The examination of human history displays the connection of learning and technology. eLearning theories provide guiderails for educators and students to express and cultivate a systematic approach to distance education in an increasingly online world. Various eLearning theories informed recent DE Practice; however; this paper thesis is supported by two: Constructivist and Online Collaborative Learning (OCL). The fundamental principles of each theory and the implications those principles have on distance education (DE) will be explored.
The Constructivist Theory
The Constructivist theory defined by Harasim (2012) denotes the assembling of ones “own understanding and knowledge of the world through experience and reflecting upon that experience” (p. 12). At the center of a learners’ educational experience is themselves. Learners erect their own knowledge by deducing and managing the information obtained. The Constructivist theory focus on promoting learning assembled, relative, and incorporated with prior knowledge and experience by the learner.
Mbati (2013) explains Constructivism four critical elements to achieve this learning paradigm:
? Learners’ use of previous intelligence to obtain new intelligence.
? Learners recognize the difference between their previous and new intelligence.
? Learners apply their new intelligence and obtain feedback.
? Learners’ reflection on information learned to ensure this intelligence is fully integrated into memory.