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The Process of Designing Electronic Lesson Plans Based on Constructivism Theory in Teaching at Elementary Schools in Northern of Vietnam

Nguyen Thi Thu Ngan , Nguyen Huyen Trang
American Journal of Educational Research. 2018, 6(5), 417-423. DOI: 10.12691/education-6-5-8
Received February 19, 2018; Revised April 07, 2018; Accepted April 12, 2018

Abstract

The four major characteristics of the 21st century context are globalization; information technology, knowledge economy and ethnic issues. They require a strong innovation, synchronization in terms of program, content, methods and evaluation. The use of teaching theories in the direction of capacity development, application of information technology teaching became the trend of modern education. This paper deals with the design of electronic lesson plans based on constructivism theory that help teachers and students access to rich and diverse sources of knowledge. As a result, their needs for exploration, research and problem solving are stimulated. This not only makes the lesson more lively and attractive but also enhances the ability to learn and use the technology of teachers and students.

1. Introduction

Constructivism Theory is one of the dominant theories of teaching that is being studied and applied in elementary schools to meet the learning needs of learner capacity development. This theory encourages students to build their own knowledge based on individual experiences, and directly apply what they learn into practice to solve problems of life 10. The application of information technology to the design and organization of teaching based on constructivism theory helps to make the lessons more lively and relevant to the psychological characteristics of elementary students. This increases the interest in learning, encourages students to explore the lesson, and helps them get acquainted with technology applications in life.

It is obvious that elementary school administrators and teachers are aware of the effectiveness of instruction based on constructivism theory that supported by information technology. However, they do not understand the nature of constructivism theory as well as the teaching process based on constructivism theory. Therefore, the design of the lecture as well as teaching organization has not brought desired effects and outcomes. On the other hand, the level and capacity of using information technology of teachers is limited that leading to the exploitation of software tools to design e-lecture is formal and ineffective.

Starting from this situation, the purpose of this study refers to two main issues as follows:

1. Assess the current state of information technology application in the design of electronic lesson plans in elementary education in Vietnam.

2. Propose the process of designing electronic lesson plans based on constructivism theory in teaching at elementary schools in order to improve the quality and effectiveness of teaching, thus ensuring the implementation of the objectives of teaching and developing students' competences.

2. Content

2.1. Constructivism Theory in Education

Constructivism Theory in Education is considered as a trend of modern teaching in order to actively promote the thinking of learners, helping learners to find, discover, and solve problems in teaching process. In constructivist teaching, learners build their own knowledge based on the knowledge and experience that available in the organization and orientation of the instructor. Learning is made easier by social interaction. Practical exercises promote learning to make learning more meaningful and effective, and the way student study is based on collaboration and teamwork 12.

Constructivism theory affects the learning program, the guide and the evaluation of student learning outcomes. In particular, a program that differentiates the learner is replaced, in accordance with the student's perceptions. Parallel to that is organizing the students to experience and seek new ways of perceiving and enhancing the interaction of the instructor - the learner and the learner - the learner. Constructivism theory requires the removal of standardized tests and classification of levels. Rather, evaluation becomes a part of the learning process so that students are involved as self-regulators of their own intellectual development 11.

The instruction based on constructivism theory emphasizes on the organization for students to interact and find solutions to solve problems in five steps: Attention; Survey; Explaination; Statement; and Evaluation. In it, "Attention" aims to focus the learner's attention, stimulate thought and help students to restore the knowledge they have learned about the problem to be explored; "Survey" is the stage in which students think, plan, collect and organize relevant information; "Explaination" is the process of analyzing the results of the survey to find a way to solve the problem, thereby extending and condensing the insights and application into the actual situation in the "Statement" step. The end of the process is the synthesis and evaluation of problem awareness so that the teaching method as well as the learning method of both teachers and students can be adjusted.

2.2. Application of Information Technology in Teaching

Today, the applications of technology, especially the Internet, have truly become a bridge between teachers, students and the school. The exploitation and application of specialized software for teaching is increasingly focused in elementary schools. Positive lectures combined with the support of instructional softwares attract students' attention, and create an appeal to the lesson. The acquisition of knowledge is highly effective when students receive information from various sources of perception and in their own activity, synthesizes and selects those sources 8, 9. In fact, the application of information technology in teaching in general and teaching in elementary school in particular is limited because teachers often find it difficult to build multimedia resources such as film, photos, etc, for use in the design of electrical lesson plan. In addition, the teaching softwares used by teachers are mainly performed to illustrate students' knowledge, but are not fully concerned about the method of use in order to support the students' self-reliance and creativity in the teaching process.

