Archive for April, 2014

Final Reflections

Posted: 04/27/2014 in Assignments

Reflections

Realization of the amount of information that we have covered in this course is amazing. From learning how the mind works, to the different learning theories, styles, and strategies, to how motivation ties everything together. The information we have now available to aid us in our careers certainly serves as a strong foundation to get us off to a great start on our career path. Reflecting on some of the highlights of the course for me was challenging, there were so many.

One of the most striking concepts I learned during this course is how important it is to present information in manner that aids in memory. “Learners forget their learning most rapidly right after learning occurs” (Singh, 2014, para. 6). Therefore, it is important to build in review of previously learned information. It is also important to link new information to prior knowledge. In addition, “information that is meaningful, elaborated, and organized is more readily integrated into long-term memory (LTM) networks” (Ormrod, Schunk, & Gredler, 2009, p. 85). When creating course content it is important to keep these facts in mind to aid the learning process. A way to increase retention of information accessible to (LTM) is by utilizing spacing or distributing. “Distributing study time over several sessions generally leads to better memory of the information than conducting a single study session” (Willingham, 2002, para.4). Knowing how individuals store and retain information is of great value to the instructional designer.

This course has helped me to understand how much broader my personal learning process is than what I had initially thought it was. The amount of information I learn from social theory and connectivism was surprising to me. Realization of the amount of information I learn from networks “of people, of technology, of social structures, of systems, or power grids, etc.” (Davis, Edmunds & Kelly-Bateman, 2008, p. 2) was almost overwhelming when I compared this to first-hand knowledge. I did not realize there would be such a large discrepancy.

I have learned that learning theories have continued to be refined over the course of time, in much the same way that we learn, building upon prior knowledge and expanding understanding and application of information. There is a lot of interconnectivity between the different learning theories. Individuals may have a specific style or manner in which they feel more comfortable learning, they can still learn in any environment. Kumar (2012) stated it well by saying “None of the learning theories can completely define the learning process in its entirety. Rather depending on the context in which learning is occurring and the goal of learning, a theory takes predominance” (para. 1). Educational technology continues to improve and streamline the learning experience. To have the best learning experience meeting keeping learners motivated and engagement requires a meeting of their basic needs “arousal/stimulation, competence (feeling you have done something well), self-determination (need for autonomy), and relatedness (interacting with fellow human beings)” (Laureate Education, n.d.). Without motivation the best theory or technology will not make a difference, the learning process will not be successful.

By gaining a better understanding of different learning theories and how to assist learners into creating strategies to aid their learning will aid me in facilitating training more effectively. What I have learned is an excellent foundation of understanding the individuals, how they learn, how the mind remembers and recalls information, and how best to design courses that benefit learners regardless of their learning style or preference. In addition, using Keller’s ARCS model for designing and analyzing training courses will help make sure that every course will appeal to learners by capturing their attention, providing relevance, build their confidence, and satisfy the learner (Keller, 1999).

Conclusion

The wealth of information we have covered in the past eight weeks provides a wealth of knowledge worthy of additional time and research. To apply the knowledge in my current position and my future career as an instructional designer, review of the material periodically will keep the information fresh and keep me from falling into any type of rut in development and design of course materials.

References

Davis, C., Edmunds, E., & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008). Connectivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology.. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Connectivism

Keller, J. M. (1999). Using the ARCS motivational process in computer-based instruction and distance education. New Directions for Teaching and Learning (78).

Kumar, L. (2012). Compare and contrast various learning theories.. Larks Learning Blog. Retrieved from http://larkslearning.com/blog/compare-and-contrast-various-learning-theories/

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Motivation in learning [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning theories and instruction. New York, NY: Laureate.

Singh, R. P. (2014). Beating the forgetting curve with distributed practice. Retrieved from http://elearningindustry.com/beating-the-forgetting-curve-with-distributed-practice

Willingham, D. T. (2002). Allocating student study time: “Massed” Versus “Distributed” Practice. American Educator, 26(2). Retrieved from https://www.aft.org/newspubs/periodicals/ae/summer2002/willingham.cfm

Having a deeper understanding of the different learning theories and learning styles has expanded my understanding of how I learn. As an adult learner, I cannot say one specific style is preferred over another, I see value in all the theories. I enjoy the cognitive theory where “the emphasis is placed on the role of practice with corrective feedback” (Ertmer & Newby, 1993, p. 58), and linking prior knowledge and experiences to new information. I also enjoy learning via constructivism by learning from “the actual use of tools in real world situations” (Ertmer & Newby, 1993, p. 64).

The biggest surprise was learning how much I learn from social theory and connectivism. Completing the mind-map really helped me to see how much learning I gain from these aspects. I enjoy personal experience and firsthand knowledge, but this type of learning is unrealistic. After reflecting on my mind-map, I thought about all of the information I have gathered from using these different networks “of people, of technology, of social structures, of systems, or power grids, etc.” (Davis, Edmunds, & Kelly-Bateman, 2008, p. 2), and found it far outweighs the knowledge I have gained firsthand.

Technology plays a very important role in learning for me. I have received my bachelor’s degree in business because of the availability of an online education. I am pursuing my second degree, all because of technology. I use technology every day in my personal and professional life. I have learned new ways to search for information that I can rely on via different school websites, I have learned to make the Internet work for me via RSS feeds. I am expanding my professional network through LinkedIn. These technologies will assist me in developing my skills as an Instructional Designer (ID), and I hope to continue to add to my toolbox as this course continues and as I continue to expand my learning abilities and knowledge resources.

References

Davis, C., Edmunds, E., & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008). Connectivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Connectivism

Ertmer, P. A. & Newby, P. A. (1993). Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing Critical Features from an Instructional Design Perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 6(4), John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Journals.

Connectivism

Posted: 04/06/2014 in Assignments

Mind MapClick to see Larger Image

When I look at my learning network as an adult, I see many of my learning connections are with individuals and technology. This is a very different network than I had in early childhood and even through grades K-12. Many of the core concepts of connectivism are in my learning network. I see the connection of different nodes and information sources (Davis, Edmunds, & Kelly-Bateman, 2008). In addition, I see the need to create and maintain these connections to facilitate ongoing learning opportunities for myself (Davis et al, 2008).

The digital tools that facilitate learning for me include the Internet, digital libraries, e-books, and blogs. All very different tools than I had during my earlier education experiences. Prior to this course, I had no interest in blogs, this course has changed how I view blogs, and I have found blogs to contain a wealth of information on specific topics I am interested receiving more information regarding.

I seek out new knowledge in a variety of ways when faced with questions. One of the first ways is to determine if I have any associates able to provide me the information I am seeking. I enjoy learning new information in this manner, not only can I get necessary information; I also get their experience in a practical application of the information. If I am not able to find an associate that has the necessary information, I turn to the digital libraries of the schools I have studied at or e-books I have saved from different course materials. I find these libraries easy to search, and I know that I can trust the validity of the information I locate by only including peer-reviewed information in my searches.

When I first considered the tenets of connectivism, I was not sure how much connectivism played into my learning experiences. However, after the completion of my mind map, I see that many of the tenets are included. I mentioned a couple initially in describing how my network has changed the way I learn. In addition, I find that there are diverse ways I seek knowledge and learning (Davis et al., 2008). Much of my learning I also find in “non-human appliances” (Davis et al., 2008). I also feel that there is never an end to learning, if you stop learning you stop growing, to be relevant you must continually increase your capacity of information continually updating your knowledge and thinking processes (Davis et al, 2008).

References

Davis, C., Edmunds, E., & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008). Connectivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Connectivism