Adaptable Learning Theory Framework for Technology-Enhanced Learning

Adaptable Learning Theory Framework for Technology-Enhanced Learning

Byron Havard (University of West Florida, USA), Marlene L. East (University of West Florida, USA), Lakshmi Prayaga (University of West Florida, USA) and Alex Whiteside (University of West Florida, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9634-1.ch031
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Abstract

The sheer volume of technological innovations with educational potential along with the myriad of instructional theories and models present quite the challenge for educators. A contemporary framework is needed to connect these components with learning theory and to ultimately serve as a guide to educators grappling with how to align the interrelated components of effective instruction when using educational technologies. The objective of this chapter is to present a viable contemporary framework to fulfill this need. The Adaptable Learning Theory Framework for Technology Enhanced Learning (AF-TEL) provides a framework based on the cognitive presence, social presence, and teaching presence tenets of the Community of Inquiry model (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2003) to achieve desired educational outcomes. Professional Development for STEM Teachers using Discovery Labs (PDSTDL) is a format of teacher professional development that integrates AF-TEL to address the critical need of preparing effective STEM teachers.
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Background

Behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism are three predominant learning theories that have guided education and instructional development (Ertmer & Newby, 2013; Johnson, 2014; Schunk, 2011). Learning through the lens of behaviorism occurs when an appropriate observable performance of a behavior occurs as a response to an associated stimulus. The desired behavior is further strengthened through reinforcement of the stimulus-response (Schunk, 2011). Interest in the mental activities associated with information acquisition, organization, storage, and retrieval emerged as a focus for educators and psychologists in the 1950s resulting in a shift to cognitivism (Ertmer & Newby, 2013) . Both behaviorism and cognitivism are based on an objective view of reality where a real word exists independent of the learner. Constructivism contends that learning occurs through interpretations of personal experiences of the real world. Knowledge is not seen as independent of the learner; instead learners “create meaning as opposed to acquiring it” (Ertmer & Newby, 2013, p. 55).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Instructional Strategy: The process of organizing content and activities for learners to achieve desired learning outcomes.

Theory of Constructionism: The perspective that learning is most effective when the learner experiences constructing a meaningful product.

Technology Enhanced Learning: The application of information and communication technologies to teaching and learning for the purpose of motivating and engaging the learner.

Teaching Presence: The facilitation and organization of both Cognitive presence and social presence toward desired learning outcomes.

Social Presence: The extent to which learners are able to present themselves and their characteristics within a community of inquiry.

Cognitive Presence: The extent to which learners are able to construct meaning within a community of inquiry.

Community Of Inquiry: A collaborative group of individuals that supports personal and mutual understanding of a given topic developed through critical discourse and reflection.

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