The Application Of Constructivist Theory Education Essay

Following the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 ( NCLB ) and the Persons with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 ( IDEIA ) , pedagogues could no longer merely believe about implementing research-based instruction schemes. These Torahs clearly mandated practicians must utilize theory and research to supply grounds that learning methods lead to improved educational results ( Slocum, Spencer, & A ; Detrich, 2012 ) . Initially rooted in the health care professions, evidence-based pattern ( EBP ) has been adopted by many professions to heighten the practician ‘s ability to be a protagonist of research, usher determinations, and turn to the research-to-practice spread ( Biesta, 2010 ) .

A long battle in many subjects continues to be related to the disparity between the methodological analysiss supported in research and what is implemented in existent pattern ( Gall, Gall, & A ; Borg, 2007 ) . This on-going division between practicians and research workers, every bit good as theoreticians and policy-makers, has been recognized, nevertheless, despite the increasing sum of research being done, small has been accomplished towards happening declaration. Researchers assert the consequences of probes are non good understood on the portion of the practician ( Spencer, Detrich, & A ; Slocum, 2012 ) . In contrast, practicians appear to believe the research may non be applicable or existent universe to their field. In add-on, the consequences of research may non be readily available in pattern related diaries ( Torres, Farley, & A ; Cooke, 2012 ) .

EBP in instruction and other subjects has been met with the inquiry of whether there is truly a new manner of practising or merely another manner of picturing what has ever been considered standard process. In seeking to contract the research pattern spread in healthcare professions, the usage of EBP is a direct result for a call for client safety. This could use every bit good to instruction related to bettering scholar results ( Spencer et al. , 2012 ) .

In healthcare professions, the Institute of Medicine ( IOM, 2011 ) , has described EBP as a decision-making procedure, incorporating the best research support with clinical expertness. For the practician, this should affect turn uping superior external grounds to reply inquiries. Unfortunately, the huge bulk of practicians rely chiefly on their more experient co-workers for way or go on on the same pattern way because that is the manner it has ever been done ( Benner, Sutphen, Leonard, & A ; Day, 2010 ; Langer & A ; Langer, 2009 ) . Either of these methods may take to inaccuracies when non supported by research based grounds and most likely consequence in hapless results ( Langer & A ; Langer, 2009 ) .

If the outlook is practicians are to do determinations based on grounds, so the grounds must be relevant, of high quality, applicable, and readily available ( Spencer et al. , 2012 ) . Although the measure of instruction related research has increased since NCLB was enacted, there are few surveies which incorporate precise design processes, such as randomized controlled tests. As a consequence, many practicians find small choice grounds to back up their determination devising ( Butler & A ; Schnellert, 2010 ) .

As the EBP motion continues, practicians, research workers, and policymakers are being encouraged to go occupied and collaborate ( Spencer et al. , 2012 ) . Research workers need to seek pedagogue parts in order to turn to pattern related issues. In add-on, supplying consequences of research to practicians in a manner that is clearly understood, more easy accessible, and promote serviceability would lend to contracting the research pattern spread ( Butler & A ; Schnellert, 2008 ) . The execution of resources, such as What Works Clearinghouse ( WWW, 2002 ) , enables practicians, research workers, and policymakers to link. WWW provides strictly designed research for EBP determinations and intervention intercessions. Through the usage of these sites, the practician is able to happen information rapidly without holding to seek through big databases.

The execution of EBP in the educational sphere is non optional. The literature indicates there is non a deficiency of grounds, but instead a deficiency of execution ( Spencer et al. , 2012 ) . With the research pattern spread averaging 17 old ages, practicians and research workers must travel the grounds into action ( Spencer et al. , 2012 ) . At the higher instruction degree, instructors must pattern the importance of theory, grounds, and research to their pupils. Many pupils do non understand theory and merely like practicians, find it hard to border for many of the same grounds ( Slocum et al. , 2012 ) . If EBP is to be to the full implemented and the research pattern spread reduced, non merely must practicians and research workers work together, practicians and the practicians of the hereafter must work to understand, use, and visualise the benefits of research.

