Archive for March, 2014

I found an interesting journal article entitled: A workout for working memory. The article discusses how doing specific exercises may enhance the number of items held in working memory (WM). The WM is “one of the brains central components for reasoning and problem-solving” (Dingfelder, 2005, Intro).
I found the article interesting in that by improving ones working memory one may be able to increase their ability to problem solve and are better equipped to see different solutions to complex problems (Dingfelder, 2005). The article implied exercising WM by those afflicted with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) might benefit from reduced behavioral symptoms.
The article can be found at: http://www.apa.org/monitor/sep05/workout.aspx
In finding the above article, I linked to the American Psychological Association (APA) Website. I found a wealth of information here to link to without becoming a member. You can link to the website at http://www.apa.org/index.aspx. I had the best results by putting in key words in the search field, and I then received a variety of different returns for looking at information, magazine articles, journal articles, book chapters, much of which was available without membership. It was easy to download the information into a PDF.
The second article I found was also on the APA site. The article is entitled: “Improving Learning” and can retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/07-08/ce-learning.aspx. The article includes an online quiz one can purchase for Continuing Education (CE) credit. I found this article very specific in highlighting specific needs to create learning outcomes. The article lists seven cognitive principles and ten additional principles (Graesser, 2011). Instructional designers can benefit from reviewing these principles and reflecting on them as they design training programs.
These journal articles give insight on how the brain functions in reference to working memory (WM) and how this can possibly be improved to enhance problem solving, and how learning can be improved by the way the learning materials are structured. This information is valuable to potential Instructional Designers (IDs). IDs need to understand how the brain functions and they need to have knowledge of the best way to design and develop materials and programs that will provide the highest quality learning experience to the learners. I feel these articles and this website can provide additional resources and reference materials for IDs.
In addition to the APA website and the articles I found there, I wanted to find something fun and healthy for my brain. I went to the LiveStrong Website at http://www.livestrong.com/. In the search field, I just typed in “brain”. I found all types of interesting information, articles, pictures, recipies, and links to additional resources. Some of my favorites were how to eat right to feed the brain the nutrients it needs to operate correctly, and the links to the different games that I can play to improve my memory. In a way, the brain benefits from use, the same way a muscle benefits. The more it is used the stronger it will become.
References
Dingfelder, S. F. (2005). A workout for working memory. Journal of the American Psychological Association, 36(8), 48. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/sep05/workout.aspx
Graesser, A. C. (2011). Improving Learning. Monitor on Psychology, 42(7), 58. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/07-08/ce-learning.aspx

Instructional Design Central is a company website with information a student of Instructional Design and Technology (IDT) may find valuable. The website address is http://instructionaldesigncentral.com/. This site provides access to resources, information, networking, and job resources.
The website includes information regarding instructional design models and methods. In addition, the website lists IDT conferences and provides links to the organizations that sponsor these conferences. There are links to eLearning software, tools, and programs that provides information on the popular software including reviews of the product and approximate cost of each program. The website has links to eLearning companies and communities. These communities frequently require one to become a member to access the content on the website.
After spending a fair amount of time on different blogs, and then linking to different websites, I found that many of the websites are similar to this site. The sites are often selling their product or service, or require a membership to link the content. Much of the content from this website in referencing learning theories, models, and defining instructional design was taken from wikis, which I do not consider a reliable resource.
As someone who has relied on searching for websites to obtain information, this exercise has shown me the role blogs play when one needs to find relevant and free information regarding a specific subject. Websites seemed to be trying to sell me either a product or a membership. The blogs were giving me information based on real life experience and knowhow. The information on the website may link me to information I may need to pay for, the blogs will link me to information that I can learn from immediately. I will be investigating more blogs in the future. I will admit that I was unaware of the wealth of knowledge one can glean from blogs.

An excellent blog is the Rapid e-Learning Blog, found at http://www.articulate.com/rapid-elearning/. Tom Kuhlmann hosts the blog, Tom has more than 20 years experience in the training industry. The blog was started in 2007, and is updated weekly. This blog is an excellent location for Instructional Design and Technology (IDT) students to find information that will aid them in improving designing training for e- Learning.
The home page is very attractive, and has a note that in very simple terms states what the site provides, “practical, real-world tips for e-Learning success!” In browsing the content of the site, this statement is short but precise. The amount of information presented is large, easy to navigate, and frequently updated. There are links to additional information in each post, including videos, demonstrations and templates.
Each of the blog posts has links to additional information and resources. The way this site is constructed makes it very easy to navigate and quickly find information that one is looking for. The link at the top of each blog post showing the number of comments and links directly to the comments that others have made to the posts. This is handy for those that want to read others comments without having to scroll to the bottom of the page.
Exploring this site is a pleasure. Visiting this blog provided more information and a higher quality of information than websites dedicated to instructional design. This blog has instructional information, resources to aid new IDTs be successful, and advice from a proven professional to assist one in avoiding the pitfalls of many e-Learning courses.
I found this site to be refreshing and addictive in how easy it was to move from one topic to another gaining new insight and knowledge with each link clicked. This will blog is definitely worthy of a subscription and new subscribers get a free e-book “The insiders guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro”.
Connect to this blog at http://www.articulate.com/rapid-elearning/

I found and excellent blog for students of Instructional Design and Technology (IDT). The host is Tracy Parish. You can read more about Tracy on her blog at http://www.tracyparish.ca/about.
The blog page itself is very appealing. The bloggers has identified four key words, design, develop, create, and discover. Each of these words has a picture and a quote from a famous individual. These automatically transition from one to the other on the home page. In addition to this feature, recent items are on the homepage, along with a continuously updating twitter feed.
The Discovery Through eLearning blog began in 2007 and has a wealth of information available for students of Instructional Design. The resources page includes recommended books, gives presentation resources, templates, and tips and tricks. One link within this resource link has a listing of free eLearning Tools including the best places to obtain images, editing tools for screen capture, audio capture and editing, collaborative tools, slide sharing, and other favorites of many instructional designers.
This blog is very well developed with a wealth of information. There is a robust search function in addition to a wide range of categories the author has already created to group information. The blog is one of the top e-learning blogs available. The blog site is easy to navigate and understand with links conveniently placed on the pages where they are easy to find. There is enough information given in the intro for each of the items listed for the reader to decide if they would like to read more or not. I would recommend subscribing to this blog as a source of useful information and a resource for links to free tools necessary for the IDT student. The blogger is not going to overload ones RSS feed with information, most of the posts and updates to this blog have relevancy.
Connect to this blog at: http://www.tracyparish.ca/

Getting Started

Posted: 03/09/2014 in Assignments

Here is my first blog post. I am looking forward to learning more about the blogging community