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How constructive is constructivism? Analysis for courseware development

Yasmine Howard
Faculty of Education, University of Tasmania
Courseware has become an important aspect in educational theory and practice. There is consensus about the principles and features of 'user friendly' in software development. However, the concept 'learner-friendly' and its related educational principles are still debated by researchers in courseware development. In particular, a significant discourse on whether a constructivist framework benefits learning has developed. This article starts by defining constructivism, and its influence on the development of constructivist learning environments. It then evaluates courseware that is framed by constructivist pedagogy, and confirms what specific aspects of constructivism the courseware adheres to, based on Jonassen's ten principles for evaluating from a constructivist perspective. Based on this, it argues the courseware's strengths and weaknesses, and summarises how effective constructivist theory has been. The article concludes by offering suggestions and recommendations based on the findings, for developing effective CLEs.
Please cite as: Howard, Y. (2003). How constructive is constructivism? Analysis for courseware development. In Partners in Learning. Proceedings of the 12th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 11-12 February 2003. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/howard-abs.html

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Last revision: 14 Jan 2003. This URL: http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/howard-abs.html