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Learning Ecosystems: Connecting Social Constructivism and Distance Learning

#307

Rachel Biem

Summary:

Socially constructed education practices are understood to foster deep learning through socio-cultural interactions. (Vygotsky, 1978). Individual learning is limited in comparison to what can be learned as a community (Beck & Kosnik, 2006). Face-to-face strategies are highlighted throughout the Saskatchewan curriculum with little mention of distance learning. (Saskatchewan Ministry of Education, 2010). The lack of direct connections places a burden on distance learning (DL) teachers, policy makers, and course designers to discover how to achieve socially constructed learning. This qualitative study aims to close the research gap by exploring secondary asynchronous DL (SADL) processes that support deep learning within Saskatchewan. The research will seek Saskatchewan SADL teachers as participants using surveys, semi-structured interviews, and distance learning policy as data collection methods.

Anticipated research benefits include supporting DL teachers, policy makers, and course designers to achieve socially constructed curriculum goals through:

  • Illuminating practical SADL strategies an contexts that support deep learning;
  • Understand the benefits and challenges of socially constructed DL;
  • Making direct connections for how to meet socially constructed curricula expectations in SADL.
  • Providing recommendations to strengthen DL educational processes.