Friday, April 07, 2006

Jonassen's Constructivist Principles

Jonassen(1991) notes that many educators and cognitive psychologists have applied constructivism to the development of learning environments. From these applications, he has isolated a number of design principles:
1. Create real-world environments that employ the context in which learning is relevant;
2. Focus on realistic approaches to solving real-world problems;
3. The instructor is a coach and analyzer of the strategies used to solve these problems;
4. Stress conceptual interrelatedness, providing multiple representations or perspectives on the content;
5. Instructional goals and objectives should be negotiated and not imposed;
6. Evaluation should serve as a self-analysis tool;
7. Provide tools and environments that help learners interpret the multiple perspectives of the world;
8. Learning should be internally controlled and mediated by the learner (pp.11-12).

Jonassen (1994) summarizes what he refers to as "the implications of constructivism for instructional design". The following principles illustrate how knowledge construction can be facilitated:
1. Provide multiple representations of reality;
2. Represent the natural complexity of the real world;
3. Focus on knowledge construction, not reproduction;
4. Present authentic tasks (contextualizing rather than abstracting instruction);
5. Provide real-world, case-based learning environments, rather than pre-determined instructional sequences;
6. Foster reflective practice;
7. Enable context-and content dependent knowledge construction;
8. Support collaborative construction of knowledge through social negotiation (p.35).


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