Having just recently completed my BS in the same field I have studied the various learning theories for the past few years in several courses. Although most of the learning here was around things I had studied several times over numerous courses there were a few things that I was able to study in greater detail. Newer areas of study for me personally are Connectivism, Multiple Intelligences, and the ARCS model within motivation in learning. While these weren’t necessarily surprising they are all areas in which I was able to further my knowledge of how people learn.
I was also able to better understand my personal learning process in the study of Multiple Intelligences. I had previously heard about the big three ways in which people learn; auditory, visual, or kinesthetic. In understanding Multiple Intelligences I have come to understand to look at how I am better able to learn in a given situation; for example, in some cases I learn better using nemonic devices or by song, where in other cases I learn better by getting hands on experience (Gardner, 2003). One instance specifically involves the difference between printed words (text) vs. spoken narration. Some learners who are poor readers may do better with the spoken narration where other learners are more comfortable without having a narration of the written text (Lane, n.d.). At my company we often employ a narration in addition to written text where important concepts are being covered within our web based training courses. One thing that is included is the ability to proceed within each section if the narrator hasn’t finished speaking, which helps me personally as I read faster and if the concept has already found its connection but I am required to continue listening to the narration I can become disengaged.
There wasn’t anything new for me in the relationship between learning theory, learning style, educational technology, motivation as I already had a foundation in how these interrelate but I was able to get a deeper understanding of these. In the case of motivation, the addition of the ARCS model in distance and computer based learning is something new for me. I will be able to use this model as a tool to better tie motivation into these other components when designing online or distance learning (Keller, 1999).
In conclusion I believe this course will help me further my career in the instructional design field because I am able to have a deeper understanding of my own learning styles and therefore I am more aware of how to incorporate other learning styles into courses I will develop in the future.
Gardner, H. (2003). Multiple Intelligences After Twenty Years. Retrieved from ocw.metu.edu.tr/pluginfile.pho/9274/mod_resource/content/1/Gardner_multiple_intelligent.pdf
Keller, J. M. (1999). Using the ARCS motivational process in computer-based instruction and distance education. New Directions for Teaching and Learning(78).
Lane, C. (n.d.). Multiple Intelligences. The Distance Learning Technology Resource Guide. Retrieved from http://www.tecweb.org/styles/gardner.html
This week I was instructed to read a discussion post I made in the first week of this class where I identified what learning theories best describe how I learn and now post on what I now believe after studying further on this topic.
First I will say that of the learning theories I still identify with Constructivist theory as I had in week one. I personally feel I have learned something when I can tie it back to situational or experiential examples. That has not changed. I may have some confusion here because there are differences between learning style and learning theory. The theory is the process in which learning takes place where my learning style is how I best learn.
Since the learning style is situational based on many factors there isn’t one style that suites me better although I can say that reading would be my least successful learning style. I am a natural extrovert so I enjoy working with others in group settings and learning from one another (Kim, 2001). Despite being an extrovert I also like my personal space so I can go off and work alone and sometimes I prefer that although I may then seek out others opinions to ground my assertions.
I like using technology to search for information but also as something new to learn. In addition, being in the instructional design field I enjoy learning about technology and the ways it can be used to enhance the learning experience for others (Davis, Edmunds, & Kelly-Bateman, 2008). This is where Connectivist theory comes into play for me possibly equal to Constructivist theory.
David, C., Edmunds, E., & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008). Connectivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://epltt.coe.uga.edu/
Kim, B. (2001). Social Constructivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://epltt.coe.uga.edu/
A series of questions was posed to me this week along with an assignment to create my learning network via a mind map. The mind map I created was posted earlier in the week. In this post I attempt to answer the questions.
How has my network changed?
As I have matured educationally I have learned to take advantage of everyone and everything around me as part of my learning network. Because of a personal evolution in my own way of thinking some years back I have become more aware of listening to what people have to say, and what things in my environment might be indicating. I recall a previous manager who was very nice but not very present. He was not a good role model and I would not have considered him a learning tool. Then one day when I became a manager I was thinking of what type of manager I was going to be and I realized that I could learn from him, to ensure I kept his niceness but make sure I was present for my own teams needs. I was able to reach out to him to ask what he did as he took over a new team at a new site as well. I then weighed what he said against my experiences with him and was able to learn new insights from him as well as how not to develop a few of those old bad habits.
