|(photo by Jon Fravel see credit below)|
My course in Learning Theories and Instruction is drawing to a close, and I have been asked to reflect upon what I have learned, and how I will apply what I have learned in the future.
What did you find surprising or striking as you furthered your knowledge about how people learn?
I was surprised to realize that some of my ideas about learning and intelligence assumed too much about similarities between computers and the human mind.
I was forced to reevaluate my thoughts about motivation; motivating learners involves more than just communicating goals and objectives. Goals and objectives don’t necessarily appeal to a learner’s individual interests and passions.
I learned about functional MRI technology. Today scans can show specific brain activity as a person responds to specific stimuli. (Ormrod, 2009) I have since read a number of articles about discoveries made by FMRI and implications of those discoveries that are forcing me to change some of my views about learning and the human brain.
How has this course deepened your understanding of your personal learning process?
I realize I don’t have some of the limitations I thought I had. I can take control of my own learning, taking advantage of my own strengths and the educational resources available to me, such as discussing what I am learning with others through social networking and blogs. I realize that only imagination limits what can be learned at any age. I had never realized the extent to which culture and social interaction are essential to the way we learn, nor had I thought about its importance as a teaching tool. Now I will find ways to incorporate interaction with others as an essential part of any future training. Previously I realized that it is more important to learn HOW to learn than it is to learn facts and methods, but I had not considered that it is even more important to learn HOW to stay current. Now I will emphasize the skill of keeping current.
What have you learned regarding the connection between learning theories, learning styles, educational technology, and motivation?
I learned the value of elaboration when introducing new concepts, and of using multiple methods that will connect with people with multiple learning styles. I learned that student “learning styles” may change from lesson to lesson and not just from person to person, and that the best way to “cater” to various learning styles is to empower learners to adapt instruction to their own style, since it is impossible to cater to all styles and still have a coherent presentation. (Gilbert & Swanier, 2008) I learned the importance of motivation--helping learners to make the choice to learn. I learned students need to be held accountable not only for what they learn, but for how they learn. Students must take ownership of their own learning. I learned that people learn best when their learning is linked to their culture and community. I learned that pictures are an important way to reinforce learning.
How will your learning in this course help you as you further your career in the field of instructional design?
As a result of this course, I will review the acronym ARCS to ensure my product demands attention by “selling” the benefit of learning with sharp graphics and background sounds and music. I will create learning activities that enable learners to adapt the course to their own learning styles so it is relevant to their individual interests. I will provide direction and links to previous learning so the student is confident of what they are doing. I will provide feedback so students experience the satisfaction of a job well done. (Keller)
I will use multiple activities with each learning objective so learners can pursue their own interests to elaborate on what they have learned, reinforcing their own learning in a way that is compatible with their individual learning styles.
I will focus on finding ways to “partner” with learners rather than controlling learners, so learners have ownership of their own learning. I will encourage learners to link their learning to their own cultures and communities.
Ormrod, J. (2009). Information processing and the brain [Video file]. doi:mym.odn.lauterate-media.com/WAL_EDUC6115_02A_A_EN-CC.zip
Chicago set 2007. (2007). Millenium Park and City Scape [Photograph]. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/deed.en: Photographer Fravel, J. Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/jfravel/1318106522/in/set-72157601915998585/
Gilbert, J. E., & Swanier, C. A. (2008). Learning styles: How do they fluctuate? Institute for Learning Styles Journal, 1. Retrieved from http://www.auburn.edu/~witteje/ilsrj/Journal%20Volumes/Fall%202008%20Volume%201%20PDFs/Learning%20Styles%20How%20do%20They%20Fluctuate.pdf
Keller, J. M. (1999). Using the ARCS motivational process in omputer-based instruction and distance education. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, (78), 39-47. Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/ehost/detail?vid=1&hid=2&sid=306520cc-7ccc-49a1-9d8b-d6905452a5a8%40sessionmgr14&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#db=a9h&AN=9178914