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Blog Assignment: Fitting the Pieces Together

Reflecting on what I have learned the past several weeks, I now have a deeper understanding of the different learning theories and learning styles, yet my perspective on wanting to be responsible for my education and my own learning is still the same; even though, I will benefit from reflective learning of the diverse theories and styles that will enhance my learning in instructional design. I focus on the adult learning theory which simply illustrates that the designer “should involve learners in as many aspects of their education as possible and in the creation of a climate in which they can most fruitfully learn” (Merriam, 2001, p.7) (Cited by Conlan, Grabowski, & Smith, 2003). I am much impress with self-directed learning. As indicated by Conlan et al. (2003) “motivation is key to a successful self-directed learning experience” http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Adult_Learning. Subsequent to evaluating the diverse learning styles, the capability to assess the multi dimensional characteristics of learning have become more obvious. The aptitude of a learner being competent in evaluating their learning style is a favorable advantage in boosting retention. I have discovered that I am able to learn through numerous diverse ways. Reviewing the learning theories discussed the pass weeks has definitely presented me a broader picture on how they all fit into the educational environment. Accepting how the diverse learning theories deal with particular characteristics considering subject matter and experience, I have come to the inference, that if I had to select one theory in particular I would say that my learning endorses the constructivism theory. I undertake prior knowledge and experience into matter, engage in social learning with my colleagues, and scrutinize my own motivation, etc. in order to create new knowledge. As Kim (2001) points out “social constructivists see as crucial both the context in which learning occurs and the social contexts that learners bring to their learning environment” http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Social_Constructivism.

Over the past several weeks, I learned great information about the various learning theories and learning styles that can further explain my personal learning preferences. Based on the information and resources I have learned that as one person I have several learning styles relative to a specific course or subject (Gilbert & Swanier, 2008). I have beforehand identified myself as utilizing learning approaches based on the adult learning theory. I still agree in some ways I learn in these ways. I now know that there numerous types of learning approaches that I may endure as an adult learner. For instance, Vygotsky’s theory of zone of proximal development (ZPD) is very much appropriate to the way I learn. According to Ormrod, Schunk, & Gredler (2009) “Vygotsky’s theory stresses the interaction of interpersonal (social), cultural-historical, and individual factors as the key to human development” (p. 190). Therefore, collaborations and interactions occur between my colleagues and instructor as a means of offering me information that is not too hard to learn, yet challenging enough to retain my interest and moving me to a greater learning experience than if I had tried to learn the same material in isolation. I also find self-directed learning to be my preferred preference of learning. Conlan, Grabowski, and Smith (2003) defined self-directed learning “as the process in which individuals take on the responsibility for their own learning process by diagnosing their personal learning needs, setting goals, identifying resources, implementing strategies and evaluating the outcomes” http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Adult_Learning. Nevertheless, when I am in the process of learning something of value I choose to be under the experience of formal learning. I will basically settle for self-directed learning when engaging in informal learning. I do not find self-directed learning to be my main concern due to the fact that I find my learning to be very serious for example this course. We must keep in mind as acknowledge by  Davis, Edmunds, & Kelly-Bateman (2008) “learning do not happen in a vacuum but occurs at the intersection of prior knowledge, experience, perception, reality, comprehension, and flexibility” http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Connectivism.

I have learned in the past weeks that technologies come in many forms. As I indicated in the last discussion, technology plays an awesome role in the way in which I learn. Technology has served many purposes in my everyday life. First of all recognizing the fact that technology enables me to earn a Master degree online is certainly a highlight of how technology has been embraced in my life. Also being able to do research has really influence by learning process. Through the use of technology, I am able to research all of my class work through the online Walden library as well as utilizing the many websites on the Internet. Technology has really made a great effect in allowing me to perform tasks in my courses especially this Instructional Design and Technology course. As for use of tutorial, Youtube has been really helpful. As acknowledge by Semple (2000) “computers make it possible to access huge amounts of information and to process it almost immediately” (p. 2). I feel that in the future technology will no doubt continue to make a great impact in my learning and lifestyle. According to Semple (2000) “computer technologies have made an impact on every aspect of society and culture” (p. 2).   To sum it up, technology plays a major role in my learning process by means of permitting me to access information, communicate concepts of my learning, exhibit my creativity by means of graphic design, as well as network with others who share related interest by all means from the comfort of my home.

