Robyn's Words

Week 3 Post 1

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In your blog, discuss which theory/ies might be most applicable to your instruction and outline a specific activity/assignment/exercise that would facilitate learning according to that theory. Outline, design, or wireframe that activity in a way that  makes sense to you so you will be able to design it more in depth when you have time.
Theory:
Constructivism: A philosophy of learning founded on the premise that, by reflecting on our experiences, we construct our own understanding of the world we live in. Each of us generates our own “rules” and “mental models,” which we use to make sense of our experiences. Learning, therefore, is the process of adjusting our mental models to accommodate new experience.
Learners construct their own meaning. Students do not process or transfer what they receive passively. Provide tasks that allow them to reflect/analyze on information. e.g. Search this index on X and list techniques that improve your search.

New learning builds on prior knowledge. Students must compare and contrast old and new information to build new connections.

Learning is enhanced by social interaction. Students learn best in social settings where they can debate conflicting ideas and exchange perspectives. e.g. Use small groups and class discussion to explore and articulate search processes and methods. When students work together on projects or problems under the guidance of the instructor, a higher level of learning is achieved due to the scaffolding effect of peers and teacher than could be accomplished independently. This is also known as Vygotsky’s “zone of proximal development”.

Meaningful learning develops through “authentic” tasks. Choose examples and activities from the real world that are worthy of investigation. Consider current news topics or themes of interest to specific age groups.Draw on communication between participants through bulletin boards, chat, listservs, to share understanding from different points of view.

ACTIVITY:
1) Draw on what students already know- ask them what 3 sites they are planning to use for research.
2) Share sites with group/class.  Discuss any known pros and cons as a group.
3) Have instructor share vetted sites as an expert. Use sites and search terms directly from students/course topics.
4) Discuss questions, pros and cons, etc as a group.
5) Have students re-list three sites that they can use for research.  Give them time to explore these sites in class and to discuss findings with instructor and other students.
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