I agree to a degree. It’s about making the connection then developing the connection in a way that builds trust. This is intuitive and would make sense when working with the same individuals over time.
But I also learn by occasional connections I form online. For example, I might get some information from one source with no strong relational affiliation, then take that information to a more relational-trust network or community and build on the idea. In fact, there are many possible learning scenarios that do not include connections that are built solely on relational trust.
I still see the relational trust as a community-based perspective whereas the individual and the role the individual plays within a variety of communities as a connectivist perspective. Again, communities based on social capital and relational trust (Serviovanni, 2005) certainly have merit, but I do not think it’s a complete look at how we can learn best – growing connections that are transactional, collaborative, and/or relational, all of which are dependent on the individual and the context.
A video on the importance of relational trust: