Learning Theories

HEUTAGOGY emphasizes the development of individual’s capabilities within an environment of self-directed learning, knowledge sharing, intuition and reflection. The heutagogical approach to learning can be effectively conducted using online and digital technology mediums (Hase & Kenyon, 2000).

CONNECTIVISM is a process of learning in which the environment can shift, change and is not necessarily within the control of the individual. It focuses on connecting information, determining important and unimportant information, and recognizing new information which changes decisions (Siemens, 2004). Connectivism states that: “ (i) Knowledge rests in networks, (ii) Knowledge may reside in nonhuman appliances, and learning is enabled / facilitated by technology, and (iii) Currency (accurate, up‐todate knowledge) is the intent of all connectivist learning activities” (Siemens, 2006, as cited in McLoughlin, 2008, p.2).

SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVISM emphasizes that learners “create meaning through their interactions with each other and with the environment they live in” (Kim, 2001, p.3). Knowledge and meaning are constructed as a product of social and cultural experiences. Thus, “meaningful learning occurs when individuals are engaged in social activities” (Kim, 2001, p.3). Social constructivists posit that effective instructional models should include collaboration and interaction among learners and members of the community (Kim, 2001).

CONSTRUCTIONISM is a learning theory that posits that learning occurs as “building knowledge structures through progressive internationalize of actions” and the “learner is consciously engaged in constructing a public entity” (Papert & Harel 1991, p.1). The learner internalizes information (cognition) and demonstrates learning through external construction (constructing outside of their mind). Ideas are formed and transformed through construction which demonstrates learning.

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