You’re reading an excerpt of Admitted by Soundarya Balasubramani. Written by an Ivy League graduate from India, this is the proven guide for students worldwide looking to pursue undergraduate or graduate study abroad in the U.S., Canada, or Europe. Purchase for instant access to the guide and other exclusive resources—including sample SOPs, sample resumes, scholarship lists, and a private community with other readers.

We live in an era where you have access to the most brilliant minds around the world through the virtue of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). MOOCs have an interesting history, by having two histories. It was almost as if there were two separate trains, one that began in 2008 and the other in 2011, both running down close parallel tracks to democratize education but through different philosophies.

MOOC: A Brief History

George Siemens,* a research and writer, introduced a term Connectivism in a paper in 2004.*

Connectivism is a theoretical framework for understanding learning. In connectivism, the starting point for learning occurs when knowledge is actuated through the process of a learner connecting to and feeding information into a learning community. The learning process is cyclical, in that learners will connect to a network to share and find new information, will modify their beliefs on the basis of new learning, and will then connect to a network to share these realizations and find new information once more. Learning is considered a . . . knowledge creation process . . . not only knowledge consumption.

Connectivism can best be thought of as a learning theory that is built on the following foundations:*

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