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Constructivist Teaching and Learning in a Web-Based Environment

Constructivist Teaching and Learning in a Web-Based Environment
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Author(s): Valerie N. Morphew (Fairmont State University, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 6
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch063


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Web-based teaching and learning is on the rise in education and industry, challenging teachers and trainers to deliver instruction in new ways with the same or better results. To maximize the potential of Web-based delivery, instructors can avail themselves of the rich body of research that supports constructivist teaching and learning in the traditional setting. Applying the constructivist approach to Web-based teaching and learning can help instructors establish learning environments and practices that encourage growth and development in their students. Constructivist teaching and learning recognizes both teacher and student as important and contributing members in a teaching-learning relationship. Other students in the learning environment also hold such qualities. The constructivist approach acknowledges that teacher and student, alike, bring prior knowledge and experiences with them into the learning environment. By capitalizing on familiar concepts and experiences, the student is able to connect new knowledge with prior and construct new meaning. This approach to teaching and learning differs markedly from the long-held notion that students are empty vessels (tabula rasa) waiting to be filled by a knowledgeable teacher. Although constructivism is widely accepted in theory, the teaching practices of many instructors do not support this approach.

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