Constructivist Theory

Constructivist attacks to larning hold traditionally been emphasized in higher instruction and are soon considered to be the most normally accepted theoretical account by pedagogues ( Hoic-Bozic, Mornar, & A ; Boticki, 2009 ; Hussain, 2012 ) . Learning is viewed as an active procedure in which old cognition is believed to be foundational ( Holly, Legg, Mueller, & A ; Adelman, 2008 ; Makgato, 2012 ) . The implicit in rule of constructivism is that the scholar is considered a complete person at a societal, cognitive, and affectional degree, which is thought to enrich and intensify the acquisition procedure ( Hrastinski, 2009 ; Ke, 2010 ) .

The growing of online and blended class work continues to be important with the bulk of enrolled pupils being of the grownup population ( Allen & A ; Seaman, 2011 ) . Within distance instruction acquisition, much research has been influenced by constructivist and societal acquisition theories ( Hrastinski, 2009 ; Legg, Adelman, Mueller, & A ; Levitt, 2009 ; Makgato, 2012 ) . Despite the volume of research related to online acquisition, there has non been an grownup larning theory, which educators can or will subscribe to, to drive pattern and steer farther research ( Minter, 2011 ; Shea & A ; Bidjerano, 2010 ) .

The six most ideal features which contribute to successful online acquisition are discussed in the literature ( Cercone, 2008 ) . These properties are: a strong relationship between the pupil and the facilitator/instructor, an engaging and collaborative student-to-student connexion, the necessity of contemplation on the portion of the pupil in order to associate new cognition with foundational experience, a sense of community, the application of larning to the real-world ; and motive on the portion of the scholar ( Boling, Hough, Krinsky, Saleem, & A ; Stevens, 2012 ; Jackson, Jones, & A ; Rodriguez, 2010 ; Pelz, 2010 ) . Although all of these features are of import, the edifice of community is considered the critical constituent ( Garrison, 2011 ; Palloff & A ; Pratt, 2011 ) . The success of developing, implementing, and keeping community really frequently leads to the other properties being effectual every bit good ( Garrison, 2011 ; Ruey, 2010 ) .

Research related to pupil acquisition and the development of community indicates a positive relationship ( Boling et al. , 2012 ; Hussain, 2012 ) . A survey based on appraising pupils sing their experiences within an on-line community and class public presentation indicated 85 % found the community experience to be positive, which enhanced their acquisition ( Vesely, Bloom, & A ; Sherlock, 2007 ) . Two extra surveies that were focused on perceptual experiences and attitudes of on-line pupils showed a important connexion between scholar satisfaction, pupil interaction, and community and cognition acquisition ( Liu, Magjuka, Bonk, & A ; Lee, 2007 ; Sadera, Robertson, Song, & A ; Midon, 2009 ) . Although the research related to online community development is converting, those in distance instruction contend that in order to achieve deep acquisition, accessing content online and learner interaction is non sufficient ( Garrison, 2009 ; Ke & A ; Xie, 2009 ) .

The accent must be about developing quality larning results ( Ke & A ; Xie, 2009 ) . It is believed the best attack to carry throughing this is through the design of collaborative extremely engaged acquisition communities ( Garrison, 2009 ; Shea & A ; Bidjerano, 2010 ) . Although people glean intending from personal contemplation and critical thought, the duologue which takes topographic point in groups of scholars is what creates cognition ( Garrison, Anderson, & A ; Archer, 2010 ; Garrison, 2011 ) .

Online acquisition in the twentieth century was chiefly focused on bridging the physical sweep for those pupils who had restricted entree to instruction ( Garrison 2009 ) . The focal point is now switching to issues related to learning and larning online, engineering, and bettering the anytime-anywhere agencies of interaction. Although these are of import issues, unluckily, they remain geared to the independent pupil instead than to the whole of a community of scholars ( Akyol, Garrison, & A ; Ozden, 2009 ) .

