Blog distance learning ProctorFree E-Learning online learning online education Situated Learning Theory Situated Learning Carnegie Mellon University Edith Cowan University
The situated learning theory states that learning occurs as a function of the activity, context, and culture in which it occurs. This means that students learn content through activities rather than acquiring information organized by instructors.
In order for learning to occur, knowledge needs to be presented in authentic contexts, aka settings and situations that would normally involve knowledge. Or in other words, situations that are presented that challenge the intellectual and psycho-motor skills that students can apply at home, in the community, or the workplace. Social interaction is also a critical component of situated learning.
With what is known about the situated learning theory, can situated learning occur through online learning? While most concepts of situated learning apply “in the classroom”, how can we define the same concepts and apply them to distance learning/online learning?
(Taking research from Edith Cowan University, and incorporating it with situated learning provides the following framework below:)
The situated learning theory has four major premises guiding the development of classroom activities:
The facts and processes of the task. Learning should be grounded in the actions of everyday situations. Application rather than retention.
How to incorporate content in online learning:
The situations, values, beliefs, and environmental cues by which the learners gain and retain content. Knowledge is acquired situationally and transfers only to similar situations.
How to incorporate context in online learning:
The group with which the learner will create and negotiate the meaning of knowledge, and encompassing ways of thinking, perceiving, problem solving, and interacting.
How to incorporate community in online learning?
Learning becomes a social process dependent upon transactions with others. Learning is not separated from the world of action but exists in robust, complex, social environments made up of actors, actions, and situations.
How to incorporate participation in online learning?
Overall, situated learning integrates content, context, community, and participation. Taking what is known about the concepts of situated learning, and incorporating activities, and ideas that correlate with the concepts, initial framework for virtual based situated learning can occur. The over -arching theme of situated learning is that instructors need to involve knowledge with the environment to create meaning, engage with learners in meaningful ways, and encourage students to transfer knowledge to other students by interacting with each other.
For more information about situated learning theory, click for research by Carnegie Mellon University.