Evaluating and Identifying Online Resources

Posted: 03/16/2014 in Assignments

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

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