References

Conlan, J., Grabowski, S., & Smith, K. (2003). Adult learning. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Adult_Learning

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

Gilbert, J., & Swanier, C. (2008). Learning styles: How do they fluctuate? Institute for Learning Styles Journal [Vol. l]. Retrieved from http://www.auburn.edu/~witteje/ilsrj/Journal%20Volumes/Fall%202008%20Volume%201%20PDFs/Learning%20Styles%20How%20do%20They%20Fluctuate.pdf

Kim, B. (2001). Social constructivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Social_Constructivism

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

Semple, A. (2000). Learning theories and their influence on the development and use of educational technologies. Australian Science Teachers Journal, 46(3).

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Week 5: Connectivism – Mapping Your Learning Connections

When referring to connectivism we are referring to a learning theory for the digital age (Siemens, 2004, http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm. According to Siemens (2004) along with behaviorism and cognitivism, these three learning theories, arise throughout a time when learning was not developed in the course of technology,  have been most often used in the creation of instruction environments. However, over the last two decades, technology has changed our lifestyle, how we correspond, as well as our learning style (Siemens, 2004). As we can see learning has change over the previous decades. Connectivism is acknowledged as a learning theory that incorporates social networks, technology, knowledge, as well as communication. As noted by Davis, Edmunds, & Kelly-Bateman (2008) “the act of learning does not happen in a vacuum, it occurs at the connection of prior knowledge, experience, acuity, actuality, understanding, and flexibility” http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Connectivism. I see connectivism as a vital learning theory for today’s learner. Learning transpires in diverse ways in our society today. Learning comes in forms of courses, email, communities, conversations, web search, reading blogs, etc. Yet, we find that courses are the main means for learning. As indicated by Siemens (2005) “by using these networks – of people, of technology, of social structures, of systems, of power grids, etc. – learning communities can share their ideas with others, thereby “cross-pollinating” the learning environment” (as cited by Davis, Edmunds, & Kelly-Bateman, 2008, http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Connectivism). In order for learning to be effectively in today’s society, diverse approaches and personal skills are required.

Being a student in an online university, I have utilized different digital tools. The main software program that I use is Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office products as was Word (2007 & 2010) and PowerPoint. I use Internet Explorer as a means of surfing the Web as well as the browser I use to log onto Walden University. Google is the search engine that I utilized as a means of performing research. In completing my assignments for the course I utilize Microsoft word and PowerPoint. From time to time throughout my education I have utilize DVD’s as a means of fostering my learning. All of these digital tools have played an enormous part in enhancing my education by means of researching information, solving problems as well as completing a variety of tasks and projects that I have. I have found the search engine (Google) to be very beneficial in permitting me to obtain knowledge when I have questions. Another means of gaining knowledge when I have question is the Q&A forum. The Q &A forum allows us to ask and answer questions among colleagues and the instructor.

As acknowledge by George Siemens (2001) connectivism is tied tightly to today’s learning environment (Laureate Education). Through my years of working in education and attending online, I have had a very strong personal learning network.  According to Siemens (2004) “A network can simply be defined as connections between entities” http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm. Today’s new technology has allowed me to stay connected with people all over the world as well as people who have been of value for educational resources. According to Siemens (2009) we are observing a major flare-up in how we begin to connect with other people nevertheless also how we link with data sources (Laureate Education, Inc.). Thanks to the digital age of technology my personal learning networks have been very active in providing the kind of learning experience for me to conclude my education in the consolation of my home. Therefore I would say that my personal learning network would support all of the tenets of connectivism. According to Sieman (2004) “Learning is a process that occurs within nebulous environments of shifting core elements – not entirely under the control of the individual” (http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm).

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

Laureate Educations, Inc. (2009). Connectivism. Dr. George Siemens.

Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. Retrieved March 27, 2012 from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm.

Week 2 Blog Assignment: Evaluating and Identifying Online Resources

This week’s assignment requires us to conduct research of online scholarly resources related to topics of The Brain and Learning, Information Processing Theory, and Problem-Solving Methods.

A journal article by Bilal Duman (2010) entitled, The effects of brain-based learning on the academic achievement of student with different learning styles, reports a finding of the effects of brain-based learning.

After searching for the connection between all three of these topics, I found an article in Walden Library databases at http://library.waldenu.edu.I performed a search on the topic of “brain and learning.” My search generated a journal entry from Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice by Bilal Duman. The journal entry relates to a study done by students from the department of Social Sciences Teacher Education in the Faculty of Education atMuglaUniversity investigating the effects of Brain-based learning (BBL) on the academic achievement of students with different learning styles. The journal entry acknowledges how learning styles affect students’ learning processes. It goes to state that the best way of imagining individual differences is through understanding learning styles. The article deals with knowledge of how the brain works and learns as well as how the brain functions highlighted in this week’s topics.

