Constructivism Online: Vygotskian Applications for 21st Century Learning in Higher Education

Constructivism Online: Vygotskian Applications for 21st Century Learning in Higher Education

Candace Kaye (New Mexico State University, USA) and Erica Volkers (Central New Mexico Community College, USA)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-319-7.ch005
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Abstract

In higher education, the use of constructivist approaches in online learning reflects agreement with educators who stress that good teaching is both a collaborative and a highly individual process. Online constructivist application also suggests congruence with adult learning theory and educational programming designed for experiential and inquiry-based learning. The objective of this chapter is to investigate perceptions of teaching and learning in online instruction guided by the Vygotskian perspective of constructivist theory. The chapter first focuses on current research studies of online constructivist-based course development and application and then proceeds to the authors’ practical inquiry project, which examined (1) instructor perspectives on creating and facilitating online learning communities and (2) students’ perceptions of their online constructivist experiences. The authors conclude with a discussion of their findings, contributions to the field and suggestions and challenges for the principled use of a constructivist approach to online teaching.

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