Topic 2:the history and learning theory to support open and distributed (online) learning contexts. 



Based on the four theories of learning, Behaviourism, Cognitivism, Constructivism, Social-Constructivism. it is hard to deny that constructivism fits my online learning manner most, and it is the essential part of learning. A very interesting exploration of new pedagogies is that many students’ thoughts are “somewhat at odds with what most educators regard as key components in learning, such as dialogue, reflection, critical analysis, and so on.They were also at odds with what many perceived as the prominent benefits of the new online world. … In essence, what were the signals perceived by students of the standard learning environment. This would have been true in 1997 also. Students listed the following:”(Weller, M, 2020, Ch.4)

  • to learn is to acquire information;
  • information is scarce and hard to find;
  • trust authority for good information;
  • authorized information is beyond discussion;
  • obey the authority; and
  • follow along.

One of these thoughts is such interesting, “information is scarce and hard to find”. Even back to 1997, e-learning took a large part of education. Although internet is full of information, in e-learning, one big problem is how we collect knowledge and how we filt knowledge. If constructivism is described as scaffolds, correctness and efficiency is important. I am afraid that it is hard to judge what is correct what is incorrect and what is unknown, it can be applied poorly. However, we did have a practical example for how can we filt education resources.”Crowston and Howison (2005) proposed a hierarchical structure for open-source communities, consisting of the following layers:”(Weller, M, 2020, Ch.4)

  • A centre of core developers, who contribute the majority of the code and oversee the overall project.
  • In the next layer are the co-developers who submit patches, which are reviewed and checked in by core developers.
  • Further out are the active users who do not contribute code but provide use-cases and bug-reports as well as testing new releases.
  • Further out still are the many passive users of the software who do not contribute directly to the main forums.



Overall,  e-learning is complicated, it must be mixed of various theories. Constructivism, probable the essential theory we relied on, it is most likely a combination of Behaviourism and Social-Constructivism. A bounded frame, which avoids taking away learners’ chance of discovering something, leading to a opposite direction and is efficient for making progress.




“Weller, M. (2020). Chapter 4 – Constructivism. 25 Years of Edtech.AU Press”