George Siemens

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George Siemens
Siemens at UNESCO conference, 2009
Born1970 (age 53–54)[citation needed]
Alma materUniversity of Aberdeen (PhD)
Scientific career
FieldsLearning Analytics, massive open online courses, digital education
Academic advisorsMartin Weller

George Siemens is a Canadian expatriate professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington[1][2] and professor and director of the Centre for Change and Complexity in Learning[3] at the University of South Australia.[4] He is known for his theory of connectivism, which seeks to understand learning in the digital age.[5][6] He played a role in the early development of massive online open courses (MOOCs).


Siemens earned his PhD in psychology at the University of Aberdeen in 2011 under the supervision of Frank Rennie, Martin Weller, and Robin Mason. His thesis developed the Sensemaking Wayfinding Information Model (SWIM) to understand individual behavior in social networks.[7]


Siemens joined the faculty and staff of The University of Texas at Arlington[8] in December 2013 as the executive director of the Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge Research Lab or LINK Lab, which opened in spring of 2014.[9] Siemens commenced his role at the University of South Australia in 2017 as the Director of the Centre for Change and Complexity in Learning. He was formerly a professor at the Center for Distance Education and a researcher and strategist with the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute (TEKRI) at Athabasca University in Alberta, Canada, where he now serves as an adjunct professor.[10][2] At Athabasca, he worked with social networked technologies.[11] Prior to Athabasca University, Siemens held a post as the Associate Director of Research and Development with the Learning Technologies Centre at the University of Manitoba.

Siemens has received honorary doctorates from the Universidad de San Martin de Porres[2] (May 2012) and the University of the Fraser Valley[12] (June 2014).

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)[edit]

In 2008, Siemens and Stephen Downes designed and taught a massive online open course (MOOC) which was reported as a "landmark in the small but growing push toward 'open teaching'" by the Chronicle of Higher Education.[13]

Distinction between cMOOCs and xMOOCs[edit]

Siemens distinguishes his teaching as connectivist MOOCs, or cMOOCs, as distinguished from institutional MOOC offerings, called xMOOCs, which he says tend to be either instructivist or constructivist.[14][better source needed] Siemens, together with Baker, Gasevic, and Rose,[15][better source needed] as well as others like Mitros and Cormier,[16] have been working on bridging the two formats.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "George Siemens". University of Texas at Arlington. Retrieved 2020-01-02.
  2. ^ a b c "George Siemens". Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute. Retrieved 2018-05-11.
  3. ^ Centre for Change and Complexity in Learning
  4. ^ University of South Australia
  5. ^ Siemens, George (2004-12-12). "Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age". elearnspace. Archived from the original on 2010-02-01. Retrieved 2018-05-11.
  6. ^ Siemens, George (2006). Knowing Knowledge (PDF). ISBN 9781430302308. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-07-04. Retrieved 2009-08-28.
  7. ^ "Orientation: Sensemaking and Wayfinding in Complex Distributed Online Information Environments" (PDF). University of the Highlands and Islands. 2011. Retrieved 2020-01-02.
  8. ^ "Home".
  9. ^ "Digital learning innovator to lead new research at UT Arlington". University of Texas at Arlington. 2014-01-09. Archived from the original on 2018-01-20. Retrieved 2020-01-02.
  10. ^ "Faculty". Centre for Distance Education, Athabasca University. Retrieved 2018-05-11.
  11. ^ "About George Siemens". elearnspace. Archived from the original on 2018-04-14. Retrieved 2018-05-11.
  12. ^ Russell, Anne (2014-06-02). "UFV to confer honorary degrees on Doug Hamilton, Charllotte Kwon, and George Siemens | UFV Today". University of the Fraser Valley. Retrieved 2018-05-11.
  13. ^ Parry, Marc (August 29, 2010). "Online, Bigger Classes May Be Better Classes". Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
  14. ^ Heick, Terry (2017-06-17). "The Difference Between Instructivism, Constructivism, And Connectivism". TeachThought. Retrieved 2018-05-11.
  15. ^ Collaço, Elen (2014-10-29). "My reflections on dual-layer MOOC (DALMOOC)". elencollacoblog. Retrieved 2018-05-11.
  16. ^ Cormier, Mitros, Pritchard. "Teaching Physics at Scale." PERC2014.

External links[edit]