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Foster constructivism in higher education: Dr. Jayashri Shinde 18-January, 2012

Utilizing ICT will ease implementing constructivist approach

Dr. Jayashree Shinde, Head, Department of Educational Technology, SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai was the chief guest in the National Weekly Discussion through A-VIEW envisaged by MHRD. The topic of the session was - Constructivist learning in higher education. In her keynote address, Dr. Jayashree said constructivism, a learning methodology, offers full freedom to learners to construct knowledge in a socially interactive learning environment by themselves. “If students are interested to accept this system, we should foster constructivism in higher education,” she remarked.

What is constructivism?

Constructivism focuses on students' knowledge and skills. In this pedagogy, the teacher allots assignments and monitors how students solve it. The teacher will guide the students and promotes novel ideas. The students have to derive a solution with available information.

Dr. Jayashree added that constructivist approach emphasizes on generative learning, questioning or inquiry strategies and metacognitive skills.

Constructivist values include;

  • Collaboration
  • Personal autonomy
  • Generativity
  • Reflectivity
  • Active engagement
  • Personal relevance

Experiment in semester pattern

While answering to a question raised by Indian Naval Academy, Dr. Jayashree said benefits galore if constructivist approach is integrated in semester pattern. “In semester system, at least for some concepts / topics, inculcate constructive approach. It will enhance students’ knowledge and skills,” she highlighted.

ICT – Ideal solution

She added that the use of technology will definitely help to implement constructivist approach in higher education. “It’s an ideal solution. If constructivist approach is demanding more time and on campus time is not sufficient, then some activities can go offline.”

SNDT Women’s University has been training all faculties to use Information and Communication Technology in day-to-day teaching, she said.

Participants

Around 21 Universities including Avinashilingam Institute for Home Science and Higher Education for Women, Central University of Bihar, Goa University, IASE University, Karnataka Law University, Mangalore University, National Institute of Technology, S.V. National Institute of Technology, Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences and International Institute of Information Technology participated.

A-VIEW is an E-Learning platform, developed by Amrita University's E-Learning Research Lab, which is a state-of-the-art software for distance education and collaboration. It is available for free to all the educational institutes across India, and can be downloaded from the website address, www.aview.in or by sending an email to aview@amrita.edu.