The Challengers

Learning Theories/Strategies

The Introduction to Technology course will be designed with the constructivist theory that learning occurs through active perception and interpretation.  Learners construct knowledge by linking new knowledge with previously acquired knowledge. This course will allow for learners to receive information through multiple contexts, therefore maximizing their efforts for meaningful connections to be made (Anderson & Elloumi, 2004).

Interaction in online learning is another important factor that will be incorporated into the online Introduction to Technology course.  Interaction will be student to teacher, student to student, and student to content (Anderson & Elloumi, 2004).   By providing many opportunities for interaction to occur, another dimension of contextual learning is added to create an online community so that students do not feel isolated.

Previous research has shown that students in DLE environments tend to have higher failure and dropout rates (Roblyer, Davis, Mills, Marshall, & Paper, 2008).  Researchers hypothesize that lack of interaction may be one of the main culprits behind this higher failure and attrition rate (Juwah, 2006).  By facilitating discourse between students and also with the instructor, an interacting environment will promote successful learning.

Based on the constructionist theory of learning, there are many ways to incorporate this into lessons plans to assist students in learning the objectives of this course.  Many of the objectives of this course require students to apply their newfound knowledge into practice.   
The goal of the learning objectives is to incorporate interactive activities through collaborative and cooperative learning and allow the learners to have some control of the type of content they would like to include in some of the assignments (Anderson & Elloumi, 2004). Allowing the learning to become creative with HTML coding and web page design will make the assignment more relevant to the student.

Interaction will have to occur either synchronously or asynchronously.  Synchronous methods of interaction may occur through real time audio, visual or verbal communication.   The instructor and student will need to utilize microphones, video, or telephones to make this method successful.  Synchronous lessons will be held in Elluminate Students can log into an online classroom environment where they can hear the lecture, see the instructor, and ask questions to the instructor or other students.   Asynchronous methods of interaction can occur via email, feedback on assignments, discussion boards, blogs, wikis, or watching and listening to Elluminate sessions that were previously recorded.

Due to constraints and the varying schedules of students, an asynchronous interaction will be implemented for the majority of the course.  Utilizing file exchanges, wikis, blogs and online discussion boards, students will have an opportunity to share their work and have it critiqued by other students.  Online activities will be incorporated for students to shape learning of a particular topic and provide immediate feedback through online quizzes or exercises.

Anderson, T. & Elloumi, F. (Eds.) (2004). Theory and practice of online learning. Foundations of Educational Theory for Online Learning, 3-32. Athabasca, CA: Athabasca University

Juwah, C. (2006) Interactions in Online Education:  Implications for Theory and Practice. Routledge: New York

Roblyer, M., Davis, L., Mills, S., Marshall, J. & Pape, J. (2008).  Toward practical procedures for predicting and promoting success in virtual school students.  American Journal of Distance Education, (22)2, 90-109

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