Philosophy guiding Moodle: Social Constructionist Pedagogy [Doc of the day]


If you’re curious to know the underpinning philosophy that guides the development of Moodle, the docs is a great place to start for an understanding. Moodle development is guided by social constructionist pedagogy which is essentially that we learn best by communicating with one another and creating our understanding through words, pictures, etc. in a collaborative environment. Think of a great course discussion based on a shared experience or resource within a Moodle, or a wiki that might help to pull together the information that students have learned on a topic.

Social constructivism,

…extends constructivism into social settings, wherein groups construct knowledge for one another, collaboratively creating a small culture of shared artifacts with shared meanings. When one is immersed within a culture like this, one is learning all the time about how to be a part of that culture, on many levels.

A very simple example is an object like a cup. The object can be used for many things, but its shape does suggest some “knowledge” about carrying liquids. A more complex example is an online course – not only do the “shapes” of the software tools indicate certain things about the way online courses should work, but the activities and texts produced within the group as a whole will help shape how each person behaves within that group.

If you’re looking to think more abstractly of Moodle or to think of new ways to use it, I find that the pedagogy and philosophy pages in the Moodle Docs are a great way to start for inspiration. Each Moodle course is a blank slate to create a great learning experience.