Abstract: This research article unveils the stigmergic nature of online learning science and explores the potential for standardizing constructs to enhance educational outcomes. The rapid growth of online education platforms has provided learners with unprecedented opportunities for self-directed learning and collaboration. However, the complex and decentralized nature of online learning environments poses challenges for educators to guide and assess the learning process effectively. This study investigates the concept of stigmergy, a self-organizing mechanism observed in social insects, and its applicability to online learning science.
Drawing on theories of stigmergy, constructivism, and educational technology, this research proposes a framework for standardizing constructs in online learning science. By standardization, we refer to the process of identifying and defining key constructs that are essential for effective learning and can be consistently measured across online learning platforms. Through the identification of common constructs, educators can better understand and evaluate student progress, leading to instructional interventions tailored to individual needs.
The study utilizes a mixed-methods approach, combining quantitative analysis of learning data from online platforms, qualitative analysis of learner experiences and perceptions, and expert interviews. The findings highlight the presence of stigmergic behaviors in online learning environments, where learners build on each other’s contributions to construct knowledge collectively. Moreover, the study identifies a set of key constructs in online learning science, including metacognitive awareness, collaborative problem-solving, and self-regulated learning.
The research article concludes by proposing guidelines for the standardization of these constructs, providing a foundation for future research and practice in online learning science. Ultimately, this research aims to bridge the gap between theoretical frameworks and practical implementation in online education, promoting more effective learning experiences and improved educational outcomes.