Virtually There: Using Constructivist Strategies and Cross-Cultural Dialogue for an Online Course in the Pacific
Kavita Rao, Patricia Edelen-Smith, Lillian Segal, James Skouge, University of Hawaii, United States
EdMedia + Innovate Learning, in Honolulu, HI, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-73-0 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC
By using constructivist methods in distance learning courses, instructors can create authentic contexts and promote student engagement. In this study, instructors used narrative strategies, multimedia resources and an online weekly “virtual class” meeting to address the needs of distance learners in Micronesia. Though teachers and students were on islands separated by 2300 miles of ocean, students experienced a high context and interactive learning environment similar to what they would have had in a traditional face-to-face class. To honor the unique perspectives and circumstances of these indigenous learners, instructors created opportunities for student-led discussions that fostered cross-cultural dialogue and let students teach the instructors about their local contexts. Rather than relying on textual materials and written communication as many online courses do, instructors delivered course content during the virtual class sessions, using visually-rich presentations, narrative storytelling and hands-on learning activities that engaged students in their local communities.
Rao, K., Edelen-Smith, P., Segal, L. & Skouge, J. (2009). Virtually There: Using Constructivist Strategies and Cross-Cultural Dialogue for an Online Course in the Pacific. In G. Siemens & C. Fulford (Eds.), Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 2009--World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications (p. 1091). Honolulu, HI, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
© 2009 Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)