Learning theory and its application to e-learning
Dyke, M., Conole, G., Ravenscroft, A. and de Freitas, S. (2007) Learning theory and its application to e-learning. In: Oliver, M. and Conole, G., (eds.) Contemporary Perspectives in E-Learning Research. Routledge, London, UK, pp. 82-97.
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This chapter explores approaches to learning that we argue best reflect a constantly changing, dynamic environment as reflected in current thinking (Giddens, 1999; Beck, 1992; Castells, 1996). We acknowledge that there are many different schools of thought in terms of learning theories, but we will focus here on those we believe are most relevant and applicable to e-learning. This will include a discussion of the following: a critique of behaviourist approaches and their impact, advocacy of the application of experiential/reflective, social constructivist and socio-cultural approaches, and the argument that effective e-learning usually requires, or involves, high-quality educational discourse (Ravenscroft, 2004a) combined with an experiential and reflective approach (Conole et al., 2004; Mayes and de Freitas, 2004).
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