How People Learn: My “Mash-up” Learning Theory

how people learn

I have been thinking about coming up with my own “mash-up” learning theory for about a month. I am a constructivist, especially a social constructivist. I am also a fan of digital learning and connectivism principles. Therefore, I want my “mash-up” theory to include principles of constructivism, social aspect, and principles that support effective learning in the digital world. I am calling my “mash-up” theory “Connective Constructivism”. I searched online to find if there already exists a theory called connective constructivism, but couldn’t find any results.

According to the connective constructivism theory, learning happens as a result of active constructive process by means of a learner connecting with a system, objects and/or with other learner(s). There can be a learner to system (computer/network)/object or learner to other learner(s) connections. Constructivism states knowledge as constructed based on personal experiences and hypotheses of the environment. These personal experiences and hypotheses can be digital (virtual) experiences. Connective constructivism view effective learning and as a constructive process that can be achieved by means of a network of connective nodes. Constructivism fails in two areas: it is not capable of operating in rapid knowledge growth environments, as it doesn’t account for learning that happens in networks and it is an “occasional” learning habit (we are always connecting, but we only construct in certain situations). Therefore, combining connectivism with constructivism will forego some of the weaknesses of constructivism. I don’t claim this theory addresses all the means by which people learn. People learn in different ways and have personal preferences based on their background, subject of learning, etc. However, I claim the theory of connective constructivism addresses the most effective way of learning with the target of retaining the learning.

ssssClick on the above graphic to open it in a window with enlarged view.

Key questions:

  1. Do you think connective constructivism is the same as social constructivism? If not, state the differences. If yes, what is the difference between social constructivism and connectivism?
  2. What (if any) aspects can you add to the definition/description of the theory connective constructivism to make it the perfect learning theory of this age? Consider the fact traditional learning is still a globally practiced and rapidly used way of teaching.
  3. Is it reasonable to consider a teacher as another learner in the context of this theory?

Note: This is a work in progress. The first image given on this page is licensed under Creative Commons by

Sources used:


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