Catching up with Rhizo15

I had originally intended to not add  Rhizo15 to the long list of MOOCish things I started but didn’t finish, but got sucked in via a tangential discussion about social media platforms.  Thanks for nothing , Lisa Chamberlain 🙂     Since I’m a late arrival, I am going to do two for one here:


I think this turn of terminology is a wonderful encapsulation of what rhizomatic learning is about. My subjectives for Rhizo15 are:

  1. Learn more about how to build and facilitate a rhizomatic learning space.
  2. Consider how to square the rhizomatic model with educational structures that run very counter to it , especially in the areas of learner autonomy.  For example, I’ve read multiple responses to the new book Redesigning Americas’s Community Colleges, which advocates  reducing the amount of choice available to students as a way to improve completion.


That segues nicely into the question of measures.  It at least seems nearly self-evident that in an environment that puts learner agency first, measures of learning will also come from the learner.  Learning can happen this way.  The challenge is that most learning is embedded in things called education or training or school.   Someone wants to improve their skills and abilities and is willing to pay for access to support structures that enable that.

People could just pay for supports that help them meet their subjectives.  It’s like life coaching or hiring a personal trainer, just on a bigger scale.  What that scenario ignores is that the kind of learning supports people and institutions are willing to pay for aren’t related to subjectives at all.  They are, for the most part, connected to external economic incentives, especially the willingness to pay workers more if they have a particular degree, license or skill set.  As long as the economic incentives work that way, subjectives will be climbing up a steep incline.

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