Week 4 Prep

Top 10 Learning Theories for Digital and Collaborative Learning

10 Theories

  • Conditioning – like Pavlov dogs, reinforcing the behaviour that benefits everyone.
  • Connectionism – Bond between student and teachers
  • Progressive – Self governing learners, teacher guide, link between student and home
  • Constructivism (Social Development and Equilibrium)- Zone of Proximal development, where the learner work independently. Education should be discovered by student
  • Social Cognitive – Modelling can work as well as direct teaching
  • Situated Cognition – Learning is imbedded in context
  • Constructionism – Learning by doing
  • Community of Practice – Learning unintentional and in a social context
  • Connectivism – Learning takes place across online learning networks

All have had a place in teaching and learning, newer ones allow for tech integration and social interactions. What are we doing in Mindlab, and what am I using in my class?

Research-Informed Teaching of Adults: A Worthy Alternative to Old Habits and Hearsay?


Teaching is less consistent in introducing research findings into practice.

4 main ways research relates to teaching:

  1. research-led, curriculum based on research interests of teachers
  2. research-orientated, process of learning content is as important as the content.
  3. research-based, curriculum is based on inquiry rather than content
  4. research-informed, draws on inquiry into learning and teaching itself.

Teaching is a private affair, with little analytical processes happening to inform how teachers teach.

Observations have shown a mismatch between the ideals of the teacher and what happens int he classroom. A study found that mostly teachers taught how they were taught as students. These techniques do not relate to what the current research is telling us.

There is a common element to teaching, no matter the subject content. By being research informed teachers are able to change their mis matched current practice, to improve the quality of teaching. But what research to look at?  All research has it’s pros and cons when it comes to effective for everyone.

Research Informed teaching is based on the research based practice used successfully in the health sector where groups are split into those that are given treatment and those that aren’t, and then the results are measured. Teaching struggles to get the depth of research on topics, to make informed decisions. Quality research is important.

Research informed teaching allows us to make modifications to our practice, allowing for quality of teaching. However there is also the fact that there would be a huge amount of research to wade through, with conflicting ideas, and no golden bullet to use. Teaching is also very individualistic, with the teachers personality and flair being part of it.

So how can teachers be up to date with the current theories, how do we know what is relevant, which theories do we ‘latch’ onto?

This article related to adult learners, how does this relate to teaching at school level and the demands of the administration on paperwork and accountability, and how much time is left to read research.


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