Which digital tools best facilitate learning for me?
I have come to love technology. I didn’t get my first email address until I was 27 and even then we didn’t have a computer at home so I used the email infrequently. Once I started at a new job where I was working on computers I really began to understand things like Microsoft’s office suite, email, and instant messaging. It was another couple of years before I got a cell phone and at that time there was no texting options just make a call and get voice mail for calls I missed.
I now own an older HP laptop that I use primarily for some editing software I have on it, a macbook, an iPad, and an iPhone – all of which I use for email, online activity, some game play, reading (Kindle app), making online purchases and social media. I also use a computer at work, and for my studies as well.
Although I am on Facebook and starting to get more into Twitter I do not yet use Pinterest, Instagram, Reddit or whichever new social media apps are gaining popularity. The half-life of these social media networking tools influence how much time I can invest in learning their usage before they become less relevant although I know that as some remain popular over a few years that they are worth what little of my time they may take to learn (Davis, Edmunds, Kelly, 2008).
I find that each of these hardware and software tools as well as my digital camera, and video camera have all played a role in facilitating learning for me.
How do I gain new knowledge when I have a question?
Another thing I learned from my work experiences has been that the bigger my network the better for me. I have had great success in finding someone or something within my network that can help me gain new knowledge.
Recently I was asked to take on a project at work. It supports an area I have not worked with much previously. The first thing I did to gain the knowledge I want to get is to check with a colleague who has worked closely with that area. I also asked my questions of someone in that area. In addition I pulled up online records from several different sources to get some background.
When the question is related to technology I consult technology sites like lynda.com or I see if there is a video on YouTube that can provide me the information I need.
When the question is related to a site like Pinterest or Instagram I ask my niece and nephew as they are both recent high school graduates and they use these technologies frequently.
The larger and more diverse my network is the more likely I will be to find the answers I need and expand my knowledge (Davis, et. al., 2008).
In what ways does my personal learning network support or refute the central tenets of connectivism?
“The starting point of connectivism is the individual. Personal knowledge is comprised of a network, which feeds into organizations and institutions, which in turn feed back into the network, and then continue to provide learning to individual. This cycle of knowledge development (personal to network to organization) allows learners to remain current in their field through the connections they have formed” (Seimens, 2005).
My personal learning style fits well to support this concept that Seimens describes. I learn best by putting what I am learning into practice or at least relating it to every day life situations, and by interacting with others. I have been able to leverage the networks I developed for different work and different experiences in order to learn something completely different in many instances and I can then in turn influence back to my network and to my organization (Seimens, 2005).
Davis, C., Edmunds, E., & Kelly-Batman, V. (2008). Connectivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.pho?title=Connectivism
Seimens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Retrieved from http://www.itdl.org/journal/jan_05/article01.htm
The field of neuroscience has always fascinated me. At one time I considered a career studying the brain but many factors directed me into the field of education. Its been a great joy that there is such a rich correlation of neuroscience research to how we learn and how we can apply that in the instructional design and teaching/training fields.
This week in my studies I can across two websites that caught particular interest with me. The first one had valuable insights into problem solving and how learners can participate in their own learning by actively taking responsibility for solving problems (“Problem Solving”, n.d.).
One concept this article considers is that a learner can participate in identifying barriers within the problem solving setting (“Problem Solving”, n.d.). I recently attended an efficacy training session where during the topic of setting and attaining goals we had an activity to identify barriers and how to achieving these goals and how to prevent or mitigate them and this article immediately came to mind because when I was taking the time to consider barriers to my goals and plan how to address these barriers my goals came into clearer focus and also, the belief that I could achieve them was realistic.
