Cognitive Perspectives on Online Learning Environments

Authored by: Richard E. West , Michael J. Hannafin , Janette R. Hill , Liyan Song

Handbook of Distance Education

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415897648
eBook ISBN: 9780203803738
Adobe ISBN: 9781136635571


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Cognitive psychology is a pervasive influence in teaching and learning research, theory, and practice (see overview by Winn, 2004) and has shaped designs for technology-mediated teaching and learning environments (see, for example, Koenig & Atkinson, 2009; Rieber, 2009; van Merrienboer, Sweller, & Paas, 1998). As online learning environments (OLEs) have evolved, they have generated a predictable but important debate: To what extent are empirically-derived, cognitive principles applicable to online learning environments? Do alternative perspectives warrant, or require, different approaches? How do the affordances of technologies and contextual demands influence the applicability of cognitive principles?

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