- Date: Thursday, 16-10-2014
- Amount of time:
- Lecture: 90 minutes
- Literature: 60 minutes
- Learning Diary: 60 minutes
- : Behavioristic and Contructivistic by Design – eLearning Experiences in Mechanical Engineering, Media and Computing, and Plagiarism Detection. In: Schwill, Andreas: Grundlagen multimedialen Lehrens und Lernens. Tagungsband des 4. Workshops GML 2006, Universität Potsdam. ISBN 9783833491917, 2007. S. 3–16.
In the today’s lecture we got an introduction into three different kinds of teaching: the behaviorism, the constructivism and the cognitivism.
I got a first feeling, what the different approaches of those methods are. The constructivism pretty much matches the literature that I read last week (-> see the report). It means that the learners must reconstruct the transfered material themselves – they learn for theirselves and so are able to “unfold their individuality” which is the definition of the term of “Bildung”. As I also learned from my professor’s literature, there’s no “single truth” (, p. 4) – we as learners build our own reality of what is. That’s the first time I ever heard this by a professor. Until today, I was always thinking the professors aim to transfer their own truth. For myself, I was conscious about that I am the one who builds his own truth, but I am influenced by different truths delivered by the media, politicans and authority persons in general.
The behaviourism is much more focussed on the idea how you can get people (or animals) to react in a certain manner. So the key question of Didaktics is, “which environment conditions are responsible for producing a desired behavior” (, p. 2). In the lecture we had an experiment on this. Our professor Mrs. Weber-Wulff picked up one volunteer student whose behaviour she kind of wanted to influence. Therefore, both would sit in front of each other, directly keeping eye-contact. Our professor would name some random terms and the student had to answer the first word he had in mind. What I didn’t notice: our professor gave positive and negative signs. She smiled, if the student responded with a noun and she looked angry if he responded with a verb or adjective. The student did not really keep the eye-contact. so he didn’t notice the reaction on his responses. That’s why the experiment did not really work – our professor wanted him to response with nouns.
Our professor used the methods of “Positive reinforcement” and “positive punishment” here. Would I have reacted like our professor expected us to react? I’m not sure about this. On the one hand, I expect myself to be hard to influence in such manner. On the other hand, I know that one of my goals is to fulfill the expectations of authorities. Isn’t this how our society works? This is pretty interesting. Sometimes, I don’t think about why I reacted somehow. Maybe, it was because of a behaviourism method.
A good question that was coming in my mind during the lecture was: Does it influence children if an authority seems to be feared of something? Yes, it does: I remember my elementary school teacher, who was feared about that we clicked on some icons on the PC. Well, maybe that’s why I had so much respect of my PC – nowadays as a developer, who understood the basic concepts I’m not feared anymore.
The literature of my professor was really inspiring. She mostly discussed how e-learning environments can deal with behaviorism or constructivism. I liked here idea that an learning-management-system should have teaching material that is small portioned. Isn’t too much information fitting the old style of monologue lectures that were filled with too much content and given in too less time? This would lead to a lack of motivation.
Also, she suggested that wrong answered multiply choice questions should be enriched with an information where the student can review the content. I totally agree in this – it is more motivating (positive reforcement) than a simple statement like: “You are wrong.”. And it also enables constructivism: the student him-/herself has to find the way to his own truth.
She also gave examples how you can transfer constructivsm to learning management systems. I understand the structure of moodle courses now: they are full of materials that the learner can pull him- or herself. Projects support the principle of “learning-by-doing”. A teacher should not give direct instructions and suggest that he is delivering the truth – he should follow the Socratic Method and “answer questions with questions” (, p. 4). Prof. Weber-Wulff follows this principle in her lectures.
In the future, we should enforce the Constructivism methods in universities. Students should get a feeling that they have learn for themselves and that they are responsible for their knowledge in a very early stage – but I guess that our educational system (espescially the High School) is too much focussed on quickly getting the pupils finishing their school. I think, that we more have an cognitivistic system.