The following is from Constructivism and Online Education by Doolittle:
Constructivism is a theory of knowledge acquisition, not a theory of pedagogy; thus, the nexus of constructivism and online education is tentative, at best. Constructivism posits that knowledge acquisition occurs amid four assumptions:
- Knowledge involves active cognizing by the individual.
- Knowledge is adaptive, facilitating individual and social efficacy.
- Knowledge is subjective and self-organized, not objective.
- Knowledge acquisition involves both sociocultural and individual processes.
These four assumptions have led, indirectly, to eight primary pedagogical recommendations:
- Learning should take place in authentic and real-world environments.
- Learning should involve social negotiation and mediation.
- Content and skills should be made relevant to the learner.
- Content and skills should be understood within the framework of the learner’s prior knowledge.
- Students should be assessed formatively, serving to inform future learning experiences.
- Students should be encouraged to become self-regulatory, self-mediated, and self-aware.
- Teachers serve primarily as guides and facilitators of learning, not instructors.
- Teachers should provide for and encourage multiple perspectives and representations of content.
The question then arises, can an online medium support this pedagogy that is based on the constructivist assumptions?
More on Constructivism
The annual Innovating Pedagogy report explores new forms of teaching, learning and assessment for an interactive world, to guide teachers and policy makers in productive innovation.
Produced by the Institute of Educational Technology at The Open University, the report identifies ten educational terms, theories and practices that have the potential to provoke major shifts in educational practice in the near future.
Featured in 2014’s annual report:
- Massive open social learning
- Learning design informed by analytics
- Flipped classrooms
- Bring your own devices
- Learning to learn
- Dynamic assessment
- Event-based learning
- Learning through storytelling
- Threshold concepts
The report can be downloaded at: http://www.openuniversity.edu/sites/www.openuniversity.edu/files/The_Open_University_Innovating_Pedagogy_2014_0.pdf
Sustaining Students: Retention Strategies in an Online Program
by Emily Boles, Barbara Cass, Carrie Levin, Raymond E. Schroeder, and Sharon McCurdy Smith
Published on Wednesday, December 15, 2010
- With students spread across 47 states and a dozen countries, the University of Illinois at Springfield faces a significant challenge in promoting student persistence.
- Program coordinators who know each student majoring in their online degree program keep in close touch with those students to assure that their learning and academic planning needs are met.
- Online student peer mentors who model best student practices and serve as a liaison between students and faculty members provide effective support in selected classes.
- These and other approaches have resulted in an online course completion rate that hovers just two to three percent below the on-campus completion rate, and the degree-completion rate among online students is equally strong.
Read the complete article at: http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/sustaining-students-retention-strategies-online-program