Constructivism and Instructional Design: Some Personal Reflections

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Conference Proceeding

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Some personal reflections on instructional design and its relation to constructivism are explored. Instructional design in its present form is out of sync with the times in that its orientation, methods, and research base are behavioristic, or positivistic. However, a constructivist theory of instructional design is possible, particularly if constructivism is recognized as a philosophy rather than a strategy. To better fit the needs of practitioners, instructional design theories need to be better grounded in a broad understanding of learning and instructional processes. Generic principles and specific heuristics are needed for dealing with recurring problems and situations in instructional design practice. In addition, instructional design theories need to reflect instructional design as a profession. The theories of instructional design need to be adjusted or replaced with better ones that fit the newer understandings of learning and instruction.