Image: Melda research2019

Image: Melda research2019

Prompt: Describe an example from your life of when you were taught using each method described in this article: behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism.

Last summer, I joined a business case competition. In the instruction session, I was introduced to a series of inspiring learning approach. Participants were assigned in groups for case studies. The goal was clearly announced at the beginning of the competition. All groups were invited to present their cases by the end of the competition, and the best group won the prize. 

With the help of a case instructor, group members got to know each other after rounds of Bingo game. It turned out that everyone had a couple of business ideas, yet no one was especially experienced in case analysis. In this case, the instructor asked every group member to sign up for a job from the list of product, marketing, and operation consultant. We were given a detailed paper report  that introduced strategies and the current situation of the company. 

The target drives motivation so that people would do the research actively. In the reading “Informal Learning”, the author suggested an idea that when people encounter a problem they have never seen before, they will approach the problem by developing a skill. In this case competition, participants spent time investigating the materials and finally developed analytical skills. We were motivated to complete the analysis because we were aiming to bring an excellent presentation at the end of the event.

Looking at the instructor’s method, the bingo game is designed to create a motivating environment to get every participant involved. The case instructor use the behaviorism method to get us started. While the later instructions were conducted using cognitivism, and constructivism method. He only provided necessary resources materials like paper reports and allowed the participant to think independently and consider the case critically. The cognitivism method respects all ideas, while constructivism allows the participants to work collectively. When we first got the materials, no one really knew how to start until an analysis flow chart was given. There were steps listed in the flow chart, including classifying the problems, interpreting the problems, giving multiple solutions, and finally integrate the solutions with the group. The flow chart helped us sort things out and built a clear structure. Yiyan also mentioned the benefit of cognitivism learning. His tree diagram approach has a similar idea with the flow chart which boost learning efficient. Also, the filed trip constructivism learning  method in Yiyan’s post is a demonstration of how communication plays an important in group learning.