This week our essential question was “How Do Learning Theories Manifest Themselves In Online Course?” In order for an online class to be successful, a learning theory needs to be in place. The way a teacher chooses to design and facilitate an online class can greatly affect the way a student learns.
What I found interesting from my reading this week was that “[c]onstructivism is one of the most frequently cited theoretical frameworks applied to online course development and teaching” (Knabe, 2004). Learners are engaged in their learning and seek to understand their world around them. As Knabe (2004) observes, “ Some researchers suggest that online environments, coupled with constructivist design, are the key to developing successful courses for the next generation of students.” I find this very interesting because I think constructivism and other teaching theories manifest in online learning. This also depends on teachers and how well we are able to apply theory when designing and delivering online classes.
In reading others’ blogs, Teresa pointed out that Moore stated, “When integrating different media into a single course, one of the most important design considerations is to ensure that the media work together” to ensure that students don’t get lost when working with different components (p. 92). I have seen this when technology is introduced and students get lost in it. For example, when students are researching information, if you don’t give them specific sites to use they can get lost. When I give assignments, I tell them I want them to use these sites and not to just Google. I think a lot of the time students just want the answer right then and there and think the first site is correct. I tried to tell them this is to help you to make it easier to find the information, ensure the site can be trusted, and provide you with bibliographic information. They eventually learn that the sites I provide are better and begin to use them.
Amy mentioned that a blend of the theories makes distance learning effective. I would have to agree with her. I think a blend is needed. I think it also depends on the instructor and student to be effective.
Genevieve mentioned that she applies all learning theories in her teaching. I have to say that I am the same way. The examples she provided made a clearer picture in my head of the learning theories that work naturally in online environments.
Cherie had a good point about instructors and how they teach will determine which learning theories will be used. I agreed when she mentioned that our courses are constructivist, because we do take an active role in our learning and the learning of others in our class.
Bridget thought that different theories will be helpful for different students. She mentioned Rosetta. I said I have always wanted to try Rosetta Stone to learn Spanish, but it seems I am always too busy. Self motivation is a key factor when taking classes online. If you are very motivated you can finish a class quickly. If it is one that you can take at your own pace, it will depend on your motivation.
It was a great week of class. We have started to teach the class about the readings. Our first group did a good job. I am a little nervous as I have not used blackboard before and my microphone was not working this last week. I will just have to play around with it and get to know blackboard before it is our turn to teach the reading. I am just glad that we are in groups; at least we can struggle and learn together!
Knabe, A. P. (2004). Constructivist learning perspectives in online public relations classrooms.