Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Monday, October 21, 2019

Learning Queries? Learning Theories.

Evaluating different learning theories can challenge instructional to question how learners obtain, store, and use new information.  Also, understanding different learning theories can provide instructional designers with invaluable insight into their own learning styles and preferences. As an instructional designer it is important to be aware of your own learning bias to ensure that the designed content can be effective for all types of learners. Before researching various learning theories, I believed that myself to be predominately constructivist with some cognitive tendencies that stemmed from my secondary education.  Connectivists believe that learners construct their own meaning out of their experiences and reflections. Through my experience as an educator and as a learner, I still consider this orage oito be the most accurate view of how learning occurs. However, after further research into learning theories I would say that while I have more experience with cognitive learning strategies, they do not provide me with the same level of understanding as connectivist, and, androgenous learning strategies. The connections and social aspect of learning lends itself to using information on a higher cognitive level. Furthermore, using new information and connecting it to previous experiences allows for a greater chance of retention.

Advances in technology have allowed for more extensive collaboration and access to information. Tools such as blogs, wikis, and online journals allow for information to be stored and expanded upon. E-mail, online discussion boards, and Massive Open Online Courses connect learners interested in a topic with people more knowledgeable individuals. Simulations like virtual reality allow for learners to experiment with the environment and learn independently through new experiences. I personally rely heavily on technology while learning. While looking for new information I usually search google for a reliable source, or look at a reliable database for the information.  To record information, I typically use a google doc. When creating instruction, I use a wide range of programs that allow students to independently explore information. Technology has transformed the way we learn by providing us with tools and resources to make learning more efficient and collaborative.

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.