Posted by: Brynna Kaulback | June 20, 2012

Creating Foundations: Learning Theory and Design

David Jonassen co-authored Theoretical Foundations of Learning Environments with Susan Land, one of the books on my “favorites” bookshelf. I discovered this week another book that he edited which is a book on the foundations of learning design: Handbook of Research for Educational Communications and Technology. The one that I am reading is an older version, published in 1996, but it is available online and the newer version costs $52.00, used. When I decided to order a hard copy, I ordered the 1996 edition for around $5.00. I like reading older editions of books when I am trying to understand the history of a subject. It gives me more of a flavor of the perspective of that time in a way that the more recent editions don’t.

So this is my week to indulge in the wealth of the past. I finished writing a concept paper for my dissertation last week. My current research question is: How do designers of online or blended learning experiences understand or make sense of the connections between learners and how do these concepts inform their designs?

As I explain in the concept paper, one of the areas of literature that I intend to review is the literature on learning theory, but as it relates to learning design, and this is exactly what Jonassen’s book focuses on. Lucky find, and I am indebted to a student named Madeline Ortiz-Rodríguez, a graduate student at the University of Florida, who posted her notes from a 2002 class on her website for pointing me to it. Can’t remember how I found her website!

So, yesterday I tackled Behaviorist influences and started Constructivism. Come to think of it, I might need to get the newest edition of Jonassen’s book to see if there is a section on Connectivism!

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