REFLECTIONS….

When looking at the complexities and the profound insights of how people learn, I was surprised to see how the ways in which people learn impact their everyday life. I don’t think that prior to taking this course and sat and thought about how I learn. It wasn’t until I read and learned about all the various learning theories and multiple intelligences. It was striking to see that there is a plethora of ways in which people learn. I was also surprised about how many learning theories there were and how in some capacity they all make sense. This course has definitely deepened my understanding of my personal learning process. In the beginning I thought that I was just a visual and auditory learner. I was a good combination of both. I now realize that in addition to those I also acquire many of the multiple intelligences that Gardner speaks of. One becomes more apparent depending on my assignment and/or learning environment. I also have discovered that I am a terrible procrastinator and that I sometimes lack the motivation to get the job done. I find it better to participate in my learning. Active learning helps me retain the information through my class discussions, and/or collaboration with my classmates.

From what I’ve gathered during my participation in the course is that learning theories provide the framework for the process of learning. It describes the process of what happens when we hear information, process, store, retain and retrieve it for later use. Learning styles describes the learner’s natural abilities or preferred methods for approaching learning. Some examples of this include the use of mnemonic devices as tools to remember certain concepts. Educational technology helps to facilitate what we’ve learned or trying to learn by providing other avenues and resources to research information. Blogs, social media, and the internet are some examples that learners can use as resources for acquiring knowledge and new information.  Motivation comes into context when we try to investigate strategies to assist learner with getting involved in wanting to even learn in the first place. Motivation is what grabs the learners attention and assists with giving them the drive to want to learn whether it be intrinsic or extrinsic approaches.

The concepts that Ive learned in this course between the connections with learning theories, learning styles, motivation as well as the use of educational technology can only work to benefit and strengthen my work as an Instructional Designer. I will work to consider the individual needs of my clients and work to adhere to them. I believe a strong ID will use a combination of these strategies to evoke the motivation needed for learning. Education al technology makes it easier for us quickly acquire new information and key concepts and it’s a phenomenon that we can have access to despite our environment. They give us the connections we need to manifest what we need our learners to learn. This course has taught me to acknowledge the various learning styles that individuals encompass and constantly seek and challenge myself to capitalize on the strengths of my students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fitting the Pieces Together

Now that you have a deeper understanding of the different learning theories and learning styles, how has your view on how you learn changed?

My approach to learning and my views to learning have definitely changed since this course started. At the beginning of the course when asked this question I said that I was a visual learner. I never took the time to consciously consider the ways in which I truly learned. I have to say Connectivism most closely correlates to how I learn best. I never realized how my connection to the world impacted my learning. Adult learners are more interested on concepts relative to their lives. The world around us impacts our views and our way of thinking. This course has also help me to reflect and reevaluate the former strategies used to learn in the past. I used to use mnemonic devices to try is remember things, however this strategy didn’t always prove to be an effective one. After a short while I would forget. I believe that taking concepts and somehow applying them to my everyday life is what will best assist me to learn, retain and retrieve the information and apply them later on down the line.

What have you learned about the various learning theories and learning styles over the past weeks that can further explain your own personal learning preferences?

Understanding the multiple intelligences has opened my mind up to a whole new view of learning. I didn’t take into consideration the various ways in which individuals learn. I would have to say that I am a interpersonal as well as a visual-spatial learner, however there are some other multiple intelligences which seem to impact my learning as well. I think understand how all these theories and concepts work together will enhance how I learn because I am forced to evaluate and think about how different styles and theories will cultivate my thinking.

What role does technology play in your learning?

Technology weighs heavily in my learning experience. It’s my connection to every aspect of my life. I use Google on a daily basis to locate pertinent information. I am able to have full access to this via my computer as well as my phone. I am able to record information right on my Chromebook laptop. Any document I create is automatically saved and I can access that information using any computer or phone. I use blogs and social media as means to acquire information from a professional and personal standpoint.

 

 

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The Impact of Connectivisms

While creating my mind map I explored the many connections to how I learn and the ways in which these connections help to facilitate my learning. Your connection help you acquire knowledge and insight because of the experiences that you gain from them. Some of my connections include my work life, family life and school life. My family life include my personal life with my children and spouse. This life is what fostered me to pursue online classes in the first place. I did not have the time to sit in a formal school setting because of my home life. My connections from work shape and mold my learning because I bring the things I experience from being a teacher into how I plan to be a better instructor when the time come for me to pursue Instructional Design as a career move. School allows me to gain deeper knowledge about concepts and subjects I am being taught. I get to connect with my classmates who offer up their own array of ideas and experiences that sometimes mirror mine. They also encourage me to think about new ideas that I never even would have considered.

