ¨networked¨ learning it has its place in a range of areas.
  • Some of the things that stand out for me were
  • It helps people in dealing with uncertainty.
  • The idea that the community can be the curriculum and this can be self developed and evolve.
  • The concept of messy network, that is not hub centric.
  • The focus of responsibility for learning rests strongly on the shoulders of the learner.

Could you imagine implementing as an approach?

In my work I see several opportunities:

  • Within the OU, there could be post formal course learning to support the ongoing CPD of learners.
  • With the OU course I work on as an Associate Lecturer, several parallel rhizomatic projects could be setup to support the learning of the formal curriculum.
  • Outside of the OU, I could use the concept to extend work already carried out in the area of action learning on leadership development projects.
  • This method of learning would  also be very appropriate for ongoing organisational transformation projects, as a way of supporting formal communities of practice or groups of people interested in enacting change / transformation.

How might it differ from other approaches?

  • It seems very much like the “open space” of learning in that it could possibly the same “laws”.
  • Once established it seems that the level of formality and created structure reduces significantly (it is interesting to see the perspective on the role of the “teacher”)

What issues would arise?

I am not sure that these would arise, but rather, could arise:

  • Intellectual property use could be a potential issue. Sharing of copyrighted materials could create legal problems
  • As the community creates the curriculum, it.  Could be.  That the initial intent of the group shifts over time and looses its alignment from the initial purpose.
  • Having had experience in learning on several social platforms a similar process of starting with high interaction and intention give way to a smaller groups of group who may be closely knit. This could potentially impact others considering joining the network of learners

Beyond these questions the following areas gave me food for thought: 

  • The idea that we need to stop measuring “learning retention”
  • Not everything can be measured – not sure about this
  • The perceived need to measure effort, engagement and connection.
  • Separately, I wonder if there is an intersect between this and working out loud groups or  even “mastermind” groups, although these tend to be quite small in the numbers of people.

Overall, it is an interesting model of pedagogy and worthy of further investigation.

I am curious about your perspective. What do you see as being key uses of this learning model? How else could it be used in the corporate world.

Thanks for reading, Andi

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