Systematic Mapping of the Social Construction of Learning (2015-2020): Challenges for Online Learning Environments

Ruth-Elizabeth Minga-Vallejo, María-Soledad Ramírez-Montoya


The purpose of this study is to identify and characterize the state of social construction of learning in virtual communities within online learning environments and to identify the advances and research challenges of social learning. The method was a systematic mapping to analyze the evidence published on the topic in 2015-2020. We automatically searched the Scopus and Web of Science databases, applying inclusion and exclusion criteria to obtain the maximum relevant information. The pre-designed search strategy resulted in 187 articles. The main research topic addressed in most of these is learning as a social construction in training contexts, primarily virtual communities. In higher education, the United States is the country with the most active researchers on this topic. In addition, the most significant findings show that in a virtual learning community, social and cognitive interactions with teaching presence are crucial for students to build knowledge and achieve a higher level of learning. This study describes challenges related to the various methodologies, geographical scope, and types of social construction learning in virtual learning communities. This research is intended to be of value to teachers, decision-makers, designers of research and researchers interested in the social construction of learning in online learning environments.


Social construction of learning, Virtual learning communities, Social interaction, Educational innovation, Higher education

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