Over the last decennary there have been many theoretical parts to the online acquisition subject. Each has reflected patterned advance towards bettering the instruction and acquisition rules ( Garrison, 2011 ) . The inquiry practicians and decision makers are faced with is whether the theories that have been developed antecedently, supply the foundation for traveling on-line larning into the twenty-first century and will these theories support the immense alterations happening with current and future engineering ( Akyol & A ; Garrison, 2008 ; Shea & A ; Bidjerano, 2010 ) .

Application of Constructivist Theory: The Community of Inquiry Model

The pedagogical every bit good as technological developments are clearly altering the landscape of higher instruction and online acquisition appears to be at the head ( Akyol & A ; Garrison, 2008 ; Shea & A ; Bidjerano, 2010 ) . Administrators and module must acknowledge those pupils in the higher instruction system today require readying to last in a twenty-first century work force. Current learning methodological analysiss no longer run into the demands of today ‘s scholars and with the call for educational reform, redesign of larning experiences is indispensable. The following of import measure in traveling frontward is the finding of a theoretical model to steer pattern and research in order to supply meaningful larning results every bit good as critical thought ( Garrison, 2011 ; Ke, 2010 ; Shea & A ; Bidjerano, 2010 ) .

The Community of Inquiry ( CoI ) is a dynamic model built on constructivism and societal acquisition with theoretical foundations from Dewey, Vygotsky, and Bruner ( Garrison, Anderson, & A ; Archer, 2000, 2010 ; Garrison, 2009 ; Shea & A ; Bidjerano, 2010 ) . Developed by Garrison, Anderson, and Archer ( 2000 ) to back up online acquisition pattern and research, the focal point of this model is that successful online acquisition requires knowledge constructing based on the development of community ( Shea et al. , 2012 ) . Within higher instruction scenes, CoI assesses effectivity of online course of study by three nucleus constituents: ( a ) societal presence, ( B ) cognitive presence, and ( degree Celsius ) learning presence ( Garrison, Anderson, & A ; Archer, 2010 ) . These three elements intersect with each other to add to the on-line educational experience as represented in Figure 1.

Garrison ( 2011 ) described presence as consciousness or a sense of being that is influenced by learner-facilitator and learner-learner interpersonal communications. Essential to every portion of life is the construct of community. Unfortunately, many are of the belief that larning in conventional on-line coursework is in isolation and hence the construct of community is thought of as major failing ( Garrison, 2009, 2011 ) .

Over a decennary has passed since Garrison et Al. ( 2000 ) developed the CoI model. Research utilizing this theoretical account has been extended and appears to formalize the nucleus constituents of societal, cognitive, and learning presence ( Arbaugh, 2007, 2008 ; Kanuka, Rourke, & A ; Laflamme, 2007 ; Shea & A ; Bidjerano, 2010 ) . Significant, cross-institutional surveies have shown the stableness of the CoI theoretical account ( Arbaugh et al. , 2008 ; Shea & A ; Bidjerano, 2010 ) .

The challenge for research workers wanting to utilize the CoI model has been the deficiency of a common instrument to operationalize the theoretical account in order to mensurate the three presences in an online scene ( Shea & A ; Bidjerano, 2009 ; Swan et al. , 2008 ) . In 2007, the CoI Questionnaire

( CoIQ ) was developed and tested in a multiinstitutional survey ( Arbaugh et al. , 2008 ; Swan et al. , 2008 ) . This 34-question Likert study was administered to 287 online alumnus pupils with consequences back uping its usage as a valid instrument. Cronbach ‘s alpha indicated 0.91 for societal presence, 0.95 for cognitive presence, and 0.94 for learning presence ( Arbaugh et al. , 2008 ) . The usage of the CoI study provides research workers with a consistent means to analyze the elements of CoI as related to instruction, and acquisition, every bit good as keeping in on-line instruction ( Garrison, 2011 ) .

