Constructivism is a theory -- based on observation and scientific study -- about how people learn. It says that people construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world, through life, work, formal and informal educational experiences, and reflecting on those experiences. When we encounter something new, we have to reconcile it with our previous ideas and experience, maybe changing what we believe, or maybe discarding the new information as irrelevant. In any case, we are active creators of our own knowledge. To do this, we must ask questions, explore, and assess what we know.

In eLearning, the constructivist view of learning can point towards a number of different teaching practices. In the most general sense, it usually means encouraging learners to use active techniques (experiments, real-world problem solving) to create more knowledge and then to reflect on, take notes and share with colleagues or peers what they are doing and how their understanding is changing. The eLearning instruction ensures that the learner explores his/her preexisting conceptions, and guides the activities to address and then build on them.