Create a Constructivist Online Learning Environment

Constructivist Learning Environments

Bloom taxonomy

In a constructivist learning environment, the educator needs to allow the learner to develop and learn, ideally allowing progression suited to the individual. The content will have to be incorporated into lesson plans and intended learning outcomes to scaffold learning. Integrating varied theoretical approaches to assist and encourage learning is key. The facilitator will need to be comfortable and confident in providing an environment that encourages active learning. If the educator is confident enough then a heutogogy based learning environment could be created, especially in an online learning approach.

Constructivist Online Course

  • E-learning would be planned to deliver a step by step program of the course topics.
  • At the interface level for the student, developing an engaging learning community to share ideas and create discussion.
  • To create an experimental environment, an online community would require rules of engagement, such as privacy and respect.
  • A positive and safe environment to encourage learning and seek challenges. Mistakes are welcome.
  • To build an experience, then encourage active engagement through discussion forums and online posting. The facilitator will need to know when to contribute or step back during discussions to allow open discussion.
  • Online lectures or recordings must have the ability for discussion and question to make collaboration possible.
  • Low stakes quizzes and tasks to create skills based assessment at certain stages through the course. Relate to real life situation, such as a workplace scenario to encourage active engagement and problem solving skills. Not all questions to have yes/no answers, allow multiple options to create different perspectives and rationales.
  • Create new ideas and receive feedback from learners.
  • Provide tips and advice of how to learn and study.
  • Use of reflective practice to encourage self-management and own learning development on a journey of lifelong learning,
  • Teach to learn, not just aiming to pass the test or the final numbers.

Nursing Constructivist Framework

Using Benner (1984) “novice to expert” or Bondy (1983) “dependent to independent”  frameworks to create the learning environment can help align content to nursing experience or skills expected to be learnt and assessed.

IT Platform

With so many learning management platforms available I will leave it up to Wikipedia’s explanation on learning management system. Some aspects to consider are the accessibility (is the information so important that really warrants a password?), the interface with mobile devices and the connectivity with social media and other platforms we use in our connected lives. Maybe consider the website model of open access and Wikipedia, Wikischools or Wikiversity.


Benner, P. (1982). From novice to expert. American Journal of Nursing, 82(3), 402-407.

Benner, P. (1984). From novice to expert. Menlo Park.

Bondy, K, N. (1983). Criterion-referenced definitions for rating scales in clinical evaluation. Journal of Nursing Education. Vol. 22, no. 9, pp. 376-382.

Huang, H. M. (2002). Toward constructivism for adult learners in online learning environments. British Journal of Educational Technology, 33(1), 27-37.

Koohang, A., Riley, L., Smith, T., & Schreurs, J. (2009). E-learning and constructivism: From theory to application. Interdisciplinary Journal of E-Learning and Learning Objects

The University of Sydney (2016) Constructivism

Wikipedia (2016) Learning Management System