Therefore, in order to apply information technology in teaching effectively, it is necessary to exploit the use of multimedia tools such as Microsoft Producer for PowerPoint 2003, Photoshop, and Video Maker, etc. Active electronic teaching supports positive teaching methods. Using instructional softwares supports students' self-reliance and creativity that means creating a system of active electronic lectures for each subject.

3. Design of Active Electronic Lesson Plans in Teaching at Elementary Schools

Lecture design is a lesson plan for a specific lesson that demonstrates a teacher-to-student interaction, between students and students in order to help them achieve the goals of the unit 3. In order to be able to construct an active lecture with information technology application, it is necessary to proceed as follows:

- Step 1: Learn and search for the content of the lesson, select the content to design.

- Step 2:Writing pedagogical scripts for the design of computerized lectures (When this step is taken, the teacher must visualize all the content as well as the pedagogical activities in the class of the entire teaching period and determine which part of the content of the lesson requires computer support for the lesson to be effective. Scene name (Activity) - Time - Content - Image shown on the computer).

- Step 3: Demonstrate computerized scripting (using software tools to design)

- Step 4: Review, adjust the test on the computer (test run), test teach

- Step 5: Write a manual on how to use e-lesson plan (pedagogical intentions, use techniques, teacher and student activities, and interaction between students, teachers, and technology) 4.

Thus, the nature of the teaching process is the communication process that includes the selection, arrangement and distribution of information in an appropriate pedagogical environment; interaction between learners and information 6, 13. That message is usually a topic to be taught, as well as questions about contents for the learner, feedback from the learner to the instructor. At the elementary level, however, research on this issue has generally not been effective and needs to be continued and there are concrete situational assessments to suggest a more targeted development.

3.1. Methodology

To gain an unbiased view of the current situation of information technology application in the design of e-lesson plan based on constructivism theory in elementary education in northern of Vietnam, we conducted a survey of 1420 administrators, teachers and elementary students, including 288 administrators (Hanoi: 90, Phu Tho: 107; Lang Son: 91), 532 teachers (Hanoi: 150, Phu Tho: 192, Lang Son: 190) and 600 elementary students (Hanoi: 250, Phu Tho: 185, Lang Son: 165).

The survey focused on the following issues:

- Awareness of elementary school administrators, teachers and students on the role of designing and organizing teaching based on constructivism theory with the support of information technology in elementary school.

- The level of information technology and the level of application of information technology in the teaching of primary teachers.

- Difficulties in designing tectonic e-learning in teaching in elementary schools.

Through surveys and statistics, we have a basis for evaluating the reality of information technology application in the design of tectonic e-learning in primary education in northern Vietnam. This is an important basis for researching and proposing the process of constructing e-learning positively active in teaching in primary school.

3.2. Research Results

The innovation in teaching methods and application of information technology in teaching to train high quality human resources are a great concern to educators in Vietnam 1. The problem is that the combination of teaching based on constructivism theory with the support of information technology to achieve the effectiveness of teaching while promoting the capacity of students. The actual situation survey gives us an overview of the design of active e-lesson plans in teaching at elementary schools in northern of Vietnam.

Results of cognitive surveys that conducted by administrators and elementary teachers in 3 provinces/ cities: Hanoi, Phu Tho, Lang Son (Table 1) on the role of designing and organizing teaching based on constructivism theory with the support of information technology show the interest and understanding of the positive effects that teaching based on constructivism theory and information technology bring to the education process.

The data in Table 1 shows that most of the surveyed ideas suggest that the use of information technology in lesson and teaching design will help teachers and students access modern technologies (85.5%); followed by "Enhancing the excitement of learning and teaching for teachers, students" (accounted for 77.8%); "The lesson is attractive, lively, easy to remember, understandable" accounted for 73.7% and "Updating new information" accounted for 72.2%. The "Saving time" effect was rarely chosen by administrators and teachers because they believed that designing a lecture and teaching organization with the application of information technology required a lot of time to prepare, construct, search, select, and arrange the information in the lesson accordingly. However, most students in the survey said that learning with the help of information technology saves time and makes the lesson much more attractive. As a result, it can be seen that administrators, teachers and elementary students all saw the positive role of design and teaching based on constructivism theory.

