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Jonassen’s Principles for Constructivistic Instructional Design

Page history last edited by Anthony Green 9 years, 5 months ago



Jonassen’s Principles of Constructivistic

Instructional Design


Maria Smart, Elnaz, Anthony

GED 578

Spring 2011





Content Overview: What is Constructivism?  





            Constructivism is a learning theory that explains learning as internalizing, or constructing, knowledge and understanding of the world after experiencing and reflecting on those experiences (Karagiorgi et al., 2005).  Constructivist approaches to teaching and learning have emerged from the work of psychologists such as Jerome Bruner, Jean Piaget, and Lev Vygotsky





            In 1992, David H. Jonassen     further evolved this theory by blending cognitive constructivism with social constructivism. His principles establish a framework for effective instructional design programs. Most modern day constructivist learning environments, such as our class, are technology based. The principles, or characteristics, of an effective modern day constructivist learning environment must include: 

1. Constructivist learning environments that provide multiple representations of reality

2. Multiple representations that avoid oversimplification and represent the complexity of the real world

3. Constructivist learning environments that emphasize knowledge construction inserted of knowledge reproduction

4. Constructivist learning environments that emphasize authentic tasks in a meaningful context rather than abstract instruction out of context

5. Constructivist learning environments that provide learning environments such as real-world settings or case-based learning instead of predetermined sequences of instruction

6. Constructivist learning environments that encourage thoughtful reflection on experience

7. Constructivist learning environments that enable context- and content- dependent knowledge construction

8. Constructivist learning environments that support collaborative construction of knowledge through social negotiation, not competition among learners for recognition



            Jonassen principles, in order to be effective, must also meet the criteria of a well-established Constructist Learning Environment (CLE).  These criteria include:


 The Constructivist Learning Environment (CLE) Theory




(a) Goal: The goals are centered around a learning design which fosters problems solving and conceptual development.

(b) Principles: Learning is active, authentic, problem/task oriented, and includes exploration, articulation, and reflection. Additionally, the CLE model requires appropriate instructional supports such as modeling, coaching, and scaffolding.
(c) Condition of Learning
Primary learning setting is in an ill/defined, ill/structured domain.     

(d) Required Media: Computer based programs with multimedia, which support problem presentation, scaffolding of the cognitive process, is knowledge based, and includes knowledge-representation, knowledge-modeling, information-gathering, and problem solving performance.

(e) Roles of Facilitator: The facilitator can be an instructor or computer-based tool such as a database, a multimedia median, or the internet. The facilitator’s role is to model, coach, and instruct.

(Jonassen, 1999)  


Practical Applications


Shortly, we will be experiencing Jonassen's Constructivistic Principles in our GED 578 course when we enter a Second Life:  



     Additionally, when we as a class collaborate with Learning Management Systems (LMS) such as BlackBoard,  Moodle, WebCT, FirstClass, Desire2Learn, or Angel (Waterhouse, 2005), we are putting Jonassen's principles to practice. 




  1)         http://web.cortland.edu/frieda/id/IDdatabase.html


            2)         http://web.cortland.edu/frieda/id/IDtheories/33.html


            3)         http://viking.coe.uh.edu/~ichen/ebook/et-it/constr.htm


            4)         http://web.missouri.edu/jonassend/index.html





Jonassen, D. H. (1999). Designing constructivist learning environments. Instructional design theories and

     models: A new paradigm of instructional theory. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.


Jonassen, D. H., Peck, K. L., & Wilson, B. G. (1999).Learning with technology: a

             constructivist perspectiveSpecial Education Technology,16, 0.

            Retrieved from http://www.mendeley.com/research/learning-with-technology-a-



Jonassen, D. H., Howland, J., Moore, J., & Marra, R. M. (2003).Learning to solve problems with technology:

              a constructivist perspective.  New Jersey:Prentice Hall.


Jonassen, D. (2000).  Toward a design theory of problem solving.  Educational Technology Research and Development, 48, 63-85. 


Karagiorgi, Y., & Symeou, L. (2005). Translating constructivism into instructional design: potential and

               limitations.  Educational Technology & Society, 8(1), 17-27.







Comments (5)

eadormani@csupomona.edu said

at 3:44 pm on Apr 27, 2011

Hi Maria,

As always you did a perfect job! I only changed the font color and size a little because in some places it seemed they had 2 different sizes and 2 different colors. Keep up the good work. Thank you,


msmart said

at 3:56 pm on Apr 27, 2011

Hi Elnaz:
Thanks for your comment, but please continue to make changes as you see fit. Always nice to work with you. I should have given you the green light through the comment box instead of through your e-mail account. Oops. Anyhow, say hi to your husband and "see you" during our next correspondence. I like this assignment....Maria

hborhani@csupomona.edu said

at 8:45 pm on Apr 28, 2011

Hi Maria,

I just read your comment. A little late (I mean I am a little late), but I will change it again. No problem ;)


eadormani@csupomona.edu said

at 9:10 pm on Apr 28, 2011

Hi Maria

Just wanted to say that I left the above comment 2. :)) Hooman forgot to log out and I was doing my homework with his username! Ay! He never logs out :))


Anthony Green said

at 12:00 am on Apr 29, 2011

Left a few notes in the notes section. Overall, looks good.

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