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Posted on Dec 25, 2011 in Academic Assignments, Blog, Learning Theories | 0 comments

Reflection – Learning Theories and Instructions

Reflection – Learning Theories and Instructions

My background being in the educational psychology field, I had of course come across theses theories before, but to see them in an instructional design context was quite an experience, to see how similar they seem, and yet each one of the theories have their own uniqueness in the actual processing, creating, retrieving and constructing new knowledge. To understand your audience and the diversity of learning dimensions of the learners will allow you to create a better course when using the ARCS model, for example. I found the information about multiple intelligences really interesting when applied in this model of motivation. To understand these learning tendencies is very useful when teaching in general. If I have a mixed group of learners I can apply different stimuli to motivate different comprehensive areas of my learner. Integrating audio and visuals in the design can enhance various learning styles.

What I found most striking was the fact how connected everything is. The learning theories give a solid foundation on a theoretical level and developments in the motivational research area, the ARCS Model can actually make it “work” in an educational concept. Personal attributes, like age and gender as well as other external and environmental concerns such as socioeconomic status, relationship with the educational institution, educational background, societal or cultural factors all influence the learner can be taken into consideration when using motivational strategies to create motivational tactics.

Educators can manage learning environments to stimulate and sustain motivation, even though they cannot control it. Ultimately, each human being is responsible for his or her motivational condition, but it is abundantly clear that the environment can have a strong impact on both the direction and intensity of a person’s motivation. (John Keller, 1999)

The integration of technology in the classroom is a fantastic way of complementing learning. The knowledge of cognitive information processing can encourage an instructional designer to use technology to create and design course materials. We know from neuroscience, which parts of the brain respond to which stimuli. What I found most striking looking at the development of technology, is that today’s learning in the western world is still not utilizing a lot of these new technologies. Education in a technology gaming context is perhaps the answer to overcome some of the attention deficits the modern learner has. Unfortunately the internet is overloaded, but semantic software is offering an alternative solution to this by structuring search attributes and putting them into a semantic context.

In a world where technology is not as advanced, the learning theories show a wide variety of approaching any learning and cannot make use of Connectivism, hence the social learning theory is a similar approach. Connectivism mainly has an impact on the time involved when sharing information thus creating, processing and constructing new knowledge.

Gaining a deeper understanding of what each learning theory stands for actually made me consciously observe my own learning. It was most interesting to literally feel how information was being processed and combined with my prior knowledge. The forming of new connections and relevance to other topics made me realize how interconnected everything is. Learning is complex, and each theory offers a solution depending on how a problem is defined. The dimension of relevance is also found in the adult learning theory and constructivism, is however also a cognitive process. A motivational theory does don’t really serve as a standalone, as many factors to implement motivational tactics, lie in the behaviorism.

Connectivism needs technology. Connectivism serves me as a life style or a learning strategy, rather than a learning theory in its pedagogical context. The outcome is nevertheless the same; it enables the exchange and construction of information and thus creates new knowledge.

As ancient human beings, we want to connect, share ideas, maintain relationships, understand the world around us, and sustain ourselves physically and emotionally regardless of—and sometimes despite—technological advancement. (Michael Dertouzos, 2001)

The connection between learning theories, learning styles, educational technology, and motivation

When looking at these theories as a whole, you cannot miss the connection. Behaviorism offers the consideration of stimuli and Cognitivsm assumes the transfer of knowledge via information processing through research in neuroscience. The Social Learning Theory sets this into a social context that exchanging information creates knowledge. Constructivism offers the modeling of all factors into new knowledge and Connectivism connects these dynamics as one needs them (Ormrod, 2009).

It would be simple to look at them one by one but education is very complex. The 21st Century Learner Experience can be enhanced by using them together, in collaboration to extend and create new learning. Semantic software can make the learning an interactive experience. Technology can have a positive impact on the learning offering multimedia content or simulation applications to enhance learning. Connectivism, in the environment of technology enables the theories to connect and complement learning. The learning is distributed within the network, social, technology enhanced, recognizing and interpreting (encoding) patterns. This synergy makes it a successful strategy in enhancing and complementing any learning.

This cycle of knowledge development (personal to network to organization) allows learners to remain current in their field through the connections they have formed. (George Siemens, 2005)

The interactive timeline of learning theories and historical figures from our learning resources in this course presents various perspectives on learning throughout history. This was a refreshing way of using my existing knowledge, obtaining new information and putting this into an educational context.

The most important thing that I will take with me is the fact that the learning theories offers structured and practical foundational explanation to create and design a course. The ACRS model as a solution can assist in tackling the motivation deficits involved. Multiple intelligences recognized in your audience can influence your instructional design as well as incorporating this into the ARCS model.

The semantic web approach will certainly have an impact in my concepts regarding the instructional design. I had never really thought about Blogging, Social Networking as a valuable resource to the education field. The different approaches of the learning theories have given me a broader perspective and will certainly make me develop an instructional concept under a multidimensional view and hopefully being able to integrate these new developments in technology. Welcome to the world of “Apps”!

The context of learning will move beyond replicating what is already known in order to create entirely new forms of interaction, expression, and activity, along with the metaphors needed to make them comprehensible. (Horizon Report, 2011)

References:

Johnson, L., Smith, R., Willis, H., Levine, A., and Haywood, K., (2011). The 2011 Horizon Report. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium, Retrieved 2011, from: http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/HR2011.pdf

Keller, J. M. (1999), Using the ARCS Motivational Process in Computer-Based Instruction and Distance Education. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 1999: 37–47. doi: 10.1002/tl.7804

Ohler, J. (2008). The Semantic Web in Education. Educause Quarterly, (4), 7-9. Retrieved 2008, from http://www.educause.edu/EDUCAUSE+Quarterly/ EDUCAUSEQuarterlyMagazineVolum/TheSemanticWebinEducation/163437

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

Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. International Journal of Instructional Technology & Distance Learning, Retrieved 2008, from: http://www.itdl.org/Journal/Jan_05/article01.htm

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