Posts Tagged ‘constructivism’

Oculus Rift and Irish students

How Irish Students Use Oculus Rift VR in the Classroom

Derek E. Baird Oct 11, 2017

Shifts in students’ learning style will prompt a shift to active construction of knowledge through mediated immersion.”-Chris Dede

The theory of constructivist-based learningaccording to Dr. Seymour Papert, “is grounded in the idea that people learn by actively constructing new knowledge, rather than having information ‘poured’ into their heads.”

Moreover, constructionism asserts that people learn with particular effectiveness when they are engaged in constructing personally meaningful artifacts (such as computer programs, animations, 3D modeling, creating spatial environments in virtual reality or building robots).”

Technologies like virtual reality, especially for Gen Z students’, provides avenues that allow them to engage in a social, collaborative, and active learning environment.

Virtual reality, especially when combined with powerful storytelling, allows the student to participate in the story, develop empathy to experiences outside their current realm of understanding and allows them to be fully immersed in their own exploration and learning.

more on VR in this IMS blog

social media adoption education

Arshad, M., & Akram, M. S. (2018). Social Media Adoption by the Academic Community: Theoretical Insights and Empirical Evidence From Developing Countries. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 19(3). Retrieved from
Building on the social constructivist paradigm and technology acceptance model, we propose a conceptual model to assess social media adoption in academia by incorporating collaboration, communication, and resource sharing as predictors of social media adoption, whereas perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness act as mediators in this relationship.
According to the latest social media statistics, there are more than 2 billion Facebook users, more than 300 million Twitter users, more than 500 million Google+ users, and more than 400 million LinkedIn users (InternetLiveStats, 2018).
although social media is rapidly penetrating into the society, there is no consensus in the literature on the drivers of social media adoption in an academic context. Moreover, it is not clear how social media can impact academic performance.
Social media platforms have significant capability to support the social constructivist paradigm that promotes collaborative learning (Vygotsky, 1978).
technology acceptance model (
  • Perceived usefulness (PU) – This was defined by Fred Davis as “the degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would enhance his or her job performance“.
  • Perceived ease-of-use (PEOU) – Davis defined this as “the degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would be free from effort” (Davis 1989).

Venkatesh, V., Morris, M. G., Davis, G. B., & Davis, F. D. (2003). USER ACCEPTANCE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: TOWARD A UNIFIED VIEW. MIS Quarterly27(3), 425-478.

proposing a Social Media Adoption Model (SMAM) for the academic community

Social media platforms provide an easy alternative, to the academic community, as compared to official communications such as email and blackboard. my note: this has been established as long as back as in 2006 – Around the time, when SCSU announced email as the “formal mode of communication).Thus, it is emerging as a new communication and collaboration tool among the academic community in higher education institutions (Roblyer, McDaniel, Webb, Herman, & Witty, 2010). Social media has greatly changed the communication/feedback environment by introducing technologies that have modified the educational perspective of learning and interacting (Prensky, 2001).

Theory of Reasoned Action :

the Theory of Reasoned Action (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975) and the Technology Acceptance Model (Davis, 1989) have been used to assess individuals’ acceptance and use of technology. According to the Technology Acceptance Model, perceived usefulness and perceived ease are the main determinants of an individual’s behavioral intentions and actual usage (Davis, 1989).

Perceived usefulness, derived from the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), is the particular level that an individual perceives that they can improve their job performance or create ease in attaining the targeted goals by using an information system. It is also believed to make an individual free from mental pressure (Davis, 1989).

Perceived ease of use can be defined as the level to which an individual believes that using a specific system will make a task easier (Gruzd, Staves, & Wilk, 2012) and will reduce mental exertion (Davis, 1989). Venkatesh (2000) posits this construct as a vital element in determining a user’s behavior toward technology. Though generally, there is consensus on the positive effect of perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness on users’ attitude towards social media, it is not yet clear which one of these is more relevant in explaining users’ attitude towards social media in the academic community (Lowry, 2002). Perceived ease of use is one of the eminent behavioral beliefs affecting the users’ intention toward technology acceptance (Lu et al., 2005). The literature suggests that perceived ease of use of technology develops a positive attitude toward its usage (Davis, 1989).

Collaborative learning is considered as an essential instructional method as it assists in overcoming the communication gap among the academic community (Bernard, Rubalcava, & St-Pierre, 2000). The academic community utilizes various social media platforms with the intention to socialize and communicate with others and to share common interests (Sánchez et al., 2014; Sobaih et al., 2016). The exchange of information through social media platforms help the academic community to develop an easy and effective communication among classmates and colleagues (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). Social media platforms can also help in developing communities of practice that may help improve collaboration and communication among members of the community (Sánchez et al., 2014). Evidence from previous work confirms that social media platforms are beneficial to college and university students for education purposes (Forkosh-Baruch & Hershkovitz, 2012). Due to the intrinsic ease of use and usefulness of social media, academics are regularly using information and communication technologies, especially social media, for collaboration with colleagues in one way or the other (Koh & Lim, 2012; Wang, 2010).

more about social media in education in this IMS blog

Constructivism: Lecture and project-based learning

The blog entry title initially was:

Constructivism: Lecture versus project-based learning

Actually, the article is about both lecture and group work finding a niche in the complex process of teaching and learning.

Excellent points, ideas and discussion in and under a recently published article:

Anyone Still Listening? Educators Consider Killing the Lecture

“Professors do not engage students enough, if at all, when trying to innovate the classroom. It’s shocking how out of touch they can be, just because they didn’t take the time to hear their students’ perspectives.”

The article and the excellent comments underneath the article do not address the possibility of cultural differences. E.g., when article cites the German research, it fails to acknowledge that the US culture is pronouncedly individualistic, whereas other societies are more collective. For more information pls consider:
Ernst, C. T. (2004). Richard E. Nisbett. The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently … and Why. Personnel Psychology, (2), 504.
Nisbett, R. E. (2009). Intelligence and how to get it : why schools and cultures count / Richard E. Nisbett. New York : W.W. Norton & Co., c2009.
The article generalizes, since another omission is the subject-oriented character of the learning process: there are subjects, where lecture might be more prevalent and there are some where project learning, peer instruction and project-based learning might be more applicable.

Translating Constructivism into Instructional Design: Potential and Limitations.

Karagiorgi, Y., & Symeou, L. (2005). Translating Constructivism into Instructional Design: Potential and Limitations. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 8(1), 17–27. PDF available
p. 18 Knowledge for constructivism cannot be imposed or transferred intact from the mind of one knower to the mind of another. Therefore, learning and teaching cannot be synonymous: we can teach, even well, without having students learn
p. 19 In the traditional approach, the instructional designer analyses the conditions – such as the content, the learner, and the instructional setting – which bear on the instructional system, in preparation for the specification of intended learning outcomes. In the constructivist approach, the instructional content cannot be pre-specified. Constructivist designers avoid the breaking down of context into component parts as traditional instructional designers do, but are in favour of environments in which knowledge, skills, and complexity exist naturally.
The goal, for instance, is not to teach a particular version of history, but to teach someone how to think like a historian.
p. 19 In traditional instruction, this phase involves the design of a sequence to achieve specified performance objectives.
Yiasemina Karagiorgi