Online Learning Propelled by Constructivism

Online Learning Propelled by Constructivism

Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch226
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While the constructivist method has been highly emphasized in the recent literature for online distance education (Brown, L. 2014; Bryant & Bates, 2015; Holzweiss, Joyner, Fuller, Henderson, & Young, 2014; Lê & Lê, 2012; “Learning Theories”, 2014; Mbati & Minnaar, 2015; Symeonides & Childs, 2015; Thorne, 2013), it is not a new approach to learning. Presenting an early example, Socrates facilitated discourse with students asking directed questions to assist them in realizing the weaknesses in their logic and critical thinking. This enabled learners to share in the responsibility of their learning through active participation while negotiating meaning in the creation of shared understanding. In contrast, medieval professors in later Western culture most often served as primary repositories of information along with the scrolls and velum texts found in the limited number of physical libraries available to educators. With the lecture serving as the quickest and easiest way to disseminate information to both small and large groups of individuals, it was both an efficient and effective delivery method in the shaping and forming of student knowledge, quickly becoming the standard for traditional education.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Autonomous Learner: An individual who takes responsibility for his or her learning.

Computer-Based Conferencing: E-mail, interactive messaging, and group conference support systems.

Collaborative Learning: The process in which individuals negotiate and generate meaning and solutions to problems through shared understanding.

Interaction: mutual communicative exchange between individuals.

Informatics: Online public access libraries and interactive remote databases.

Distributed Knowledge: Information dispersed throughout a community of practice and not held by any one individual.

Constructivism: An approach in which students share responsibility for their learning while negotiating meaning through active participation in the co-creation of shared understanding within the learning context.

Computer-Assisted Instruction: The computer serves as the “teacher” by structuring information delivered to the human user.

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