Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Connecting the Dots

In a world that is inundated with information, it is important to have a learning network in place that allows you to find relevant, reliable resources more efficiently. Networks are unique to each person and evolve as skills, social needs, and professional demands change. I am currently a stay-at-home mom who is pursuing a graduate degree, so my personal learning networks are more prevalent than my professional networks. Taking online classes such as this course has expanded my professional network which has changed the way I learn by giving me access to more in depth knowledge and interaction with others within my field of interest. The tools that best facilitate learning for me are the ones that I visit regularly such as social media, Google, and Youtube. These sites are sites that I am on regularly throughout the day, and they provide new content that I am interested in without me having to actively seek out new content as I would with my professional network. This ease of interaction seems to help facilitate learning by pushing me to learn even when that is not my immediate goal. When I have a question and wish to gain new knowledge, I usually start with a Google search, and look at the top responses. If I am not satisfied with the resources presented, I move to more specific sources, such as Walden resources for school, VIPkid resources for work, social media if it is something local that I believe friends will have information about. My personal learning network supports the central tenets of connectivism by using diverse sources of information to learn about new concepts. I prioritize the sources that are the most interconnected information sources with the greatest capacity to learn, and these sources help me build connections between previous understanding and new information.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

No Brains, No Gains

 Evaluating patterns within each stage of information processing can help instructional designers identify and address challenges in various learning populations. Understanding how the human brain encodes, stores, and retrieves information, allows instructional designers to incorporate the most effective research-based learning strategies into their instruction in order to overcome challenges in the learning process.  The following resources provide information on what is going on in the brain during the learning process and how this information can be translated to designing instruction.

This website is a fantastic resource for instructional designers who want to learn more about how the brain works while learning effective learning strategies to address specific challenges in their learners. The focus of the website is to provide information regarding recent discoveries in neuroscience and ideas on how they can be applied to the classroom. The website presents material using concise articles, videos and beautifully designed info-graphics and other visuals that are engaging and easy to understand even if you do not have a background in neuroscience. This website is great for discovering what is new in the world of neuroscience and ways to incorporate it into instruction.

In her blog, Cris Turple explains cognitive processing theory and shows how she applies the theory to design engaging, brain-based instruction for online and blended learners. Turple’s blog encourages critical thinking in the classroom and evaluates different teaching strategies like flipped classrooms, inquiry-based learning, gamification, and collaboration. This is a great blog to look at when you want to see brain-based learning in action, or if you want to see how brain-based learning can be used in a digital classroom.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Problem with your Instructional Design? There’s a Blog for That!

Instructional designers are faced with the challenge of designing engaging and versatile learning material. With the increasing trend of online learning, instructional designers must adapt to the challenges while taking advantage of the opportunities that distance learning creates. Blogs can provide instructional designers with a variety of resources and experiences to pull inspiration from when designing instruction. The following blogs share information on instructional design and provide a wide range of personal experiences from professionals in the instructional design field. These three blogs are a great resource for instructional designers who are looking to create innovative and engaging material that meets the needs of all learners.

In her blog, Dr. Rogers, pulls from her experience as an educator and an instructional designer to provide knowledge, resources, tips and tricks on designing learning material that is meaningful and inclusive for all types of learners. Dr. Rogers uses a multi-theoretical approach to instructional design and demonstrates her alternative design model in her blog posts. Her model focuses of building an online community, making personal connections with content, and assimilating information in real world situations. Her blog is easy to navigate and covers a large range of topics including student engagement, long-distance collaborative learning, and facilitating inquiry-based learning. She does a great job utilizing information from a wide range of credible resources which promotes research in her field. This blog is a great resource when you are designing instruction to address specific problems to instructional design issues.  

The Zen of Learning blog by Shafali R. Anand encourages creativity in the instructional design process. The author also publishes an e-zine where she promotes whole-brain instructional design. Her blog reads more like a personal narration of her experiences and contains a unique perspective on designing learning. The blog provides great advice on how to identify and engage different learners, design engaging instruction, and have fun with instructional design. As a bonus, the blog is often satirical and encourages the use of humor in instructional design. This blog is a fantastic resource when you need creative inspiration with a side of laughter. 

With two editors and 6 contributors, the Model eLearning blog uses collaboration to provide innovative instructional design for online and blended learners. The blog focuses on student-led learning and provides great resources on how to facilitate an online student-led learning environment. The blog provides posts on how to choose effective resources, how to engage learners, and how to design instruction that promotes the online learning community. This blog is great for learning more about instructional design for online learners designing instruction that promotes collaboration of distance learners.