A MOOC is an attempt to apply connectivist theory. A MOOC is not only an applied epistemology and way of organizating learning, but also an ethic community.
Connectivism is about knowledge that exists in connections. Connections between people and their devices, and connections between information and knowledge components, etc. Without connections, no knowledge.
A MOOC is a way of learning. For higher order learning one needs attention. Alexandre Jollien, Le metier d’homme, éd. Du Seuil, Paris, (I did enjoy this little book) on attention and why we need other people. Jollien says autonomy does not imply non-connectedness. In his view connections, supportive human relations are crucial to autonomy. Heli: Psychological autonomy is a broader concept
Connectivism needs an ethics on connectivity and participation. I do not want to reopen a discussion on “lurking”. I do not want to make accusations. But without people investing time and attention in sharing knowledge a MOOC would be a dead environment.
A MOOC needs connected people.
An understanding of the complexity of social, conceptual, and biological connections along with the complexity of human needs and the diverse circumstances generating and emerging from these connections is an emerging process for connectivist understanding.
The ethics of connectivism is not an ethics of law and law-enforcement. The connectivist ethics is not of commandments, rules and accusations. In my view connectivism and philosophy of life do connect perfect.
The ethics of connectivism does not want to oblige people to connect, but to tempt, to invite, to seduce, to persuade to connect and to learn. If you want to enjoy the MOOC than you could help us by connecting. You could help us by making the MOOC a happy environment that fosters learning. We would love to share your enthusiasm and your company would make us happy.
In a MOOC are technical ways to connect. Howto connect to MOOC’ers.