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Connectivism: Learning theory and pedagogical practice for networked information landscapes

Michelle Kathleen Dunaway (University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Article publication date: 15 November 2011




This paper seeks to describe the theory of connectivism as a learning theory that provides a useful framework for understanding how students learn information literacy.


The paper explores the theory of connectivism and reviews established learning theories that inform the design of information literacy instruction. The author discusses new learning landscapes and emerging conceptualizations of information literacy that parallel the principles of connectivism.


Two emerging information literacy frameworks, metaliteracy and transliteracy, suggest the need for a unifying theory of how students learn information literacy concepts and skills. Literature describing metaliteracy and transliteracy articulates pedagogical practices that reflect a connectivist approach to information literacy instruction.


The paper encourages critical inquiry into the ways that emerging theories of learning can improve information literacy education.



Kathleen Dunaway, M. (2011), "Connectivism: Learning theory and pedagogical practice for networked information landscapes", Reference Services Review, Vol. 39 No. 4, pp. 675-685.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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