Notes for David's speech- see below.
David Jonassen is Distinguished Professor of Education at the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies, University of Missouri-Columbia. He argues that since learning is a process of actively constructing knowledge by integrating experiences into the learners’ existing schemata, learning environments should support that process by providing multiple perspectives or interpretations of reality. Learning experiences should also enable knowledge construction in the learner through providing context-rich, experienced-based activities.
David developed the ideas of mindtools - computer based tools and learning environments that have been “adapted or developed to function as intellectual partners with the learner in order to engage and facilitate critical thinking and higher-order learning”. He asserts that the role of a mindtool is to: extend the learner’s cognitive functioning during the learning process, and to engage the learner in operations while constructing knowledge that they would not have been able to accomplish otherwise. Mindtools enable learners to become critical thinkers.
David contends that mindtools could be enhanced through collaborative and cooperative efforts between and among students and teachers in the learning community. He believes in combining instructional design with various instructional technologies, especially television and other electronic media.
David describes himself as a constructivist, using mindtools (diagrams, schematics, flow-charts, virtual reality, and other methods), to represent knowledge, especially using generic applications to answer higher questions. As such, he incorporates computer organization, and associated flexibility, in a bottom-up approach to educational thinking.
Since earning his doctorate in educational media and experimental educational psychology from Temple University, Dr. Jonassen has taught at the Pennsylvania State University, University of Colorado, the University of Twente in the Netherlands, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Syracuse University. He has also served as an invited researcher in Australia, Austria, Germany, Korea, Malaysia, Poland, Scotland, Singapore, and Taiwan.
His current research focuses on cognitive tools for learning, knowledge representation, computer-supported collaborative argumentation, cognitive task analysis, and especially problem solving. He is among the top scholars in the world in the field of instructional design and technology, having received numerous honours for excellence in research and writing.
Engaging and supporting Problem Solving Online
The limitations in online development platforms restrain the nature of the instruction that can be developed and delivered using those platforms. Popular platforms do not support alternative forms of knowledge representation by learners, authentic forms of assessment, or the use of distributed tools to scaffold different forms of reasoning. Because these platforms replicate face-to-face instruction, they rarely support any form of problem solving, which is the most authentic form of learning in everyday and professional contexts. In this presentation, I describe and illustrate different kinds of problem solving that can and should be supported in online learning in order to prepare learners for life. In order to achieve scalability, I describe the design of architectures for developing learning environments for solving different kinds of problems.