Adaptable Learning Theory Framework for Technology-Enhanced Learning

Adaptable Learning Theory Framework for Technology-Enhanced Learning

Byron Havard, Marlene L. East, Lakshmi Prayaga, Alex Whiteside
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0978-3.ch010
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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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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).

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