My connection to school has encouraged me to research blogs, websites, and articles which help to facilitate learning for me. I am learning new things and how to perform mind map and create blogs which is something that I have never pursued before. A popular phrase that I feel is appropriate to the learning experience would be that a closed mouth doesn’t get fed. What that ultimately means to me is that if you fail to ask questions you will never acquire knowledge. If you don’t ask questions you won’t be able to build connections which can create new ideas and you can learn from them. Asking questions encourages you to actually think further based off the responses you receive and this create an atmosphere for learning. My personal learning network supports the central tenets of Connectivism in that our connections shape and mold how and what we learn. Adult learners tend to lean towards things that will contribute their everyday life experiences or what they wish to learn. They are motivated to “Gain new skills, knowledge, and attitudes to improve their work performance” ( Conlan, Grabowski, Smith, 2003). Our learning network support this in that our connections offer us the opportunity to gain new knowledge and apply them to our everyday lives.

References

Conlan, J., Grabowski, S., & Smith, K. (2003). Adult learning. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectivesonlearning,teaching,andtechnology.Retrievedfromhttp://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Adult_Learning

 

 

Information Process Theory & Brain Based Research

While researching information regarding Learning Theories and Instruction, I stumbled upon a few articles and websites that look into the complexities which influence how one truly learns. The two phenomenons that will make an impact on my journey to becoming and effective Instructional Designer are heavily influenced by Information Process Theories as well as Brain Based Research.  One of the websites that explains Brain Based Research and how it relates to learning can be found at :

http://www.simplypsychology.org/information-processing.html

This website from simple psychology is a valuable resources because it demonstrates the ways in the which the human brain is much like a computer system. “Cognitive psychology sees the individual as a processor of information in much the same way that a computer takes in information and follows a program to produce and output”McLeod, S.A. (2008).  It illustrates that the same way the computer processes and stores information is similar to the way the human mind receives, processes, and stores information to be retrieved later on just like the diagram below

Computer – Mind Analogy

computer brain metaphor

Essentially the computer-mind concept or analogy was used by cognitive psychologist to demonstrate how the computer works similar to how the brain works once its presented with information and then where the information goes from there. ” The idea of information processing was adopted by cognitive psychologists as a model of how human thought works” McLeod, S.A. (2008). As Instructional Designers this is an valuable concept because it gives us basic understanding of how learners process information that they are given with the hopes that the information will be stored in their Long Term Memory for Retrieval later on.

The second article I read Enhancing Student Learning with Brain Based Research , is very similar to the Process Learning Theory in that they suggest ” In order to maximize their teaching efficacy, educators should have a basic understanding of key memory functions in the brain, and how these functions relate to student learning”(Bonnema 2010). This article goes into detail about brain functions will have a correlation on  learning outcomes. This article explains how brain based strategies will benefit teachers and promote effective learners and as a support tool for teachers. 

Bonnema, Ted R. “Enhancing Student Learning with Brain-Based Research.” (Jun2010): 1-81.

“Information Processing.” – Simply Psychology. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2014.

Blog: The Doorway to Professional Learning Communities

In my quest to be successful in the field of Instructional Design, I feel the need to explore various Learning Theories and resources that will assist me with helping others learn.

One of the blogs that will be beneficial to my quest would be on a blog entiled What Everybody Ought to Know About  Instructional Design www.articulate.com/rapid-elearning/what-everybody-ought-to-know-about-instructional-design/.  This blog answers the Question of What is an Instructional Designers Role? The blog explains that learning is a natural process. However sometimes this natural process needs direction, and thats where an Instructional Designer comes into play. The Instructional Designer helps learners make sense and apply the information they’ve acquired. We in essence help to facilitate what learners need to learn.

In order for Instructional Designers to facilitate this Learning the Instructional Designer must first gain knowledge of how people learn. The article <www.infed.org/mobi/learning-theory-models-product-and-process/> explores just what learning is. It illustrates the different theories on Learning which include the behaviorist, cognitive, humanistic & social/situational approaches to learning.

Another blog that I gathered information from that would be a good a great resource is en.wordpress.com/tag/instructional-design/. One thing  that stood out to me was Bloom’s Taxonomy. The blog ask if Blooms Taxonomy a relevant phenomenon for Learning in this Technology age. Blooms Taxonomy explores the thinking or thought process one must go through to develop a creative new idea or end result. I have to agree with the author of this blog that Blooms Taxonomy of not only analyzing and understanding information but being able to apply it a gain a more profound knowledge is a useful and necessary tool for learners.

All of these blogs are useful resources for people who are looking to be instructional Design professionals. They will assist me with the fundamentals of why and how people learn, and how to apply them to the goals established in the learning process.  These blogs and articles describe our roles as Insthructional Designers, the different theories on how people learn, as well as to the thought process Instructional Designers should consider in their course planning!