A Constructivist Model for Distance Education Teaching

K.A. Blackwell (USA)


Distance education, constructivist model, culturallyresponsive teaching


Constructivist teachers in higher education have strived to provide meaningful education that goes beyond the normal lecture model of teaching. These teachers are being asked to deliver instruction through distance education, which can be contradictory to effective teaching. This ethnographical study covered a three-year period examining a hybrid model of teaching taught through distance education by a teacher educator. The objective of this study was to document challenges of undertaking a constructivist teaching approach online from the perspectives of both teacher and students. Questions were established to guide the purpose of the study: would there be benefits or disadvantages for the culturally diverse student, would there be a depth of understanding of the content demonstrated and expressed by the students as compared to the learning of face-to face students, would students be assisted, enabled, or hindered by the use of technology, and would students enjoy the course, feeling that they had learned and experienced meaningful education? Data was obtained from anecdotal conversations, observations, pre/post assessment surveys, and videotaped focus group discussions. The findings indicated positive responses that supported online learning, culturally effective teaching, and identified areas for maintaining components that promote constructivist teaching through the hybrid learning model in distance education.

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