In order to be able to design an effective e-learning lesson, the teacher should have the skills to use the basic software to teach. In fact, the levels of information technology of administrators and teachers of elementary school in this survey ensured standards of the degree but the skills of using the technology of teachers in teaching are not effective. When investigating elementary teachers about the levels of using basic teaching softwares such as Microsolf PowerPoint, Flash, Violet, Adobe Presenter, Lecture Maker, Movie Maker, and Photoshop, etc, or using Google search, Email, sufting Website, etc, to design of lesson plans based on constructivism theory of teachers in Hanoi, Phu Tho, Lang Son, we have the results as presented in Table 2.

These statistics show that the number of teachers using ICT in designing lesson plans based on constructivism theory is low (11.8%). This rate is lower with teachers in midland and mountainous provinces. The number of teachers employed at the level of proficiency is only 26.9%, while the majority is not proficient (42.9%). This shows that teachers have been conscious and active in using technology in instructional lesson plan design based on constructivism theory. However, due to the limited use of information technology, the effect of lesson plans is not high. By looking at the teacher's e-learning products and through communication and observation with teachers, we found that most teachers just use Internet data and put in PowerPoint lectures but they do not edit the data and information according to a concrete lesson plan. This result partly reflects the limitations on the informatics capacity of elementary teachers. In order to be able to design e-lesson effectively, teachers not only need to have knowledge but also master basic computer skills. However, only some teachers are fluent with ICT, the application of information technology into elementary school has not achieved the desired effect.

On the other hand, in order to design an effective electronic lesson plan, administrators and teachers need to clearly identify the difficulties in implementing specific solutions. Investigating on the issues that elementary teachers have to face when designing e-lesson plan based on constructivism theory (selecting, defining teaching content, developing lesson plans, searching and processing language; use of software to digitize knowledge units and design learning activities, identify learning environments with the support of information technology) at levels (very difficult, normal, not difficult), we get results as presented in Table 3.

Looking at the statistics, it can be seen that most elementary teachers find it most difficult to digitize knowledge and design learning activities (the first in the ranking). Following are the difficulties in identifying a learning environment with the support of information technology and developing lesson plan. This is understandable because when the teacher has not designed a reasonable scenario and has not been able to convert the data and arrange the data properly, it is impossible to write clear and effective instructions. When discussing with teachers we found that choosing and determining teaching content for them is not difficult, but the most difficulty is how to transform the content into a positive e-lesson without overuse technology effects.

Based on the results of the current survey, we have studied and proposed the process of designing active e-lesson plan based on constructivism theory as follows:

1. Identifying principles when designing active e-lesson plan based on constructivism theory

- Ensuring general principles of the teaching methodology of the subject

- Complying with the characteristics of teaching based on constructivism theory

- Following the teaching process in 5 steps of constructivism theory

- Ensuring basic requirements when applying information technology

- Following the process of designing lesson plans with the application of information technology in teaching at elementary schools

2. Based on the principles to define the process of designing active e-lesson plan based on constructivism theory:

- Step 1: Identifying Learning Objectives based on constructivism theory with the support of information technology

- Step 2: Designing learning contents based on constructivism theory with the support of information technology

- Step 3: Designing learning activities

- Step 4: Designing teaching - learning tools with the help of information technology

- Step 5: Designing assessment and synthesis with the help of information technology

- Step 6: Designing an exploratory learning environment with the support of information technology (the conditions and means required to implement the teaching plan)

Here is a lesson plan based on constructivism theory in Science:

Lesson: Heat sources

(According to the 4th grade science program in Vietnam)

I. Purpose:

After the lesson, students can:

- Name and address the role of common sources of heat in life.

- Implement simple rules to prevent the risk and the danger when using the heat sources.

- Be save when using heat sources in daily life.

- Love science, enjoy the learning method of discovery with the support of IT.

- Develop the capacity to solve practical problems.

II. Teaching aids:

1. Teachers: Electronic lesson plan has integrated video clips, images of heat sources and pictures of using the heat source at home.

Task cards

Computer, projector.

2. Students: A3 paper, color pens.

III. Major teaching activities

3.3. Discussion

The application of information technology in designing e-lesson plans based on constructivism theory is an approach that is in line with modern teaching. However, in order to design effective e-lesson plans, teachers need to have certain skills in information technology while learning the design process to ensure effective teaching.

