A social constructivist approach for an online civic education tutorial

Made Yudhi Setiani
Universitas Terbuka
Banten, Indonesia

This study addresses the reform of an online civic education tutorial at the Indonesia Open University [Universitas Terbuka (UT)]. Several examples of contemporary literature were reviewed to determine best practices, including social constructivism and a democratic form of teaching. Based on a literature review, this paper proposes a new pedagogical approach to the existing practice of the online civic education tutorial.

The model for the online civic education tutorial proposed in this study is based on the community of inquiry framework (Garrison, Anderson and Archer 2000) that promotes a social constructivist approach, and a democratic form of teaching. The learning in the tutorial in the model was theorized to occur within a community through the interaction of social presence, cognitive presence, and teaching presence. For social and cognitive presence, students form an online community, with collaborative discussion among them and between them and tutors, and they are expected to practise critical thinking. Teaching presence occurs when tutors promote a democratic environment in the class, by modelling civic dispositions throughout their teaching. Tutors show respect and tolerance to students while facilitating discussion activities and giving direct instruction; and students are also expected to be tolerant and respectful when they hold discussions with other students and tutors. Through this model, students are expected to gain civic knowledge, civic skills and civic dispositions, as well as experience in a democratic interaction that mirrors the interactions in a democratic society.