Bangert ( 2009 ) supported the cogency of the CoI study instrument by look intoing both undergraduate and graduate pupils ( N = 1173 ) in to the full on-line and blended categories. Analysis of study responses were consistent with the three CoI elements. Consequences of this survey indicated the study is an appropriate tool for pull offing the development and execution of on-line class work ( Bangert, 2009 ) .

The constructs of societal presence. Social presence is defined as the degree in which the scholar feels connected to other members both socially and emotionally within an on-line scene ( Garrison, 2009, 2011 ) . The ability of scholars to place with each other online is by and large through the usage of asynchronous text. Although this method lacks any sense of gestural communicating and immediateness, both of which build societal presence, pedagogues are frequently challenged by this type of exchange ( Garrison, 2011 ; Shea & A ; Bidjerano, 2010 ) .

Garrison and Arbaugh ( 2007 ) noted that the usage of text is frequently more valuable in easing the accomplishment of critical thought. Once societal presence has been established, Akyol and Garrison ( 2008 ) noted cognitive presence is besides enhanced. In contrast to this research, nevertheless, Jahng, Nielsen, and Chan ( 2010 ) studied 12 online alumnus pupils, reasoning that a lessened cognitive interaction occurred when societal communications were increased. This result indicated unneeded clip related to class debuts may good be uneffective as a portion of community development ( Garrison, 2011 ; Shea, Hayes, & A ; Vickers, 2010 ) .

Social presence has besides been linked to student perceived acquisition and concluding class classs ( Akyol & A ; Garrison, 2008 ; Caspi & A ; Blau, 2008 ) . Extra support for the credence of a theoretical account for on-line acquisition is related to keeping as abrasion rates are significantly higher than those of on-ground categories ( Boston et al. , 2009 ; Garrison, 2011 ) . A survey of undergraduate on-line pupils ( N = 28,877 ) utilizing the CoI study resulted with the indicant of a important relationship between pupil keeping and societal presence ( Boston et al. , 2009 ) .

The constructs of cognitive presence. Cognitive presence describes the grade in which scholars construct cognition through take parting in critical reflective thought and treatment ( Garrison, 2009, 2011 ) . Considered an indispensable constituent of critical thought, cognitive presence is designed within a social-constructivism point of view ( Shea & A ; Garrison, 2008 ) . Cognitive presence has been operationalized through the Practical Inquiry ( PI ) theoretical account that involves four phases: ( a ) the triping event, ( B ) geographic expedition, ( degree Celsius ) integrating, and ( vitamin D ) declaration ( Garrison, Anderson & A ; Archer, 2010 ) .

The CoI model supposes that the scholar progresses through each stage of the PI enquiry as reflected in Figure 2 ( Garrison, 2007 ) . In add-on, this procedure requires enhanced learning presence and is often influenced by the societal presence of the group ( Garrison, Anderson, & A ; Archer, 2010 ) . Bai ( 2009 ) noted that many scholars do non clearly understand the necessity for prosecuting in and bring forthing grounds of critical thought in on-line treatment forums.

A survey of on-line alumnus pupils in an educational engineering class comparing pupils in the autumn to those in spring was conducted by Bai ( 2009 ) . Fall pupils were provided with a rubric bespeaking the figure of needed stations, due day of the months, suggestions to include outside resources and how to entree forums while the spring group was given a usher utilizing the PI theoretical account with the four phases as classs, including features of each and the accent was on critical thought ( Bai, 2009 ) . Study consequences indicated more than half of the togss in both groups ne’er advanced further than the geographic expedition or brainstorming stage ( Bai, 2009 ) . Those pupils in the spring group, who had been provided the PI theoretical account posting usher, demonstrated higher degrees of interaction and critical thought as compared to those in the autumn group ( Bai, 2009 ) .

