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Teacher's and students' perspectives on on-line learning in a social constructivist learning environment

Maor, D.ORCID: 0000-0002-0743-4755 (2003) Teacher's and students' perspectives on on-line learning in a social constructivist learning environment. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 12 (2). pp. 201-218.

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This article summarises the teaching and learning experiences of students in higher education with regard to the use of computer conferencing. The on-line unit was designed and implemented within a social constructivist framework, which promoted interaction, collaboration and experiential learning. Students who undertook this unit were practising science and mathematics teachers. They ranged in their experience of on-line learning from inexperienced users to seasoned, on-line learners. However, common among the participants is their novel exposure to being a part of a learning community where interaction and communication took precedence over individual learning. This article looks at the learning experiences from the perspectives of the facilitator and three on-line learners, based on the participants' personal stories specifically in terms of: (a) concerns associated with the implementation of the on-line learning; (b) the differences encountered when using technology for the first time to learn; (c) the difference in perspective, before and after the on-line learning experience; and (d) the differences in the learning experience in light of exposure to a new theoretical framework and a new mode of delivery. The conclusions from the stories suggest that the interaction and the social presence of others grew from the use of a social constructivist approach to teaching and learning, within the context of computer-mediated communication technologies. The role of the facilitator in this setting was to provide a context for social learning and to maintain a student-centred approach. Alternatively, the role of the students was to proactively engage in peer learning.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
Publisher: Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group
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