Constructivist Theories of Learning Used In Online Course Design.

Constructivist TheoriesConstructivist Theories
Constructivist theories of learning, if adopted to the online course design approach, will promote learning experientially. Here in terms, students can interact with new situations that are or might be real-world situations. To enhance education in this day and era, the constructivist theory or learning approach must use in Online Course Design.

Constructivist Theory of Learning and Online Course Design:

In terms of course design, Joy Mighty of Carleton University would expect that adopting a constructivist theory or approach to learning will encourage experiential learning. It would encourage students to interact with new situations, situations that are quote-unquote real-world situations.
You can, of course, simulate them through cases, but the importance of this is that you’re not simply telling students what to do. You’re encouraging them to discover for themselves, engage in inquiry to make meaning of the experience they’re having, reflect on the experience, and combine it with experience to come up with a deeper understanding of what they’re learning.
constructivist learning theory
constructivist learning theory
Although we’re learning in an online environment, many of the same principles about effective learning apply as they do to face-to-face learning. Joy Mighty thinks it’s important to understand that the medium might be different but have the same principles.
In structuring the online course, you would create opportunities for students to interact. For it to interact with each other, for students to reflect on some of the, say, readings and some of the cases perhaps or whatever course materials you might be putting it online.
The online environment is an active one. It’s not a static one where you simply put materials online and leave it to the student to succeed or not succeed. You have to guide their interaction with those materials.

Constructivist Theory:

John Logan from Carleton university thinks of this constructivist theory approach as a supercharged cognitive approach.
Constructivist learning theories are often applied to online course design to enhance or modernize the studies. John here would probably think of that approach as a supercharged version of the cognitive approach, emphasizing even more activities. The idea is that the individual is an active participant in the learning experience.
social constructivist theory
social constructivist theory
Online courses blend courses. It’s challenging to achieve that kind of activity. You may do it by getting people to do assignments and things like that, but that would be a tricky goal. It would probably be easier to do if you were having a lot more group work and things like that where you could get people to interact with each other and maybe discover things on their own to some extent.

Constructivist Theory Approach to Online Course Design:

From the University of Guelph, Denise Mohan feels very strongly about constructivism as she is a social constructivist.
In her teaching practice, she does that. So the idea of creating a space, whether in class or a particular online platform, creates a space in which what students bring to the space value. A space in which they’re allowed, or they gives the freedom, the opportunity to collaborate, to inquire of each other and to create and edit and rebuild knowledge and conversation, and to construct new knowledge and new artifacts.
constructivist theory piaget
Constructivist Theories
We call it the Vygotskyan approach, in which real learning cannot happen without a social context. Because of that, many teachers are now building courses and activities within courses and assessments within courses that allow students to question and personalize and invest themselves. It refers back to them. It relates to their realities. For example – “Here is my statement about how this particular grammatical structure works, how does that sound in your life.”

Constructivist Approach and Constructivist Teaching:

Samah Sabra from Carleton University verdicts that the constructivist approach and constructivist teaching are really useful.
The idea of active learning in general and in online course design is really important. One of the central ideas around constructivism, as you know a theory, whether we’re talking about it in terms of education or other areas. It is the idea that knowledge is social, right?
A lot of the kind of social interactions around it, the social reinforcement is central to internalizing new knowledge. So that idea gets used in course design to suggest that if you have students interacting with each other around the new knowledge, it helps them internalize it to assimilate it and transform by it in somebody, to have it become part of their worldview.
They’re given these opportunities not just to reflect on it on their own but to figure out how to explain it to someone else. From a lot of research, we know that one of the best ways to reinforce learning is to ask someone to teach something to someone else.
Some of them, even face-to-face kinds of methodologies students get used to, like peer instruction, base on this idea.
When you’re using this constructivist theory of knowledge or constructivist approach to education in the online environment, you build those opportunities right into the online learning environments.

Constructivist Learning:

Timothy A. Pychyl of Carleton University mentions that the online environment is ideal for constructivist approaches.
In online learning, you’re getting a problem where students have to go through a discovery process to solve the problem. You’ve chosen the problem very carefully because it will lead to certain kinds of engagement with materials or with the professor or with other students that will scaffold a learning experience.
The web, the online environment, is full of resources. You may hear now and then that why do you have to buy the book or why do you have to learn? It’s all out there. All right?
what is constructivist theory
Constructivist Theories
Let’s mine that resource. That’s where the constructivist approach is just perfect for online course design because we’re taking all those rich resources and helping students navigate their way through them to achieve specific learning outcomes. In doing that, we create a very creative space for students, rich with interactions with the professor and with other students and with the content material.
Finally, the research indicates that you get a deeper understanding and longer retention of materials when using a constructivist approach to online learning.

You’re getting interaction with the materials in a different way:

Many years ago, Mr. Timothy did a project on Texas when he was in grade 8. He could have read stuff about Texas. Still, he designed a map with some flour, and you know what materials you would make something from. He had to color it, and then he had to work with it interactively. He’s never forgotten that where he forgot many, many other things.
Today doing such collaboration and creative learning, and online teaching is much easier as well as interactive. We can name an online whiteboard for education by
what is the constructivist theory
Constructivist Theories
So we’re creating the same thing in an online environment, a rich interactive environment where we’re doing something very project-oriented.


The more instructors can think about all these resources, what learning activities, and what problems I can set from a constructivist framework that will bring that together to achieve the learning outcomes that I want, making a very powerful online environment.

Leave a Reply