Arbaugh ( 2007 ) noted cognitive presence is the most hard component for pedagogues to accomplish online. Studies indicated this construct appears to be more related with design, facilitation, and way in relation to learning presence ( Bai, 2009 ; Swan et al. , 2008 ) . The most of import demand in making cognitive presence relates to the facilitator who builds treatment, proctors discourse, and guides scholars to critically believe ( Garrison et al. , 2010 ) .

The constructs of learning presence. The 3rd component of CoI is learning presence. The focal point of this construct is on instructional design, facilitation, and the sharing and staging of content by the teacher ( Garrison, 2009 ; Garrison et al. , 2010 ) . Teaching presence is considered critical to the full procedure as it is seen as important in relation to class satisfaction, a feeling of community, and the perceptual experience of acquisition by the pupil ( Garrison, Anderson, & A ; Archer, 2010 ) . A clear apprehension of the kineticss related to the presences is needed if a collaborative CoI is to be created and sustained ( Akyol & A ; Garrison, 2008, Garrison, Anderson & A ; Archer, 2010 ) . In add-on, it must be noted that learning presence is an integrative construct, which brings cognitive and societal presences together ( Garrison et al. , 2010 ) .

The function of the pedagogue in an on-line CoI encompasses three primary constituents: ( a ) class instructional design and organisation, ( B ) facilitation of treatment, and ( degree Celsius ) direct direction ( Nagel & A ; Kotze, 2010 ) . Teaching presence online is about keeping balance wherein the teacher ushers and theoretical accounts for the scholar ( Shea et al. , 2010 ) . Once pupils begin to take duty for their acquisition and collaborate every bit good as comprehend content, balance occurs ( Garrison, Anderson & A ; Archer, 2010 ) .

Research clearly indicated learning presence influences the success and satisfaction of online scholars ( Arbaugh, 2008 ; Abdous & A ; Yen, 2010, Ke, 2010 ) . Baker ( 2010 ) explored how educator presence and immediateness relates to student motive, knowledge, and affectional acquisition. Undergraduate and alumnus online pupils ( N = 699 ) were surveyed and consequences indicated a positive, but non a statistically important relationship between pupil motive, knowledge, and affectional acquisition, and pedagogue immediateness ( Baker, 2010 ) . Educator presence, nevertheless, was a important forecaster of these three features ( Baker, 2010 ) .

CoI Critique

Over the past 10 old ages a considerable sum of research has been accomplished specifically related to each of the single CoI elements ( Garrison, 2011 ; Garrison, Anderson, & A ; Archer, 2010 ; Lowenthal, Lowenthal, & A ; White, 2009 ) . More late, research workers have begun to utilize the full CoI model to steer online acquisition pattern and future research ( Lowenthal et al. , 2009 ) . Although reappraisal of research indicated the CoI model is valuable in analyzing online acquisition ( Garrison & A ; Arbaugh, 2007 ; Garrison, 2011 ) , others contended there is small grounds the model provides meaningful larning experiences ( Rourke & A ; Kanuka, 2009 ) .

Between 2000 and 2008, Rourke and Kanuka ( 2009 ) reviewed literature citing the CoI model. Actual class informations had been examined in merely 48 of the 252 diary articles found. Merely five articles had involved geographic expedition of pupil larning perceptual experiences, which had been reported as a measuring of pupil acquisition. This determination resulted in Rourke and Kanuka ( 2009 ) reasoning CoI research had failed to research the averment that the model comprised of societal, cognitive, and learning presences influenced larning results.

Reacting to this reappraisal, Akyol et Al. ( 2009 ) emphasized the CoI was presented as a cognition edifice larning procedure theoretical account based on social-constructivism theory merely. Arbaugh ( 2008 ) noted CoI research indicated societal, cognitive, and learning presences are clearly related to student perceptual experiences of larning. What remains in inquiry is whether there is a true association between meaningful acquisition and pupil ‘s perceptual experiences of acquisition ( Rourke & A ; Kanuka, 2009 ) .