Another concept from the article is for learners to participate in trying solutions (“Problem Solving”, n.d.). This immediately brought to mind the spaghetti tower activity that is often conducted in high performing teams and other HRD type sessions. For those readers who haven’t participated in the spaghetti tower activity I won’t give away the solution but for those who are familiar there is direct correlation to the most successful teams having participants actively trying their solutions.
A second article that intrigued me this week was around brain maturation studies. Citing that brain maturation rates differ for each learner Semrud-Clikeman indicates that just because students are the same age does not mean they are equally prepared to learn a specific skill or topic.
Some studies have indicated that maturation of the frontal lobes can be reached anywhere from as early as ages 18 or 19 or as late as age 25 which could be considered a factor in a learners readiness for college being delayed compared to peers (Semrud-Clikeman, n.d.). I just attended my cousin’s graduation from college. She actually indicated that she now knows that she was not ready to seriously attend college until her mid twenties in a thank you speech she gave at her party. She is currently in her late twenties and got her degree in psychology.
Another study of recent note indicates that brain growth spurts are relatively in line with Piaget’s stages of development indicating that further study is needed to investigate interventions (Semrud-Clikeman, n.d.).
I am looking forward to see where further study in this area goes and what types of interventions we will be able to come up from this information. In my early career I worked with special education students ranging across the autism spectrum, to those with various learning disabilities, and those suffering from ADHD. I would love to see new ideas around how we can develop learning programs to fit the needs of these students based on new studies around neuroscience and information processing.
Problem Solving. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.teachervision.com/problem-solving/teaching-methods/48451.html
Semrud-Clikeman, M. (n.d.). Research in Brain Function and Learning. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/education/k12/brain-function.aspx
As I mentioned in my earlier post I have several other blogs set up primarily in the course of my studies in Instructional Design and Technology. A couple I have followed for longer than this week but one I added in over the course of this week, in studying blog usage for this assignment. Blogs and wikis help us as learners as we grow in use of new technology, to learn from our peers and grow our personal networks (Ferriter, 2009).
I have followed Ptotem Talk for a few weeks. The site is full of great ideas and recommendations on e-learning design ideas. My primary reason for following this blog was when my manager advised me that there may be a project coming up at work. This project would look to have me as the designer for an e-learning course for one of our sites, that would also be open to other sites if they chose to use it. It would also be tied to a regulatory audit response. The last part makes this project one of high importance. Typically my company hires vendors for this and it would be my first professional attempt to design an e-learning course outside of my studies.
I also follow Online Learning Insights. This site has lots of information on use of online learning and the benefits. In an age where many companies are looking to cut costs and where many in training leadership are from a generation used to traditional instruction methods, having great discussion and sharing of insights and studies around how online learning can provide benefits has been a great means to drive engagement from these leaders and show how an investment up front can provide a better return on investment in the long run.
I recently started following Jamaican Teacher. This site provides continuous education for teachers and ID professionals with various new ideas being shared, including learning technology. This allows the learning community to come together and share ideas and resources. Encouraging continues development of the learning professional community helps to strengthen teaching and ID as we begin to embrace technology and use these new tools to the best advantage with the support of our peers (Ferriter, 2009).
Each of these blogs, and many more, will be valuable not only throughout this course but as I continue my career in the Instructional Design field. They will provide me a continuous link to my peers and new ideas, also allowing me to contribute new ideas of my own by expanding on ideas being shared as well (Ferriter, 2009).
Ferriter, B. (2009). Learning with Blogs and Wikis. Educational Leadership, 66(5), 34-38
Jamaican Teacher wordpress.com/read/blog/id/91005909
Online Learning Insights wordpress.com/read/blog/id/26465972
Ptotem Talk wordpress.com/read/blog/id/61043876
This site is being established for use during my studies in Learning Theories Instruction as we explore how blogs fit as not only as instructional tools but more importantly as a means to collaborate with other instructional designers.
While blogging isn’t new to me, including use of blogs as an instructional tool, we will be exploring various instructional blogs for the next 7-8 weeks of this course. I am looking forward to the continued learning and getting myself even more comfortable with the use of blogs. I have added several blogs I follow already and also a new blog I would like to follow.
I will discuss these in another post.