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

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