Constraints and Design Recommendations for Implementing Constructivist Approaches in Multicultural E-learning Environment

By Laila Oubenaissa-Giardina and Madhumita Bhattacharya.

Published by The Technology Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Recent research has underlined the importance of apprehending e-learning from a new teaching and learning perspective. Some pedagogical approaches such as Cases Studies (CS) and Problem-Based Learning (PBL) provide different perspectives for many practitioners. However, adopting those approaches in rich multicultural learning environments is difficult to implement due to the complexity of the interaction generated by the e-learning technology, and due to the diversity of learners’ manifestations in terms of values, references, cultural symbols, and personal experiences. Therefore, teachers now face new challenging opportunities and, without a minimum of educational designing skills, they cannot exploit present pedagogical opportunities. This paper describes the CS and PBL approaches in multicultural learning contexts. The defined conceptual model presented in the paper discusses the importance of representing and expressing authentic practical concerns when teachers adopt a constructivist teaching approach. Within this conceptual model, the juxtaposition of the learner system and designer/teacher system are analysed in relation to the manifestations of the learners and different dimensions of the interaction. The framework represented by the conceptual model is used to offer some recommendations for design as well as to emphasize the relationship between the effects and benefits of technology considering the interaction as a space of expression related to knowledge and thinking modes, argumentation and negotiation activities, and planned behaviours and expression of intention.

Keywords: Cases Studies Approach, Educational Designing Skills, E-learning Design, Interaction, Learning Environment Constraints Multicultural Learning Context, PBL Approach, Teacher’s Professional Development

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.75-84. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 772.597KB).

Dr. Laila Oubenaissa-Giardina

Associate Researcher, Centre of Interuniversity Research on Telelearning Applications (CIRTA), Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Dr. Laila Oubenaissa-Giardina is an Associate Researcher in CIRTA, Montreal, Canada. Her main area of research interest is on the pedagogical considerations for collaborative and multicultural learning environment design and the learners' cognitive and sociocognitive interaction process and dynamic in mediated learning environment. She is currently studying the complexity of skills involved in mediated collaborative learning environment, the impact of cultural and personal learner' characteristics on elearning, and the model for ICT integration in pre-service and in-service teacher education programme. Dr. Laila Oubenaissa-Giardina is currently involved in three collaborative projects: Design's considerations for multicultural learning environment (with Massey University), Flexible learning modes (with University of Mons, Belgium), and ICT integration model for preservice and in-service teacher (with University of Laval, Canada).

Dr Madhumita Bhattacharya

Senior Lecturer in Environmental Assessment, School of Curriculum and Pedagogy, College of Education, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Dr. Madhumita Bhattacharya is a senior Lecturer at the School of Curriculum and Pedagogy, College of Education, Massey University, New Zealand since April 2003. Her area of specialization and research interest is in Learning Technologies particularly for Science and Technology Education. One of the many researches that Dr. Madhumita conducted was Design and Development of a Network based Collaborative Teaching-Learning System for Problem Based Learning. Dr. Bhattacharya is engaged in the teacher education programme in Science and Technology Education. She is involved in research supervision and postgraduates level teaching at Massey University and at the University of Tartu in Estonia as Visiting professor. Currently Dr. Bhattacharya is co-editing a book entitled: Managing Digital Diversity: Socio-Technological Perspectives.

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