Learning Architecture Based on Collaborative Constructivism (LACC)
Broadly, almost all teaching-learning interactions / modes can be classified as one of the following :
- Interactions, where the teacher or external resource creates the learning experience.
- Interactions, where the teacher or external resource creates or constructs the learning, in
collaboration with the learners.
- Situations, where the learners create their own learning experiences.
Any learning architecture, which can suitably integrate all of the above modes would be ideal. Methodologies, in the past, have mainly focused on the first mode of interaction. . The last two of these possible modes, which encompass the theory of situated cognition and collaborative constructivism, provide the most challenging task for the design of a new methodology.
NIIT’s breakthrough LACC methodology builds in learning components that enable all of the above interactions, to address the various stages of experiential learning and catering to multiple learner types.
Stages in Experiential Learning
According to David A Kolb*, experiential learning involves four principal stages:
- Concrete experiences(CE) – Learner’s personal involvement through concrete experiences
- Reflective observation(RO) – Learner reflects on experience and looks for meaning
- Active experimentation(AE) – Learner applies this meaning to form a logical conclusion; experiments with similar problems, which leads to new concrete experience
- Abstract conceptualization(AC) – Learner experiments with similar problems, which leads to new concrete experience
The CE/AC and AE/RO dimensions are polar opposites as far as learning styles are concerned and depending on the preference of an individual’s learning styles/stages, four distinct types of learners are possible.
1. Divergers or the imaginative learners,
2. Assimilators or the analytic learners,
3. Convergers or the precision learners and
4. Accommodators or the dynamic learners.
NIIT’s LACC methodology has Learning Components, that are oriented towards the -four stages of experiential learning and hence is highly suitable to all possible types/profiles of learners.
NIIT’s LACC methodology has the following learning components:
- CONSTRUCT :
The learning begins with this component. An instructor who is a subject matter expert is required to lead the students here. This component introduces the learner to new concepts and thereby constructing his/her knowledge base. The instructor brings in concrete experiences for the learner through explanations and demonstrations. These two sessions are meant to provide the required foundation for the student to be able to move to the subsequent stages of learning.
- COLLABORATE :
The next learning component makes it possible for the learner to have contextual familiarity on the subject through collaborative learning. Here the learner is provided with a mentor/direction/ and stimulus for reflective observation. The learner is provided with a rich choice of tools like case studies, scenario/problem statements and best practices to reflect on the concepts learnt in the previous sessions and apply his/her understanding in the larger context.
- EXPERIMENT :
Here, the learner is exposed to active experimentation. The learner experiments his/her understanding of the concepts and observations to form a logical conclusion leading to better learning effectiveness and experience.
- APPLY :
This learning component provides the environment for learners to develop conceptual clarity. Here the learner learns , refers, compares, thinks and applies their entire knowledge spectrum and create solutions for a real life case study. The tools used to provide such learning are project , information search and analysis skills (ISAS) and reference reading (RR).
This methodology requires the following resources for delivery:
- Online Classroom: Room having networked computer nodes for all students: Learning Components like CONSTRUCT, EXPERIMENT and APPLY (Projects) are executed in such a resource.
- Adequate Environment: To execute components like COLLABORATE and APPLY (reference reading and ISAS)
- Kolb, D. (1984a). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
- Kolb, D. (1984b). Learning Styles Inventory. Boston: McBer & Co.
- R Dangwal [NIIT]& S Mitra [NIIT]. Learning Styles and Perceptions of Self, International Education, e-Journal, volume 4, number 4 (Dec 200) ISSN 1327-9548, Australia (2000)
- Children and the Internet: Experiments with minimally invasive education in India, Sugata Mitra [NIIT]and Vivek Rana[NIIT], The British Journal of Educational Technology, 32,2,pp 221-232 (2001)
- Minimally Invasive Education: A progress report on the “Hole-in-the-wall” experiments, S. Mitra [NIIT], The British Journal of Educational Technology,34, 3, pp367-371 (2003)