Making my Garden Grow…..

When I learned that Dave Cormier was going to be lecturing on Rhizomes, MOOCs, and Making Sense of Complexity I have to admit that the first thought that popped into my mind was..

“What do rhizomes have to do with learning?”

Then I did the next thing that many inquiring minds do in high school, I checked Wikipedia  and found … but using my critical eye explored further to find

Hmmm I thought… let the learning begin.


Rhizomes are a root system that allows plants to spread. A little piece dropped in a new enviroment creates more growth. Rhizomes are resilient, messy, and they keep on growing (this reminds me of my learning during the #etmooc process)
Although the learning is messy, what distinguishes a MOOC from a social gathering is a students ability to set personal goals for learning which are based on interactions in the process. Student responsibility is CRITICAL to the processes.
As I was follow the chat last night I Alec’s thought really struck me:

We all decided to walk through the same door in the Internet so we could think together @alec
OPEN SYLLABUS= Social Contract…..
This could be done through a Social Network Analysis (used as part of assessment)- How are you supporting other people.

I related David’s description of the modern teacher’s role as being similar to my current role as a counsellor. Encouraging students to push past their limits but also letting them know that you are there to catch them if they fall. In my counsellor training I was constantly taught that the difference between a counselling session and a chat is purpose…and we learned skills for developing and collaborating with our clients to create client centered goals.


Throughout the presentation it was clear that the rhizome learning processes could not be teacher outcome based (as this stifles creativity). A positive working alliance needs to be forged between the instructor and the learner. This is done through developing a student contract. The following links provided some ideas around:


facilitating an open classroom

cynefin learning theory

*please note photos were clipped from Daves #etmooc blackboard lecture on Jan 28, 2013


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