Is Emergent Learning more than just 'self-organising?
I was asked whether the definition of emergent learning as “self-organised learning means that emergent learning can't happen if the learning is organised by someone else? I see emergent learning more as learning that cannot be predicted or planned for - but for which we might be able to create optimum conditions”.

The perils of simplification! Of course, it's more complicated than that.

To put it in plain language, emergent learning is when someone 'goes off chasing their own learning tail/trail', which may or may not be related to, or even derived from planned outcomes (on their part, or on the part of the provider). So 'self-organised' is a necessary but not sufficient condition! Aaagh!

'Self-organised' per se can be just a matter of the learner not having access to the tutor, for some reason, and deciding to organise their own leaning, but entirely within predictable and controlled outcomes. No emergence there.

So self-organised/emergent actually requires more, i.e:
i) self-organisation of aims, interests, outcomes, over and above self-organisation of process, which is laudable, but not that material.
ii) self-organisation within a network of communicating micro-agents (can just be students talking to each other on the bus, they don’t have to do it on social software).

So, maybe ...

Emergent Learning is learning which arises out of the interaction between a number of micro-agents, within a network in which the learning process and the learning destination (aims, objectives, competencies, Sen's capabilities, etc. don't quite do it, no?) are both self-organised and unpredictable. The network (or learning ecology) is in many senses open, but it nevertheless requires some constraints.

OR
Emergent Learning is learning which arises out of the interaction between a number of micro-agents, within a network in which the learners organise and determine both the learning process and to some extent the learning destination/s, both of which are unpredictable. The network is in many senses self-organised, but it nevertheless requires some constraints and structure.

We could make it even plainer by changing 'micro-agents' to 'people and resources', thus:

Emergent Learning is learning which arises out of the interaction between a number of people and resources, within a network in which the learners organise and determine both the learning process and to some extent the learning destination/s, both of which are unpredictable. The network is in many senses self-organised, but it nevertheless requires some constraint and structure.

This is not an individualistic model. It aligns quite closely with 'social constructivism' rather than just 'constructivism' (in which the individual/social balance is left hanging).

[ Cross posting to here ]