Wikis as Tools for Enhancing Interaction and Fulfilling Expectations of Modern Learning Theories

Wikis as Tools for Enhancing Interaction and Fulfilling Expectations of Modern Learning Theories

Nikolaos Karipidis (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece) and Jim Prentzas (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece & University of Patras, Greece)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 28
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3229-3.ch008

Abstract

Modern learning theories focus on the importance of social interaction as a means of facilitating and enhancing learning. In this context, an aspect of importance is the creation of learning communities (i.e., groups of persons with common learning goals). ICT tools are frequently used to create and maintain online learning communities by overcoming geographical and time restrictions as well as motivating learners and retaining a high degree of interaction among them. To achieve these goals, researchers adjust previous and propose new learning theories taking into consideration human, social, and technological factors in the learning process. This chapter first outlines relevant learning theories and then highlights wikis as tools that may assist learning by increasing social interaction.
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Modern Learning Theories

Learning theories, specifically behaviorism initially focused on the study of persons’ reactions and behaviors resulting from incoming stimuli (Watson, 1913). The inability of behaviorism to analyze and explain complex types of learning led to development of learning theories based on the cognitive approach (Slavin, 2015). In this approach, learning was considered to a larger degree a result of using the mind and to a lesser degree a response to stimuli in the environment. Some cognitive theorists (e.g., Lave & Wenger, 1991; Vygotsky, 1978) focused on the contribution of the social factor stressing that learning is not achieved in isolation. Thus, learning is regarded as a social construction that is considered necessary to cultivate peer learners’ collaboration with teacher’s guidance. This observation attributes significance to the role of social interaction and the context in which learning evolves (Schunk, 2014).

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