The above results show that both administrators and elementary teachers see the effectiveness of applying information technology in designing e-lesson plans based on constructivism theory: the lesson is more attractive and ensures for students to have experiences and discovery based on their knowledge and skills. Through communication with students, we also see their interests when learning with the support of technology equipment. They actively participate in activities and have more interaction as well as desire to speak and pay more attention in activities. This shows that the application of information technology in designing e-lesson plans based on constructivism theory actually improves the quality and effectiveness of teaching. However, the use of information technology is still limited, so the quality of lesson plan is not high.

Survey results show that elementary teachers have identified the basic difficulties in designing e-lesson plans based on constructivism theory. These difficulties stem mainly from the lack of information technology skills and the arrangement of teaching content when designing lectures. Therefore, designing a process is essential for teachers to have a good foundation and direction for doing the job effectively.

The design process that we have created helps teachers imagine the sequence of tasks that need to be done when designing e-lesson plans based on constructivism theory, thereby actively selecting contents, searching for teaching materials, improving the level of information technology, or finding ways to coordinate with information technology experts in a reasonable way to be able to design effective teaching activities.

4. Conclusion

Constructivism Theory is essentially a theory based on observation and scientific research. It argues that man creates knowledge and information about the world through experience and reflection 2. When facing with a new problem, people tend to deal with situations based on their available experience. Therefore, in reality, human beings are the creator and judge of the knowledge that they has acquired in any case. Knowledge is built and applied consistently with individual experiments. The discovery process for knowledge acquisition will enable students to form and fully develop the structural components of the action capacity (professional competence, methodological capacity, personal and social capacity) 7. This helps them to be proactive and flexible in addressing diverse situations of real life.

The design of e-lesson plans based on constructivism theory, based on criteria consistent with the cognitive psychology of elementary students, is essential and consistent with modern teaching trends, create a 'positive and friendly' learning environment for students to develop their own abilities.

However, the fact that the design of active e-learning lectures in teaching is not really effective due to the limited capacity of information technology of teachers and especially the difficulty when designing teaching and learning activities as well as digitizing unit of knowledge in the lesson.

The design of e-lesson plans based on constructivism theory is positively difficult for elementary school teachers. There is a need for both theoretical as well as technical skills for teachers to implement this activity on a large scale. In fact, elementary teachers in northern of Vietnam now have designed e-lesson plans based on constructivism theorybut they just focus only on some familiar and easy-to-use activities. Moreover, the economy and infrastructure of different regions lead to the application of many restrictions. Therefore, identifying a specific design process and organizing technical training will provide teachers a solid foundation on these issues. As a results, they can be more active in the regular implementation of the application of information technology in designing e-lesson plans based on constructivism theory

Acknowledgements

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the administrators and teachers of elementary schools in Hanoi, Phu Tho and Lang Son for allowing us to investigate and collect data in order to effectively use the process of this research.

References

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[2]  Focus on Inquiry, University of Calgary, Canada, 2004
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[3]  Jenny W., Leslie J. W, Focus on Inquiry: A Teacher's Guide to Implementing an Inquiry-Based Learning, Curriculum Corporation, 2009.
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[4]  Alan Dix - Janet E. Finlay - Gregory D. Abowd-Russell Beale, Human-Computer Interaction (3rd Edition) Hardcover -Prentice Hall, 2003.
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[5]  Derek Bruff, Teaching with Classroom Response Systems: Creating Active Learning Environments, Publisher: Jossey-Bass, 2009.
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[6]  Pho Duc Hoa- Ngo Quang Son (2016), Methodology and teaching technology in interactive pedagogical environment, Hanoi Publishing House.
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[7]  Dang Thanh Hung, “Designing lessons and evaluation criteria”, Journal of Educational Sciences, 94 July, Hanoi, 2013.
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[8]  Pho Duc Hoa- Ngo Quang Son, Methodology and teaching technology in interactive pedagogical environment, Hanoi Publishing House, 2016.
In article      
 
[9]  Dao Thai Lai, Teaching technique and application of information technology in Elementary Schools, Teacher Development Project, Hanoi, 2007.
In article      
 
