Constructionist Learning in Digital Archives Education

I’d like to share a new paper I wrote:

Cocciolo, A. (accepted). Constructionist Learning in Digital Archives Education: Student Perceptions of Effectiveness. Proceedings of 73rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Information Science and Technology, Oct. 22-27, 2010, Pittsburgh, PA.

Dalton Digital Archive Print ScreenThis paper explores if a constructionist learning approach to digital archives education can positively influence student perceptions of their learning. Constructionism is a learning theory that places students in the role of designers and emphasizes creating physical artifacts in a social environment (Papert, 1980, 1991; Kafai, 2006). This theory is used in the instructional design of the Digital Archives Creation Project (DACP), which is a major component of a new digital archives course offered to a class of students enrolled in a MSLIS program. Results indicate that students perceived strong increases in their learning because of their engagement in the DACP, particularly in terms of their skills, confidence, understanding of topics covered in other courses, and overall understanding. Factors that influenced these increases include the collaborative teamwork, the role of the facilitator or instructor, and individual effort. Results indicate that a constructionist pedagogical approach holds great promise for LIS education, yet further research is required.

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