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An instructional model for teaching complex thinking through web page design

D.Ed. / Teaching and learning in the Technology Education and the Information Technology learning area traditionally focused on the acquisition of knowledge, skills, attitudes and reproductive thinking - with minor reference to the facilitation of complex thinking. An appropriate instructional methodology in the Higher Education and Training band is of utmost importance due to the fact that current instructional approaches and strategies in the Information Technology area of learning are not suitable for the facilitation of complex thinking. There are no instructional models for the facilitation of complex thinking through web page design available in South Africa. The cross-curricular nature of Technology Education and Information Systems permits the integration of the stages of the technological process and methodologies of information system design with particular reference to web page design. The problem-based nature of information system design correlates with the aim and functionality of the stages of the technological process. Within the stages of the technological process the balance between constructivist and behaviourist instructional approaches and strategies can provide for meaningful learning. The aim of this study is to design and implement an instructional web design programme (IWDP), and furthermore on the basis of an evaluation of the programme, to develop a prospective instructional model that could promote complex thinking in the project-based classroom. The development of the instructional programme was based on the three pillars of the technological framework (mind tools within web page design, complex thinking, instructional models and strategies), which provided a conceptual framework in the form of criteria on the manner in which complex thinking of learners can be facilitated. This study was developed within the qualitative research paradigm. The use of the case study design and action research was considered the most appropriate for the nature of this study. A group of 17 learners at an institution of higher education and training band was observed during the implementation of the instructional programme. Data was gathered using interviews, classroom observations, journals and essays, in order to explore learners' and the teacher's experiences in respect of the instructional programme. A qualitative data analysis approach was employed to provide meaningful categories and subcategories. From the data it was evident that the learners and teacher had positive experiences with regard to the instructional programme. The programme provided an array of instructional approaches and strategies, as well as the opportunity for learners to experience a multi-method learning environment utilising the technological resources and a network of human resources inside and outside the project-based classroom. It became clear that different instructional approaches and strategies (constructivist and behaviourist) contributed to a variety of learning modes particularly emphasizing discussions, cognitive apprenticeship and peer tutoring in collaborative teams, indicating the facilitation of complex thinking in general. Based on the findings an instructional model was designed and developed that could be applied in the Information Technology learning area, as well as in Technology Education in general.
Date27 February 2012
CreatorsJakovljevic, Maria
Source SetsSouth African National ETD Portal
Detected LanguageEnglish

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