Constructivism and Connectivism

The two main learning theories that have influenced my studies throughout my M.Ed. program are constructivism and connectivism. While technically connectivism could be regarded as a learning theory under the paradigm of constructivism, I will choose to focus on them separately.


Constructivism: A paradigm that views learning as an active constructive process where the learning process is scaffolded so that learners construct new knowledge by building on prior knowledge. This theory is influenced by the work of Lev Vygotsky who coined the terms Zone of Proximal Development and More Knowledgable Other (Social Development Theory (Vygotsky), 2010).


Connectivism: This learning theory, developed by George Siemens and Stephen Downes, seeks to address the limitations of behaviourism, cognitivism, and constructivism by developing a theory of learning for the digital age (Siemens 2005b). One of the defining features of connectivism includes viewing learning as the process of network formation. 


The artifacts in this section do not provide evidence of constructivist or connectivist learning on the part of students, but rather a vision of what constructivist and connectivist teaching might look like.