Over the past decades, teachers have changed their instructional design principles and practices, shifting from objectivism to constructivism. Chen (2007) has compared the main features of these two approaches to learning and instruction.
An Objectivist Approach
In an objectivist approach, the learning process is controlled by the teacher. This also means that strategies, such as instructional strategies, are well-defined and selected according to the domain and the type of learning goals/objectives.
As far as the learning environment is concerned, it is well structured, sequenced properly, and both the goals and the objectives are to be set by the teacher, or the designer of the class.
Finally, the assessment method of the objectivist approach is in line with the goals and objectives set by the teacher, and conducted at the end of the instruction. There is also a focus on the cognitive process of knowledge acquisition with this approach.
A Constructivist Approach
When using a constructivist approach, on the other hand, it is the student who controls the learning process. This means that the learning lies in complex, problem-based and real-world tasks.
Here, the learning environment is flexible, as well as open, and the goals are set by the learner and not the teacher.
Finally, the evaluation is continuous and embedded in learning tasks and multiple perspectives. Social negotiations are emphasized as well.
Source: Chen, L. (2007). Instructional Design Strategies for Intensive Online Courses: An Objectivist-Constructivist Blended Approach. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 6 (1), 73–86.