There is no doubt that the technological advancements in the contemporary world increasingly penetrate into the learning institutions. As a result, digital learning is rapidly being embraced in different institutions due to the belief that it is faster and more comfortable than the traditional methods of teaching and learning. Just like any other method of teaching and learning, the online learning environment adheres to the various theories like the constructed approach to learning. The constructivist learning theory helps both teachers and learners understand how critical the interaction between the learners and the instructor is essential to the achievement of the e-learning process. The kind of communication between the two parties determines the learner's motivation to give their best in the several areas. Even more, online education is preferred by most schools since it helps reduce the operational cost that would have, otherwise been achieved if the entire process was done manually. There exist various crucial considerations that are adhered to in designing online courses, most of which are highlighted in the constructivist learning theory, which includes but not limited to the communication strategies, e-course content, level of interaction, and using the ideal learning theory in teaching online course.
Constructivist Learning Theory
The constructivist's approach to learning has long been applied to the traditional way of teaching as one way through which teachers can engage their students throughout the entire coursework. However, the increasing need for online education has necessitated the use of the constructed theory of learning to influence online learners' attention. Online learning is accompanied with various benefits attributed to the way it is designed to engage students, who are given the opportunity to have meaningful dialogues. A constructive approach to internet learning with no doubt has unique advantages that outdo the other approaches to learning. Furthermore, the learning theory used when designing an online course determines the success of the entire class (Chesen, 2014). As a result, most institutions offering online courses have dedicated their time to designing courses that are aligned to the constructivist approach. As they apply to the online content creation, the constructivist theory is considered as a socially constructive experience. The constructivism implies that students are ever engaged with each other through the online medium. It is, therefore, crucial to consider the social aspect of online education when designing any online course material.
First, web based learning enables students to work efficiently without having to meet each other in person. Both the students and the course instructor are given the platform to construct knowledge. Furthermore, the digital platform encompasses various mediums through with learners can use to interact with their peers. From Taber's argument, social constructivism is achieved when individuals make meaning out of their dialogues and activities in regards to the shared challenges or tasks (2017). From this viewpoint, students are given the opportunity to engage in deep conversations among themselves, with their course instructor, and other academic experts in the community to find elegant solutions to the various problems. The constructive school of thought defines learning as a process that is used to construct meaning, which implies that the students tend to create their own version of knowledge instead of memorizing what was taught. The constructive way of learning is transferred to online discussions where students use the platform to construct meaning among themselves in regards to the course materials.
Second, the level of the course content is crucial in E-course learning. Online content can either be designed to meet the requirements of online learning alone ore to also fit other learning approaches (Koohang, Riley, Smith & Schreurs, 2009). Most learning institutions would prefer to blend online learning with other manual methods. A blended learning approach mostly constitutes self-paced, live, online, and face-to-face learning that takes place in the classroom. The blended approach is crucial in situations where not everyone has access to the shared online learning resources. Teachers, therefore, strive to create and establish a learning environment that allows students to interact when using the blended approach to learning. Even more blended interaction does not hinder successful delivery of the course content. Teachers are obliged to measure the course requirement to enable students coordinate their learning. Moreover, a constructivist classroom, be it online or physical, recommends students to feel part of their learning environment, understand content, set individual goals and assess their academic developments in achieving their career goals. The online learning strategy considers the fact that the learning process can be adjusted to meet the demands of the traditional approach to learning.
Third, most online courses are concerned with the social content of learning. The process of acquiring knowledge not only lies on the instructor, but also on the learners, and other parties who are crucial to the success of the learning process. Besides, knowledge is gained through the socially constructed beliefs or procedures promoted by the various physical learning institutions like schools, colleges, and online learning platforms. As a result, the learning process believed to be valuable is likely to be self-developing, which implies that is not just the content learned but also the value it brings. One example of quality learning revolves around the idea of liberal training. As indicated by this belief system, one key consideration, is that learning should help one develop regards the philosophies that shape the particular type of learning (Anders, 2015). It can be seen regardless of the way that constructivist-learning approaches can be and have been associated with all fields of learning; the approach is mostly used to teach humanity courses like sociologies and other social science disciplines
Fourth, the simultaneous existence of both constructivist methods for learning and the headway of the Internet has provoked the change of a unique kind of constructivist learning, that was at first referred to as computer-mediated communication(CMC), which has currently referred to as an online collaborative learning theory (OCL), (Roth, 2015). The standard way of dealing with new methods of learning is altogether different from the more objectivist approaches found in computer-aided learning processes, learning machines, and the applications of artificial intelligence to the knowledge acquisition process, which purpose to use computers to replace most activities traditionally done by teachers. Instead, online collaborative learning helps to increase and enhance communication amongst course instructors and students, while dealing with the advancement of learning in light of information development that is created and promoted by social activities. The social discourse nature is primarily used to enhance the construction of knowledge in an elaborate manner, which adheres to the instructor's guidelines and aims at reflecting on the social values of the online course.
Knowledge constitutes learning about the physical world, which means that online learning should not exempt learners from relating to their social world. Online learning is being utilized by most institutions attribute to the conducive environment it provides its learners. Even more, online platforms facilitate better learning processes than the traditional learning methods. Online instructors are obliged to ensure that the online classes are designed and administered in a way that maximizes learners' experiences. The various roles played the course instructor are increasingly being promoted by the advancing technology, that enables the learners to gain knowledge from the instructor, fellow students, or by themselves.
Anders, A. (2015). Theories and applications of massive online open courses (MOOCs): The case for hybrid design. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 16(6).
Chen, S. J. (2014). Instructional design strategies for intensive online courses: An objectivist-constructivist blended approach. Journal of interactive online learning, 13(1).
Koohang, A., Riley, L., Smith, T., & Schreurs, J. (2009). E-learning and constructivism: From theory to application. Interdisciplinary Journal of E-Learning and Learning Objects, 5(1), 91-109.
Roth, W. M. (2015). Becoming aware: towards a post-constructivist theory of learning. Learning: Research and Practice, 1(1), 38-50.
Taber, K. S. (2017). The role of new educational technology in teaching and learning: A constructivist perspective on digital learning. In Handbook on digital learning for k-12 schools (pp. 397-412). Springer, Cham.
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