Online Language Learning and Teaching Pedagogy: Constructivism and Beyond
Authors: Zeineb Deymi-Gheriani
In the last two decades, one can clearly observe a boom of interest for e-learning and web-supported programs. However, one can also notice that many of these programs focus on the accumulation and delivery of content generally as a business industry with no much concern for theoretical underpinnings. The existing research, at least in online English language teaching (ELT), has demonstrated a lack of an effective online teaching pedagogy anchored in a well-defined theoretical framework. Hence, this paper comes as an attempt to present constructivism as one of the theoretical bases for the design of an effective online language teaching pedagogy which is at the same time technologically intelligent and theoretically informed to help envision how education can best take advantage of the information and communication technology (ICT) tools. The present paper discusses the key principles underlying constructivism, its implications for online language teaching design, as well as its limitations that should be avoided in the e-learning instructional design. Although the paper is theoretical in nature, essentially based on an extensive literature survey on constructivism, it does have practical illustrations from an action research conducted by the author both as an e-tutor of English using Moodle online educational platform at the Virtual University of Tunis (VUT) from 2007 up to 2010 and as a face-to-face (F2F) English teaching practitioner in the Professional Certificate of English Language Teaching Training (PCELT) at AMIDEAST, Tunisia (April-May, 2013).
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1127378Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 783
 A. Hamat, and M. A. Embi, “Constructivism in the design of online learning tools,” European Journal of Educational Studies, vol. 2, no.3, 2010, pp. 237-246.
 M. Heisenberg, Physics and Beyond. New York: Harper and Row, l97l.
 J. Dewey, “Psychology and social practice,” The Psychological Review, vol. 7, 1900, pp. 105-124.
 D. E. Kiwuwa, Ethnic Politics and Democratic Transition in Rwanda. New York, NY: Routledge, 2012.
 T. M. Duffy, and D.J. Cunningham, “Constructivism: Implications for the design and delivery of instruction,” in Handbook of Research for Educational Communications and Technology, D.H. Jonassen, Ed. NY: Macmillan, 1996, pp.170-198.
 B.J. Wadsworth, Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive and Affective Development, 5th Ed. New York: Longman, 1996.
 J. P. Byrnes, Cognitive Development and Learning in Instructional Contexts. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1996.
 S. B. Merriam, and R. S Caffarella, Learning in Adulthood: A Comprehensive Guide. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1999.
 J. M. Royer, Cognitive Revolution in Educational Psychology. Charlotte: Information Age Publishing, 2005.
 J. Piaget, The Origins of Intelligence in Children. New York: International Universities Press, 1952.
 J. Piaget, The Construction of Reality in the Child. New York: Basic Books, 1954.
 W. J. Rothwell, Adult Learning Basics. Alexandria, Va.: ASTD Press, 2008.
 M. Flores, “Jean Piaget’s theory of assimilation and accommodation given the recent discoveries on brain development,” Lessons Learned Blog, Oct. 13, 2004. http://surrenderandwin.blogspot.com/2004/10/jean-piagets-theory-of-assimilation.html.
 L.S. Vygotsky, Mind in Society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 1978.
 E. W. Jenkins, “Constructivism in school science education: Powerful model or the most dangerous intellectual tendency?” Science and Education, vol. 9, 2000, pp.599-610.
 Moodle philosophy, 2012. http://docs.moodle.org/en/Philosophy
 M. McMahon, “Social constructivism and the World Wide Web: A paradigm for learning,” ASCILITE Conf., Perth, Australia, Dec. 1997.
 L. Darling-Hammond, J. Rosso, K. Austin, S. Orcutt, and D. Martin, The Learning Classroom: Theory into Practice. Stanford University, 2003. http://www.learner.org/courses/learningclassroom/support_pages/index.html
 T.M. Duffy, and D. H. Jonassen, Constructivism and the Technology of Instruction: A Conversation. Lawrence: Erlbaum Associates, 1992.
 S.J. Brown, John Seely Brown, 2010. http://www.johnseelybrown.com/speeches.html#digitalage
 S. J. Brown, and R. P. Adler, “Minds on fire: Open education, the long tail, and learning 2.0,” EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 43, no. 1, Jan/Feb. 2008, pp.16–32.
 J. G. Brooks, and M. G. Brooks, In Search for Understanding the Case for Constructivist Classrooms. Alexandria, Virginia: ASCD, 1993.
 B. Wilson, J. Teslow, and R. Osman-Jouchoux, “The impact of constructivism (and postmodernism) on ID fundamentals,” in B. Seels, Ed. Instructional Design Fundamentals: A Reconsideration. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications, 1995, pp. 137-185.
 C. Fosnot, “Constructing constructivism,” in Constructivism and the Technology of Instruction: A Conversation, T.M. Duffy, and D.H. Jonassen, Eds. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1992, pp. 167-176
 E. Bredo, “Reconsidering social constructivism: The relevance of George Herbert Mead’s interactionism,” in Constructivism in Education: Opinions and Second Opinions on Controversial Issues, D.C. Phillips, Ed. Chicago, Illinois: The University of Chicago Press, 2000, pp.109-123.
 C. C. Bonwell, and J.A. Eison, Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom. Washington, DC: George Washington University, School of Education and Human Development, 1991.
 D. N. Perkins, “Technology meets constructivism: Do they make a marriage?” Educational Technology, vol. 31, no. 5, 1991, pp. 19-23.
 J. Solomon, “The rise and fall of constructivism,” Studies in Science Education, vol. 23, 1994, pp. 1-19
 Y. Karagiorgi, and L. Symeou, “Translating constructivism into instructional design: Potential and limitations,” Educational Technology & Society, vol. 8, no. 1, 2005, pp. 17-27.
