Jonassen's Model for designing CLEs

Viewing constructivism as a different perspective from objectivism on the learning process and a complementary learning tool with objectivism, Jonassen (1999) proposed a model for designing constructivist learning environments. Since the epistemological belief of the constructivism that knowledge can not be transmitted, the design puts the emphasis on providing learning experiences that facilitate knowledge construction and in meaning making.

  1. Jonassesn (1999) described that the essential components in the constructivist learning environments include:
    Problem, question or project as the focus of the environment: the focus on problem, question or project constitutes a learning goal driving the learning process. The desired quality of this driving power is to be interesting, relevant and authentic. Three major components need to be included in the design of the problem:
  1. Related Cases: Representing a set of related experience, the related cases support learning by scaffolding student memory; providing different perspectives, themes and interpretations, the related cases conveys the complexity of the problem and enhance student cognitive flexibility.
  2. Information Resources: CLEs have to provide just-in-time information to help learners comprehend and solve the problem.
  3. Cognitive Tools: Cognitive tools are computer tools that help "visualize (represent), organize, automate, or supplant thinking skills." There are four major types of tools differing in their functions:

In the constructivist learning environments, learners are encouraged to engage exploration, articulation and reflection; instructors are encouraged to provide instructional support in

Reigeluth (1999) pointed out the major contribution of this model is that it provides a coherent instructional framework integrating much work in the contructivist arena.


Jonassen, D. H. (1999). Designing constructivist learning environments. In C. M. Reigeluth (Ed.), Instructional design theories and models: A new paradigm of instructional theory, Volume II, pp. 215-239). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Reigeluth, C. M. (1999). (Ed.),A new paradigm of instructional theory, Volume II, pp. 5-29). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.