The Influence of Constructivist E-Learning System on Student Learning Outcomes

The Influence of Constructivist E-Learning System on Student Learning Outcomes

Thanakorn Wangpipatwong (King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, Thailand)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-150-6.ch004
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Abstract

In this article, the study of how a constructivist e-learning system affects students’ learning outcomes was explored and a two-phase study was designed. The first study sought to create a constructivist e-learning environment (CEE) and discover how students expected their learning outcomes under CEE. CEE is composed of three constructs, which are exploration, collaboration, and construction. The statistical results showed the high level of student expectation on every construct. Consequently, constructivist e-learning system (CES) was developed. In the second study, CES was used in the actual classroom environment. The purpose was to compare the learning outcomes and knowledge development of students who studied the course using CES with those of students who learned it under a traditional learning environment. A T-test method was used to analyze the learning outcomes. The results showed that students who used CES had better learning outcomes and knowledge development than students who did not use CES.
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Review Of Literature

Constructivist Learning Theory

The constructivist learning theory has emerged as a prominent approach to teaching during the past decade. The research of Dewey, Piaget, Vygotsky, and Jonassen, among others, provides historical precedents for constructivist learning theory. Constructivist learning theory represents a paradigm shift from education based on behaviorist theory to education based on cognitive theory. In a constructivist learning environment, students have better learning outcomes than in traditional learning environment (Parker & Becker, 2003, Tynjala, 1999).

Among many definitions of constructivist learning theory, the most common characteristic is that they all focus on activities and environments rather than on learning objects. Knowledge is constructed by learners and not transmitted by an instructor. Dewey (1938) believes that knowledge emerges only from situations in which learners have to draw them out of meaningful experiences. Piaget (1960) indicates that learners are active and constructive in making sense of their environment. Piaget (1975) believes that learning should be attained through well-defined stages by active participation of a learner. Vygotsky (1978) focused more on learning activities. In addition, Jonassen (1994) suggested that the constructivist learning should emphasize less on the sequence of instruction and emphasize more on the design of the learning environment. He also pointed out that constructivist environments stress situated problem solving tasks. In conclusion, constructivist learning is an educational approach that effectively motivates learners by enabling a more active, explorative and interactive learning process. In other words, through the learning process, learners construct knowledge within a constructivist learning environment.

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