In reexamining the literature, there are evident spreads between the CoI presences and larning results. Research has non validated deep acquisition as the unequivocal consequence of the on-line interactions between pupils, content, and facilitator/instructor. The research related to CoI lacks probe of the discrepancies that may be within academic subjects and the impact this may hold on the presences ( Smith, Heindel, & A ; Torres-Ayala, 2008 ) . There is the possibility that much of the research reports merely on single classs instead than several classs and/or a plan. Lowenthal et Al. ( 2009 ) noted there was a strong possibility that differences existed due to the fact that pedagogues and scholars belong to distinctive pattern communities. Additionally, learner engagement in a community may be hard due to linguistic communication every bit good as literacy issues as many subjects have their ain linguistic communication, for illustration, medical specialty, nursing, and jurisprudence ( Smith et al. , 2008 ) .

Recently, Carlon et Al. ( 2012 ) studied 330 undergraduate and alumnus pupils from subjects such as physical therapy ( n=32 ) , nursing ( n=274 ) , and healthcare direction ( n=24 ) utilizing the CoI Survey. Across the subjects, consequences indicated there was no difference in learning presence ; nevertheless, there was a statistically important difference within nursing in the societal and cognitive presence as compared to the other subjects. This survey indicated support for the findings of Shea and Bidjerano ‘s research ( 2009 ) .

The design, development, and bringing of an on-line class can besides impact the three presences ( Lowenthal et al. , 2009 ) . Whether a class is developed by an teacher, a group of teachers, or an instructional interior decorator, it will impact presence every bit good as the type of scholar activities developed for the class ( Lowenthal et al. , 2009 ) . Lowenthal et Al. ( 2009 ) noted these issues are seldom considered in the design and development stages.

A New Presence: Learning

Shea, Hayes, and Vickers ( 2010 ) discovered that a significant sum of learning presence occurred outside the on-line treatment forum ; this came in the signifier of electronic mails, messages, and private pupil booklets which were non included in old surveies. The consequences indicated that although all efforts to enter instruction, societal, and cognitive presence online, there was a presence which could non be coded.

Shea et Al. ( 2012 ) reviewed 56 surveies which had involved learner self-regulation elements. The research workers concluded on-line scholars were self-regulating to run into class ends and this did non suit within the current CoI theoretical account ( Shea et al. , 2012 ) . Because online acquisition requires a great trade of autonomy on the portion of the scholar, Shea et Al. ( 2012 ) noted that this spread would necessitate to be addressed. The current CoI implies societal presence occurs in isolation and learning presence fails to take pupil parts into consideration. Shea et Al. ( 2012 ) recommended accounting for these failings by suggesting a revised theoretical account that would include parts from both the instructor and pupil every bit good as emphasize socio-cognitive acquisition ( Shea et al. , 2012 ) .


The CoI model is considered one of the rule theoretical accounts steering research in online higher instruction ( Shea et al. , 2010 ) . Concentrating on the development of the online community, learner cognition is noted as the consequence of collaborative attempt ( Garrison, Anderson, & A ; Archer, 2010 ) . Most of the research utilizing CoI has been limited to the survey of on-line treatments ; nevertheless, this is spread outing to scrutiny of full online and blended classs ( Garrison et al. , 2010 ; Shea et al. , 2012 ) . Although there are acknowledged failings in the CoI theoretical account, research workers continue to research this model with the end of developing a more comprehensive theoretical account and look intoing full classs for the three presences at the same time ( Shea et al. , 2012 ) .

The most recent published survey has linked the Quality Matters ( QM ) peer reappraisal plan with CoI ( Swan, Matthews, Bogle, Boles, & A ; Day, 2012 ) . Research workers used the QM and CoI models to redesign an on-line alumnus class associating design, execution, and learner results for the first clip ( Swan et al. , 2012 ) . Initial findings in this on-going probe indicated QM and CoI class alterations can be connected to improved acquisition results. Future probes will find if these two models will work in subjects other than instruction ( Swan et al. , 2012 ) .