[10]  Handbook for the Bed Master of Teaching Program, University of Calgary, Canada, 2007.
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[11]  Assoc. PhD. Tran Khanh Duc, Education and Human Resource Development in the 21st Century, Vietnam Education Publishing House, Hanoi, 2014.
In article      
 
[12]  Dang Thanh Hung - Trinh Thi Hong Ha - Nguyen Khai Hoan - Tran Vu Khanh, Theory of teaching method, Thai Nguyen Publishing House, 2012.
In article      
 
[13]  Nguyen Van Tuan, Learning Materials on Integrated Teaching Methods, Ho Chi Minh City University of Technical Education, 2010.
In article      PubMed  PubMed
 

Published with license by Science and Education Publishing, Copyright © 2018 Nguyen Thi Thu Ngan and Nguyen Huyen Trang

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Cite this article:

Normal Style
Nguyen Thi Thu Ngan, Nguyen Huyen Trang. The Process of Designing Electronic Lesson Plans Based on Constructivism Theory in Teaching at Elementary Schools in Northern of Vietnam. American Journal of Educational Research. Vol. 6, No. 5, 2018, pp 417-423. http://pubs.sciepub.com/education/6/5/8
MLA Style
Ngan, Nguyen Thi Thu, and Nguyen Huyen Trang. "The Process of Designing Electronic Lesson Plans Based on Constructivism Theory in Teaching at Elementary Schools in Northern of Vietnam." American Journal of Educational Research 6.5 (2018): 417-423.
APA Style
Ngan, N. T. T. , & Trang, N. H. (2018). The Process of Designing Electronic Lesson Plans Based on Constructivism Theory in Teaching at Elementary Schools in Northern of Vietnam. American Journal of Educational Research, 6(5), 417-423.
Chicago Style
Ngan, Nguyen Thi Thu, and Nguyen Huyen Trang. "The Process of Designing Electronic Lesson Plans Based on Constructivism Theory in Teaching at Elementary Schools in Northern of Vietnam." American Journal of Educational Research 6, no. 5 (2018): 417-423.
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  • Table 1. Levels of awareness of the role of lecture/lesson design and instructional organization based on constructivism theory with the support of information technology
[1]  DeSeCo, Education - Lifelong Learning and the Knowledge Economy: Key Competencies for the Knowledge Society. In: Proceedings of the DeSeCo Symposium, Stuttgart, 2002.
In article      
 
[2]  Focus on Inquiry, University of Calgary, Canada, 2004
In article      
 
[3]  Jenny W., Leslie J. W, Focus on Inquiry: A Teacher's Guide to Implementing an Inquiry-Based Learning, Curriculum Corporation, 2009.
In article      
 
[4]  Alan Dix - Janet E. Finlay - Gregory D. Abowd-Russell Beale, Human-Computer Interaction (3rd Edition) Hardcover -Prentice Hall, 2003.
In article      
 
[5]  Derek Bruff, Teaching with Classroom Response Systems: Creating Active Learning Environments, Publisher: Jossey-Bass, 2009.
In article      View Article
 
[6]  Pho Duc Hoa- Ngo Quang Son (2016), Methodology and teaching technology in interactive pedagogical environment, Hanoi Publishing House.
In article      
 
[7]  Dang Thanh Hung, “Designing lessons and evaluation criteria”, Journal of Educational Sciences, 94 July, Hanoi, 2013.
In article      
 
[8]  Pho Duc Hoa- Ngo Quang Son, Methodology and teaching technology in interactive pedagogical environment, Hanoi Publishing House, 2016.
In article      
 
[9]  Dao Thai Lai, Teaching technique and application of information technology in Elementary Schools, Teacher Development Project, Hanoi, 2007.
In article      
 
[10]  Handbook for the Bed Master of Teaching Program, University of Calgary, Canada, 2007.
In article      
 
[11]  Assoc. PhD. Tran Khanh Duc, Education and Human Resource Development in the 21st Century, Vietnam Education Publishing House, Hanoi, 2014.
In article      
 
[12]  Dang Thanh Hung - Trinh Thi Hong Ha - Nguyen Khai Hoan - Tran Vu Khanh, Theory of teaching method, Thai Nguyen Publishing House, 2012.
In article      
 
[13]  Nguyen Van Tuan, Learning Materials on Integrated Teaching Methods, Ho Chi Minh City University of Technical Education, 2010.
In article      PubMed  PubMed