Understanding and Applying Learning Theories to the Online Environment

Image of book: Learning Theory and Online Technology

There are three mainstream, familiar learning theories. They include Behaviorism, Constructivism, and Cognitivism. A more recent theory, Connectivism is also worth consideration. There are others of course; some contribute to the conversation surrounding teaching and learning in the online environment, others need to be filtered and won’t be discussed in our faculty development cohort sessions.

Image of book: Learning Theory and Online TechnologyIn her work, Learning Theory and Online Technology, Linda Harasim notes that these early theories all have value, but need serious rethinking, considering the technological, networked world in which we live and work in today. Considering you already have a significant understanding of the basic learning theories, we have provided a YouTube video, as a brief refresher on the primary learning theories. We also have a short YouTube video on Connectivism, which you may not be familiar with due to its recent emergence.  Your first assignment, is to reflect on these theories, and to determine which one(s) resonate with you in regards to building and teaching an online class. So, what do you need to accomplish?

  • Watch the short video overviews on the learning theories.
  • Reflection on each theory, and a determination of which theory resonates with you in regards to building and teaching online. You can select more than one theory, but please explain why.
  • Post of a short, concise explanation in the blog of how the theory/theories you have selected can be effectively applied in the building and teaching of an online course.
  • We are not looking for a research paper, or a reply of anything specific length, but we do want to see you thinking about the theories, what they mean to teaching and learning, and how they could be applied in an online course.

Post your response directly to the blog no later than midnight on DAY OF WEEK, DATE.  This is the first of eight, measured milestones in the faculty development cohort.  We will continue the discussion in our first face-to-face session.  See you then.