Week 8 Blog Post

Janice Hylinski
Learning Theories and Instruction
EDC 6115-1

• What did you find surprising or striking as you furthered your knowledge about how people learn?

o As this course is ending I am reflecting on all the different theories on learning we have discussed. Coming into this class my knowledge of learning styles was limited to learning styles of Visual learners, Auditory Learners and Kinesthetic Learners.
o I have come to understand that learning is much more multifaceted than that. I do believe we all have different ways we learn. But I do not feel that we have just one learning style. I believe as Kapp states in this quote
 “The issue many forget is that “learning” is not one thing…it is a multi-layered word that tends to get treated as if it were just one thing…and it’s not. It is multi-facetted and that is why developing new models for “learning” is so difficult…there are too many levels for one school of thought or one model to do it all”. (Kapp, 2007)
o I believe it is important to study the different learning styles and theories and to keep them in mind but I also believe that instruction should be content driven.
 “Instead, teachers should worry about matching their instruction to the content they are teaching. Some concepts are best taught through hands-on work, some are best taught through lectures, and some are best taught through group discussions.” (Glenn, 2009)
• How has this course deepened your understanding of your personal learning process?

o I think this class really has deepened my understanding of how people learn. I especially relate to the Adult Learning portion of the class. I am a firm believer in lifelong learning and I think as I have aged my thirst for knowledge has just increased.

o I think that today’s adult learner has many responsibilities. Unlike our earlier education we choose to pursue learning as an adult and we need to be self-motivated. But I also think adult learners face a lot of challenges. Technology continues to grow there is so much information is out there and so many different ways which information can be accessed.
• What have you learned regarding the connection between learning theories, learning styles, educational technology, and motivation?
Learning Styles -visual learners, auditory learners, and kinesthetic learners
Learning Theories about human learning can be grouped into four broad “perspectives”. These are
1. Behaviorism – focus on observable behavior
2. Cognitive – learning as purely a mental/ neurological process
3. Humanistic – emotions play a role in learning
4. Social – humans learn best in group activities
Education Technology – computer-based learning
Motivation – the internal thing that moves us to action, keeps us engaged in learning.
I believe all of these are connected. I believe we all have learned using different theories and employing different styles. Technology has become an important component of the way we learn. Keeping ourselves and our students motivated is a struggle. But understanding how people learn and studying the ARC Model will help learners and instructors to better understand practices that can be employed to assist.
• How will your learning in this course help you as you further your career in the field of instructional design?

o I think one of the most things to remember is to keep your students motivated. I would use the ARCS Model of motivation that we learned in Chapter 7 of our textbook

To boost motivation of online learners using the ARCS model:

(A) Attention – Use many different forums to present information, employ real life examples to catch student’s attention.

(R)Relevance – By using language and examples that the student can relate to or things that are currently part of the current climate.

(C) Confidence – Set the class up like scaffold using small lessons that build upon each other, let the class know what the expectations are, provide feedback and encouragement.

(S) Satisfaction – Encourage learning to apply the knowledge they are gaining, and praise them on tasks they complete.
I would also incorporate using library databases as a foundation to any online classes I would design.
Glenn, D. (2009). Matching Teaching Style to Learning Style May Not Help Students. The Chronicle of High Education, 1 – 6.

Kapp, K. (2007, January 2). Out and About: Discussion on Educational Schools of Thought. [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://karlkapp.com/out-and-about-discussion-on-educational/

Week 7 Blog Post Assignment – Fitting the Pieces Together

Blog Assignment: Fitting the Pieces Together
Week 7
In week one of our class we reflected on how we learn based on the learning theories.
I wrote the following on how I felt I learned according to the theories.
Behaviorist – I believe that it is important to master each step as I go about learning something new. I also think environmental issues are important and I learn best by repetition. I try to find a quiet place and I use index cards and I go over them repeatedly until I have memorized every card.
Cognitivism – I think I use this method by being well organized and structured. I also think I learn well by being hands-on and actively participating in the classroom with other students and the instructor. I also think it is important to build on prior knowledge. I am a huge believer in lifelong learning and have embraced formal education throughout my life.
Constructivism – I think I use this method by taking what I have learned in the past and meshing it with things I am currently learning about. I think life experience and our past is an important factor in how we learn.
• Now that you have a deeper understanding of the different learning theories and learning styles, how has your view on how you learn changed?
o I still believe in the Cognitism comments I made about being well organized as I have learned that in the Cognitive theory student by organizing information and have to have the right attitude and motivation.
o Reflecting on my Behaviorist comments I do not think I learn by reward and punishment. I think that small children may learn basic lessons this way but I do not believe that is accurate for an adult learner.
o Reflecting on the Constructivism comment I believe prior knowledge and experiences do play a role.

• What have you learned about the various learning theories and learning styles over the past weeks that can further explain your own personal learning preferences?
I think that we all possess different parts of all the learning styles. From taking an active role as in Cognitive Theory, to learning in a social setting like Social Learning Theory, to building on prior experience as in Constructivist Theory and sharing knowledge with others in Connectivism Theory.
• What role does technology play in your learning (i.e., as a way to search for information, to record information, to create, etc.)?
Technology is a huge part in my learning. I begin searching for a subject through a Google Search to read easily written materials.
I then take my research to the next level and do searches via the library website. Library Databases have been such a part of my academic career. Using technology to search for information and a PC with MS Word to organize my thought are an invaluable resource.

 

Week 5 Class Post
Reflection on how your connections facilitate learning. How has your network changed the way you learn?
I believe that I would not have been successful in my education without the resources offered by the library. Being able to access resources via the internet through library databases is invaluable.
Also, with the availability of technology and the internet makes learning for an adult much more convenient.
• Which digital tools best facilitate learning for you?
Databases offered through the Library Portal
• How do you gain new knowledge when you have questions?
If I have questions I start out with just doing a Google Search because answers found this way may be written in layman terms and easier to understand. I then take the information I have read and got to the library website and search databases in order to confirm the information that I have accessed and determine if it reliable.
• In what ways does your personal learning network support or refute the central tenets of connectivism?
“Connectivism is driven by the understanding that decisions are based on rapidly altering foundations. New information is continually being acquired and the ability to draw distinctions between important and unimportant information is vital. (Siemens, 2005, para. 24).
I think this quote is a great way to look at connectivism today with the internet and how information comes at us at break neck speed. I think it is more important than ever in an educational setting that the information you are accessing if from a reliable source. Library databases get information from professional or experts and facts are checked. I may read newspapers and magazines articles on the internet. But when it comes to college papers I relay on libraries.