K-20 Learning along a Novice to Expert Continuum in Online Learning Environments

K-20 Learning along a Novice to Expert Continuum in Online Learning Environments

David D. Carbonara (Duquesne University, USA)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4249-2.ch036
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Abstract

Online learning environments are offered in many modalities for many subjects. Students enter the environment as a novice and hopefully exit as more of an expert. The environment could be designed under a technological pedagogical content knowledge paradigm that uses specific technologies to present specific information to the student. Problem solving activities are embedded in the learning to provide experiences for the student to assimilate and accommodate the knowledge and to use it to solve authentic problems. As the problems increase in complexity, one can measure the growth of knowledge along a novice to expert continuum.
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Background

Kolb’s (1976) cycle of experiential learning discusses the four major stages of Concrete Experience, Reflective Observation, Abstract Conceptualization and Active Experimentation. While he wrote that not all people can master all four stages, he says that experiences propel a person from one stage to the next. Kamis and Kahn (2009) discussed the use of Kolb’s Learning Cycle with Huber’s Problem Solving concepts. They found that the instructor has to use very concrete problems to introduce the technical aspects of the problem. Scaffolding is added to the process with help from the instructors. Then, the scaffolding can be removed a little at a time to provide support to the students, yet to also allow them to be exposed in the problem solving tasks. Inhelder and Piaget (1958) also stated the importance of rich experiences provide the venue to assimilate and accommodate new knowledge and travel from pre-operational to concrete operational or abstract operational levels of thinking. Thus, the experience in which a person participates provides the learning environment to move from a lower level of thinking and learning to a higher one.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Expert: A learner that has reached a high level of proficiency in a content area.

Novice: A new learner for a specific content area.

Scaffolding: Support structure built by the teacher for the student during the learning process. Scaffolding is built on the prior knowledge of the student as the student learns new knowledge. As the student learns new knowledge, the prior knowledge supports are gradually removed.

Synchronous: Synchronous sessions specify a time to meet weekly and also define a time element.

Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: The integration of technology into the teaching-learning process for specific content areas.

Pedagogy: Philosophies and learning theory for the way children, under the age of 18, think and learn.

Online Learning: Fundamental modality of communication between teacher and student, student, and student and student and curriculum is through electronic means, such as the Internet.

Asynchronous: While asynchronous modes do not usually have a defined weekly time element, they usually publish a due date for assignments. This due date helps students define their perspective of time.

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