Week 3 Learning Activity 3 – Constructivism in the Online Environment

An example of the use of Constructivism in my classroom that I would use regularly occurs when students do labs.  They are more actively engaged in the learning process because they have to form a hypothesis, do an experiment and reflect on their results.  This involves students using problem solving skills and this makes their learning more meaningful.  I did a lab last week where students were learning about Ohm’s law which is the connection between current, voltage and resistance.  They had to predict the current and voltage at certain parts of series and parallel circuits with various resistors.  It definitely made their learning meaningful when we talked about electricity in their home and how it connects to what we just did in the lab.

What are the potential pros and cons of online teaching and learning practices that are grounded in Cognitivism?

Pros of teaching and learning practices grounded in Constructivism are that the learning is more meaningful for students because they are interacting with a concept and using problem solving skills to seek answers.  They are using their previous knowledge, and learning new concepts to add to this knowledge base.  Students are also aware that learning has taken place, however, this can lead to a con which is how long will that learning last.  Does it stay with the student for a long period of time or is is simply learned and then forgotten.  I run into this problem when I review for unit exams in class an am re-teaching concepts that I thought had stuck with students.

What online teaching and learning situations do you think might benefit from a Cognitivist approach

Teaching and learning situations that benefit from a Cognitivist approach are situations where information can be applied to real life to make learning more meaningful.  For example when teaching about percents in grade 8 math, I did a budget project where students had to find a job and use that income in various ways that dealt with percents.  They had to calculate their net income based on paying a certain percent in tax.  They also had to make a monthly budget where they had to designate a certain percent of their income to categories such a shelter, food, transportation, etc.  This assignment could be done online and it does a great job of ensuring a meaningful learning situation based on real life.

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