This is not to say you can t learn anything from reading a web page or watching a lecture,
obviously you can, it s just pointing out that there is more interpretation going on than a transfer
of information from one brain to another.
Constructionism asserts that learning is particularly effective when constructing something for
others to experience. This can be anything from a spoken sentence or an internet posting, to
more complex artifacts like a painting, a house or a software package.
For example, you might read this page several times and still forget it by tomorrow but if you
were to try and explain these ideas to someone else in your own words, or produce a slideshow
that explained these concepts, then I can guarantee you d have a better understanding that is
more integrated into your own ideas. This is why people take notes during lectures, even if they
never read the notes again.
3. Social Constructivism
This extends the above ideas into a social group constructing things for one another, collabora
tively creating a small culture of shared artifacts with shared meanings. When one is immersed
within a culture like this, one is learning all the time about how to be a part of that culture, on
A very simple example is an object like a cup. The object can be used for many things, but its
shape does suggest some "knowledge" about carrying liquids. A more complex example is an
online course not only do the "shapes" of the software tools
indicate certain things about the way
online courses should work, but the activities and texts produced within the group as a whole will help shape
how each person behaves within that group.
4. Connected and Separate
This idea looks deeper into the motivations of individuals within a discussion. Separate
behavior is when someone tries to remain objective and factual , and tends to defend their own
ideas using logic to find holes in their opponent s ideas. Connected behavior is a more
empathic approach that accepts subjectivity, trying to listen and ask questions in an effort to
understand the other point of view. Constructed behavior is when a person is sensitive to both of
these approaches and is able to choose either of them as appropriate to the current situation.
In general, a healthy amount of connected behavior within a learning community is a very
powerful stimulant for learning, not only bringing people closer together but promoting deeper
reflection and re examination of their existing beliefs.
Once you are thinking about all these issues, it helps you to focus on the experiences that
would be best for learning from the learner s point of view, rather than just publishing and
assessing the information you think they need to know. It can also help you realize how each
participant in a course can be a teacher as well as a learner. Your job as a teacher can
change from being the source of knowledge to being an influencer and role model of class
culture, connecting with students in a personal way that addresses their own learning needs,
and moderating discussions and activities in a way that collectively leads students towards the
learning goals of the class.
Obviously Moodle doesn t force this style of behavior, but this is what it is best at supporting.
In future, as the technical infrastructure of Moodle stabilizes, further improvements in
pedagogical support will be a major direction for Moodle development. You are invited to be a
part of this future by contributing your ideas and experiences using Moodle with your students.
Join the online community of teachers and business trainers at