Sunday, 22 January 2012
Sunday, 15 January 2012
“Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand.”
When I deconstruct this Chinese Proverb from a learner’s perspective, looking through the lenses of behaviourist, cognitivist and constuctivist learning theories, I see the following...
- “Tell me and I forget” – behaviourist theory - passive learner, assumed no prior knowledge, requires direction or some form of external stimulus.
- “Show me and I may remember”– congnitivst theory - exploring the psychological aspects of how people learn and incorporating participation to encourage the learner to think and problem solve.
- “Involve me and I'll understand” – constructivist theory - active, contextualised learning through the use of authentic tasks/assessments designed to promote knowledge acquisition by drawing upon ones personal experiences and their immediate environment.
Why am I harping on about these well known and understood learning theories? This Chinese Proverb I believe summarisies the myriad of online learning experiences currently existing out there in cyberspace. It is assumed by many that it is simple to create an online learning experience. You just put text on screen, upload PDFs or PPT slides and let people find the information and absorb it via osmosis (behaviourist). However a more practical approach is to create online learning experiences that are non-linear, dynamic and interactive (with content and peers), scaffolded and to an extent, learner controlled, to give them the opportunity to engage with the content (congnitivst /constructivist).
Whenever creating or migrating any content to an online setting, I believe that some of the following questions should be asked:
- What do you want to ultimately achieve?
- What are the essential foundations of any course design?
- Would you agree that it is important to design a learning experience, observing best suited instructional theories?
- Why begin with the latest and greatest, interactive learning technologies if they will not do what you want them to achieve in your online learning experience?
- Should you be mindful of which learning technologies that you want to use when creating the content or vice versa?