 J. C. Bringuier, Conversations with Jean Piaget. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1980.
 M. G. Jones, and L. Brader-Araje, “The Impact of constructivism on education: Language, discourse and meaning,” American Communication Journal, vol. 5, no. 3, 2002.
 P. Cole, “Constructivism revisited: A search for common ground,” Educational Technology, vol. 33, no. 2, 1992, pp. 27-34.
 D. Kolb, Experiential Learning as the Science of Learning and Development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1984.
 L. Dixon-Krauss, Vygotsky in the Classroom: Mediated Literacy Instruction and Assessment. Toronto: Copp Clark Longman Ltd, 1996.
 D.N. Perkins, “What constructivism demands of the learner” in Constructivism and the Technology of Instruction: A Conversation, T. M. Duffy, and D.H Jonassen, Eds. Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1992, pp. 161-166.
 Z. G. Deymi, “Can e-assessment be the key? Moodle testing system: A case in study,” The International Journal of Humanities Education, vol. 14, no. 1, 2015, pp.1-15
 W. Gray, “E-assessment, say goodbye to paper-based test,” 2011. http://article.abc-directory.com/article/8308
 J. Askew, “Educational theories,” n.d. http://crescentok.com/staff/jaskew/isr/education/theories.htm
 R. Mason, “Models of online courses,” ALN Magazine, vol. 2, no. 2, Oct. 1998. http://aln.org/alnweb/magazine/vol2_issue2/Masonfinal.html
 D. Laurillard, “Multimedia and the changing experience of the learner,” in Proc. of Asia Pacific Information Technology in Training and Education Conf. and Exhibition: APITITE 94, M. Ryan, Ed. Brisbane, Australia, vol. 1, 1994, pp. 19-24.
 S. Gulati, “Constructivism and emerging online learning pedagogy: A discussion for formal to acknowledge and promote the informal,” Annu. Conf. of the Universities Association for Continuing Education: Regional Futures: Formal and Informal Learning Perspectives, Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Glamorgan, Apr. 2004, pp. 5-7. http://www.leeds.ac.uk/educol/documents/00003562.htm
 S. D. Brookfield, Understanding and Facilitating Adult Learning. Milton Keynes. Open University Press, 1986.
 P.Kollock and M. Smith. “Managing the virtual commons: Cooperation and conflict in computer communities” In Proc. of Computer-Mediated Communication: Linguistic, Social, and Cross-Cultural Perspective Conf. Amsterdam, John Benjamins, 1996, pp. 109-128.
 G. Salmon, E-Moderating: The Key to Teaching and Learning Online. London: Kogan Page, 2000.
 M. Beaudoin, “Learning or lurking? Tracking the ‘invisible’ online student,” The Internet and Higher Education, vol. 5, 2002, pp. 147-155.
 B. Nonnecke, and J. Preece, “Silent participants: Getting to know lurkers better,” From Usenet to CoWebs, 2000, pp. 110-132. http://www.cis.uoguelph.ca/~nonnecke/research/silentparticipants.pdf
 F.A. Garforth, John Dewey Selected Educational Writings. London: Heinemann Educational Books Ltd, 1966
 P. Goodyear, S. Banks, V. Hodgson, and D. McConnel, “Research on networked learning: An overview,” in Advances in Research on Networked Learning, P. Goodyear et al. Eds. GB: Kluwer, 2004, ch. 1.
 P. Cobb, “Constructivism and Learning,” In International Encyclopaedia of Education, T. Husen, and T. N. Postlethwaite, Eds. Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1994, pp. 1049-1051.
 R. Slavin, Cooperative Learning: Theory, Research and Practice. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1990.
 S. Yurkiw, “Learning with confidence,” Elearnspace: Everything Elearning, 2002. http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/valueoffailure.htm
 R.S. Prawat, and R.W Floden, “Philosophical perspectives on constructivist views of learning,” Educational Psychology, vol. 29, 1994, pp. 37-48.
 D. H. Jonassen, “Evaluating constructivistic learning,” in Constructivism and the Technology of Instruction: A Conversation, T.M. Duffy, and D.H. Jonassen, Eds. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1992, pp. 1 37-148.
 S. Draper, “Constructivism and instructional design,” The Performance Juxtaposition Site, 1997. http://www.psy.gla.ac.uk/~steve/constr.html
 A. M. O’ Donnell, “Constructivism by design and in practice: a review,” Issues in Education, vol. 3, no. 2, 2000, pp. 285- 294.
 D. N. Perkins, “The many faces of constructivism,” Educational Leadership, vol. 57, no. 3, 1999. 6-11.
 M. D. Merrill, "Instructional strategies that teach," CBT Solutions, Nov. /Dec., 1997, pp. 1-11.
 M. D. Merrill, "First principles of instruction," Educational Technology Research and Development, vol. 50, no. 3, 2002, pp. 43 - 59.
 G. Cousin, and F. Deepwell, “Designs for network learning: A communities of practice perspective,” Studies in Higher Education, vol. 30, no. 1, 2005, pp. 57-66.
 R. Zevenbergen, “Constructivism as a liberal, bourgeois discourse,” Educational Studies in Mathematics, vol. 31, no. 1-2, 1996, pp. 95-113.
 E. Ackermann, “Piaget’s constructivism, Papert’s constructionism: What’s the difference?” Future of Learning Group Publication, vol. 5, no. 3, 2001, pp. 1-11.
 S. Papert, “Preface,” in Constructionism: Research Reports and Essays, I. Harel and S. Papert, Eds. Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 1991, p. 1.
 G. Siemens, “Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age,” ElearnSpace, 2004. http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm.
 M. Huberman, “Networks that alter teaching: Conceptualizations, exchanges and experiments,” Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, vol. 1, no. 2, Oct. 1995, pp. 193-211.