Some thoughts on the connectivist approach (and I am still hoping that my query about the difference, if there is one, between constructivism [tutor has major role?] and connectivism [tutor has background role?] will get some responses.
This from Wikipedia:
The Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing model of group development was first proposed by Bruce Tuckman in 1965, who maintained that these phases are all necessary and inevitable in order for the team to grow, to face up to challenges, to tackle problems, to find solutions, to plan work, and to deliver results.
Forming:The individual’s behaviour is driven by a desire to be accepted by the others, and avoid controversy or conflict.(we exchanged pleasantries at the start)
Storming: The team addresses issues such as what problems they are really supposed to solve, how they will function independently and together and what leadership model they will accept. (using Google+, twitter and Elluminate, I feel this also happened)
Norming: In this stage, all team members take the responsibility and have the ambition to work for the success of the team’s goals.(This has also happened for me, without a cross word from anyone)
Performing: It is possible for some teams to reach the performing stage. These high-performing teams are able to function as a unit as they find ways to get the job done smoothly and effectively without inappropriate conflict or the need for external supervision. By this time, they are motivated and knowledgeable. The team members are now competent, autonomous and able to handle the decision-making process without supervision. Dissent is expected and allowed as long as it is channelled through means acceptable to the team. (..and there is evidence that we reached this stage too)
This is not to say that connectivism is going to work for everyone but like many other learning strategies, it is an approach which can be learned. I remember when I first got students working in small groups in class how it took a while for them to learn how to behave to make the experience positive. Students who are used to chalk and talk take time to get used to a more student-centred approach.