ScaffoldingThis is a real application of Constructivism and Connectivism in classroom using wiki. In particular, it is a course about Databases (MySQL and Oracle), part of a Vocational Technical Training program. The application of this experience with wiki started last Tuesday, and it has two main phases: The first is the constructivist phase. Later it follows the connectivist phase.

Previous skills

This experience didn’t started before because learners are 1st year students. Consequently, they were not able to carry out the essential tasks: seeking information, testing, selecting, etc. Thus, they were taught in a traditional fashion. Teaching is supported by a wiki made and mainly updated by the teacher, with explanations, mind maps, etc. It can be accessed as guest at http://virtual.altair.edu.es/mod/wiki/view.php?id=6167.

However, they were introduced in wiki by being provided with editing access to the wiki. Thus, they were able to change anything, and they were able to carry out task related to adding information. For instance, after doing some exercises, they could enrich the explanations adding solved problems. In the same way, if they saw something confusing, they were asked to edit and make it clearer. It introduces them into wiki edition and learning co-construction.

Phase I: Co-construction

The interesting part has started this week. After 4 months, they feel comfortable when connecting to databases and querying data making SELECT statements in SQL. Now, wiki lacks of further information. In particular, there is nothing about MySQL functions (functions like CURDATE(), which returns the current date). After being told about the need of been able to learn by ourselves, the work have been distributed. They have to construct the knowledge about MySQL functions.

Currently, they are in the constructivism phase. It will follow the connectivism one (it is scheduled to begin in two weeks). In this phase, the whole topic is divided into several parts, and each one is assigned to one or two students, depending on the grade of difficulty. This table show the work distribution:

Task Assignation to students
The whole topic is divided into several parts, and each one is assigned to one or two students

They are required to:

  • Seek relevant information.
  • Check that information.
  • Construct documentation considering that their peers will use it to learn.
  • Provide relevant examples tested by themselves.

The documentation generated by them is directly written in a new wiki hosted by Wikispaces.com. The new address is http://dbavanzado.wikispaces.com. However, during this phase documentation access is restricted, and each student can view only his own work. In the following phase, all will be open. Wikispaces statistics and Google Analytics provide information about engagement.

To be continued…

Application in Database Class I
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