Long Term Memory: A Users Guide
http://theelearningcoach.com/learning/long-term-memory-and-learning/

Utilizing Google’s search engine I discovered a website dedicated to Long Term Memory (LTM) which has an effect on information processing and problem-solving. This article is identified as a user’s guide to update us with the characteristics and dynamics of long-term memory. Dr. Connie Malamed (2012) discusses the basics of long-term memory which is important in understanding cognitive psychology.  Cognitive psychology reflects on LMT as two types of memory which involve Explicit and Implicit memory. Other sections Dr. Malamed discusses in this article includes capacity, encoding, retrieval, and strategies use to improve encoding and retrieval. This article goes on to indicate that there are diverse strategies that instructional designers and learners can use to enhance encoding. I feel that having the education on how the brain operates is imperative to keep in mind as we endeavor to be successful as an instructional designer.

A journal article by Judy Strauss, Hope Corrigan, and Charles F. Hofacker (2011) entitled, Optimizing student learning: Examining the use of presentation slides, reports on finding concerning how students’ learning are affected by technology.

Another article I found in Walden Library databases at http://library.waldenu.edu from my point of view provides an instructional designer understanding of the information processing theory that was highlighted in this week assignment. This article explains how students’ learning has been optimized by use of presentation software such as Microsoft’s PowerPoint, Apple’s Keynote, or OpenOffice’s Impress. It also highlights three theories that they consider to be critical in improving marketing students’ education known as Multimedia information processing, learning styles, and constructivist learning. This article discusses step by step how students’ learning is affected by each of these theories.

References

Duman, B. (2010). The Effects of Brain-Based Learning on the Academic Achievement of Students with Different Learning Styles. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 10(4), 2077-2103.

Malamed, C. (2011) Re: Long Term Memory: A Users Guide[Blog message]. Retrieved from http://theelearningcoach.com/learning/long-term-memory-and-learning/

Strauss, J., Corrigan, H., & Hofacker, C. F. (2011). Optimizing Student Learning: Examining the Use of Presentation Slides. Marketing Education Review, 21(2), 151-162. doi:10.2753/MER1052-8008210205

Blog Assignment: The Doorway to Professional Learning Communities

I have evaluated numerous blog sites in means of finding three that are appealing, helpful, and enlightening concerning instructional design and training. Below you will find three blog sites links that I considered to be of interest and knowledgeable.

I really like this blog site, http://www.articulate.com/rapid-elearning/what-everybody-ought-to-know-about-instructional-design/, as it appears to have information concerning what everybody should know about Instructional Design. I found this article appealing because I have no experience in Instruction Design, yet I am interested in this field. At first glance, I was attracted to the information indicated in this blog. It also provided a video illustrating the value of Instructional Design. This blog also recommends other resources such as designing the right course, PowerPoint for E-learning, etc. to explore further that look interesting and I think will provide helpful information in understanding Instructional Design. You will also find useful quotes highlighted to draw the reader attention in understanding the attributes of an Instructional Designer. I actually consider this site to be very influential and will help steer me in the right direction in my career.

Another blog, http://www.upsidelearning.com/blog/index.php/tag/instructional-design/ , I found to be intriguing because this blog provided diverse information that I found to help in understanding goals in succeeding as an Instructional Designer. In other words, this blog hosts a great diversity of content links organize by topic. However, one article in this blog that I found to be more important was Instructional Designers as beginners. I found this article interesting because I feel it pertain to me because I will be a beginner in Instructional Design. This blog provided information or per say theories that every beginner Instructional Designer should be familiar with. You will discover other tools that will motivate new designers to look within themselves for methods to enhance them in handling all types of situations. For someone with no Instructional Design experience, I found the facts in this blog to be stimulating and valuable for future endeavors. Overall, I found this site to be constructive due to the quantity of data obtainable in one place. Therefore, I will constantly refer back to this site to help me pursue my goal.

The third and final blog, http://theelearningcoach.com/elearning_design/10-qualities-of-the-ideal-instructional-designer/, inspired me because it identified the qualities of an ideal Instructional Designer. An ideal Instructional Designer is my goal. I feel that this blog was developed powerfully to assist individuals like me who are starting out in this field from an instructive point of view. I found this site to be useful due to information provided in ensuring that one will know what it takes to be a successful Instructional Designer. I feel that this site will be very useful to me all through my assignments, and career because of the important information or tips provided to ensure that I be a successful Instructional Designer.

This entry was posted on February 29, 2012. 2 Comments