In this weeks Rhizo15 course, Dave Cormier asks us “Are we an invasive species?” In this, he is asking if the way we have learned to be community in rhizo15 (and rhizo14) is going to choke out other ways of learning – the way a rhizomatic plant is a weed that chokes out the plants you are trying to grow?
In many ways, I hope the answer is yes. I hope that the way we are exploring this topic becomes a way to formally learn – but then again, if it were to become ‘formal’ would that ruin it? One of the challenges with trying to create community in online courses is the sense of ‘contrived’ community – in our efforts to build the community we create an experience that is no longer authentic – and student sense this. They feel the artificial in the contrived community. They baulk at it – and don’t see any value in it. We are graduating a generation of students who want to consume knowledge rather than participate in the creation of it. For that reason alone, I hope the rhizome does choke out the species in which we have been planting – although I would argue which one is the invasive one?