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Constructivism and collaboration on the Internet: Case study of a graduate class experience


Computers & Education Volume 24, Number 3, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Adult learners, a growing population in higher education institutions, bring with them a variety of life experiences and interests that shape their learning. The constructivist model, which recognizes learning as active development of personal meaning through the interaction of current conceptions and ongoing experiences, presents an approach appropriate for adult learners. The Internet plays a vital role in providing a framework for adults learning at a distance to construct their learning collaboratively and actively. This research is based on the study of a graduate course that was delivered to adult students at three locations by interactive video conference and supplemented by computer conference. The students used two electronic discussion groups (EDGs) to extend the class meetings informally, to moderate discussions, and to discuss distance education issues and conduct research. Data were collected from journals, audiotaped interviews, messages on the EDGs, and evaluations of one EDG. The combination of instructor flexibility and course requirements for electronic communication among students led to the evolution of a learner-centered approach. Driving this change was the students' use of the Internet as the framework for discussion, shared information and experiences, and interpersonal negotiation. Many students felt stronger connections to the “distant” class members than in the usual videoteleconferenced class, recognizing that the way they used computer conferencing helped unify the class. Learning became a collaboration—a connection among different perspectives—in which the personal experiences of these adults served to enrich the learning situation and foster construction of personal knowledge.


Yakimovicz, A.D. & Murphy, K.L. (1995). Constructivism and collaboration on the Internet: Case study of a graduate class experience. Computers & Education, 24(3), 203-209. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved April 21, 2019 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on January 30, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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