How do learning theories manifest themselves in online courses? Week Two Reflection

Aleta May

January 25, 2014

Week Two Reflection:

EDTE674 With Dr. Lee Graham



Today during the Response to Intervention (RTI) training with Dr. Kevin Feldman, he spoke about teachers making their teaching public.  This brought back to my mind a recent class where I videotaped me guiding student learning.  The focus of the camera was on the students and their learning in a small group.  I used iMovie to edit the frames down to 5 minutes.  Through this process, I deeply analyzed the responses of students to my instruction.  We analyzed each other’s video clips with constructive feedback.  I prepared notes on my own video and on the video of a colleague in the class.  Then we shared feedback over Skype.  This process was very constructivist in that I had a prior schema (mind map) of how I thought the students would respond to my teaching, to which I added the new knowledge of how I really looked.  This is similar to a coach using video clips of basketball players to allow the coach to analyze how the plays went and for players to self analyze.  When I observed the colleague, I added to my toolkit ways to teach using the same criteria, but from the view of a teacher in an advanced placement literature course.  The point overall is that the essential question for this week:  How do learning theories manifest themselves in online courses? ; was present in my mind during training today where so many situations call for thinking about the place for theory in online specific settings.

As I read responses to this question from others in our class, I realized that though there is usually a leaning in one direction or another as to learning theory, most teachers are not purely any one type theory as regards their own teaching and the observation of a variety of designs of online courses.  Also, I realized that “because constructivism is a composite of different views incorporating active, social and creative aspects of learning” (Ng’ambi & Lombe, 2012), the combination of applications of technology to online courses with constructivism theory interwoven throughout the course development or design is symbiotic.

Another insight I had during the readings came through my wondering how the establishment of Twitter, blogs, and connections between these could be beneficial.  In the same article referred to above, there was an explanation of how podcasting allows e-learning from an online class to shift to m- learning by providing students with access to class audios on their personal mobile devices.  Soon, I will download a Twitter app onto my iPhone for this class and learn to tweet brief messages to peers in this class.

One question I still have is where does constructivist theory begin if we were to place cognitive theory on a continuum between behaviorism and constructivist theories?




Ng’ambi, D., & Lombe, A. (2012).  Using podcasting to facilitate student learning:  A constructivist perspective.  Educational Technology & society, 15(4), 181-192.




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