Constructionism Research Approaches
How hard is it to develop a research method that both matches your theory and created curriculum? What was simple and what was difficult? It is difficult to consider how to best employ a research method to study a constructionism approach to online learning. The difficulty lies in the ability to provide a flexible or free approach to learning and at the same time foster increased engagement. Ackermann’a (2011) analysis of Papert’s theory of constructionism focuses on the “art of learning.” Improved communication technologies foster an increase in the ability for an audience to feel a sense of connectedness, which provides depth to the overall learning experience. Creating an environment that provokes discourse and produces a variety of perspectives promotes a change in thinking or knowledge transformation, improved cognitive presence. It is necessary that an instructor of facilitator to assist a community in exchanging perspectives or experiences. A mixed methods research approach would best accommodate a study related to my theory of learning. During the last week, I have developed an improved understanding of the differences of constructivism and constructionism. I believe in the importance of community and the role of energy that such a community produces to improve the overall cognitive experience. From a research perspective, measures in frequency of communication within the social learning community, video reflections, and interviews could provide an in depth look into how an online community best serves to meet professional development needs of teachers. Many MOOCS in existence fail a way for learners to express their ideas to a larger community. What are the perspectives of K12 teachers Ackermann (2004) correctly points out that knowledge transformation occurs as learners express or reflect using media to a larger community. Media does matter, and how that media is used within an online course also matters (Ackermann 2004). Papert’s Instructional Software Design Project utilized a mixed methods approach with fourth grade math course. A mixed method approach would best explore how learners create personal meaning through reflections shared within a social environment. The frequency and richness of such artifacts could be explored in greater depth.
Ackermann, E. K. (2004). Constructing knowledge and transforming the world.A learning zone of one’s own: Sharing representations and flow in collaborative learning environments, 1, 15-37.
Ackermann, E. (2001). Piaget’s constructivism, Papert’s constructionism: What’s the difference. Future of learning group publication, 5(3), 438.
Harel, I., & Papert, S. (1990). Software design as a learning environment.Interactive learning environments, 1(1), 1-32.
Stager, G.,S. (2007). Towards the construction of a language for describing the learning potential of computing activities.Informatics in Education, 6(2), 429