Sunday, February 26, 2012

Reflections on Course

     What I found surprising about this course was that there were so many theories regarding learning. I was familiar with Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Skinner but the others not so much. The Timeline of Learning that we utilized as a resource every week was extremely helpful. Each person that we studied had his own theory on how to achieve effecting learning but they all had one goal---- improving the learning process.

      How has this course deepened my understanding of my own learning process? At the beginning of this course I felt that I was more of a cognitive learner. In the cognitivist’s view learning occurs internally and through the social interactions with others (Kapp, 2006). I still feel I am more of a cognitive learner but I also have traits of the other learning theories.

     As an adult learner attending an online university, I have realized that the way I used to study when I was younger no longer works for me.  I have too many other obligations in my life that I have to attend to, so I have to manage learning now in a different way. Thoms (2002) gives several suggestions when working with adult learners, which I can apply to myself as a student such as: organizing my material into smaller chunks so that it will be easier for me to understand, get plenty of documentation regarding the learning material, and if I don’t understand the material I’ll ask the instructor to explain it thoroughly.

     As stated in the first paragraph all of the theorists had one goal in mind- improving the learning process. Learning styles help us develop our individual learning skills. Educational technology allows us to research, organize, and share our knowledge with other students in our course or the world. The motivation of the student is the glue that holds everything together.

      Motivation is described as an internal state that arouses us to action, pushes us in particular directions, and keeps us engaged in certain activities (Ormrod, Schunk, and Gredler, 2009).  We all have to be motivated either intrinsically or extrinsically to achieve the goal of learning. When taking an online course a person has to stay motivated, if not, he or she will lose interest.

     This course has helped me realize that everyone learns in a different way. This knowledge will help me in my career as a designer by enabling me to produce learning material that doesn’t have a “cookie cutter” feel to it. As noted by (Morrison, Ross, Kalman, & Kemp, 2011) the goal of instructional design is to make learning more efficient, effective, and less difficult. Those are also the goals I hope to achieve in my career as an instructional designer.   


Kapp, K. (2006, December 28). Definition: Cognitivism [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Morrison, G. R., Ross, S. M., Kalman, H. K., & Kemp, J. E. (2011). Designing effective instruction (6th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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

Thoms, K. J. (2002). They’re Not Just Big Kids: Motivating Adult Learners. Retrieved from

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fitting the Pieces Together

     When I first started this course I felt that I was more of a cognitive learner. I like my tools for learning to be arranged in an orderly manner. I like to know what the objectives are and achieve them in a structured manner. James Hartley (1998) defined some key principles of learning associated with cognitive psychology:
• Instruction should be well-organized.
• Instruction should be clearly structured.
• The perceptual features of the task are important.
• Prior knowledge is important
• Differences between individuals are important as they will affect learning.
• Cognitive feedback gives information to learners about their success or failure concerning the task at hand.
      I also felt that some of my learning style was aligned with the humanistic approach. I am a huge proponent of learning. I feel that you are never too old to learn and that with knowledge you can achieve any goal that you set and be any be anything in this life that you want to be.  Now after almost finishing the course I see that I cannot pin myself down to just one learning style.  I think I can gather knowledge by using some form of the seven theories in my learning endeavors.
      Technology plays a major role in my learning and my life. Compared to life a “brick and mortar” classroom online learning has been a godsend. It gives me time to do other things such as spending time with my family and having “me” time.  I take online courses with Walden University which entails weekly discussions and applications. I interact with the other students and if needed I can always email the professor.  I use the web to do research for various topics needed for courses. I can store any information needed for a paper in the “cloud” so that it can’t mysteriously disappear. I can interact with my fellow classmates or instructor thru email and Skype if needed.


Hartley, J. (1998). Learning and Studying. A research perspective, London: Routledge. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012


     For this week’s blog assignment we were to post a mind map (above) and write a reflection on how our connections facilitate learning. As a student my networks are my school’s website, which includes the various resources provided by Walden University, and of course my other classmates. My educational network has changed the way I learn by making me more proactive in the learning process. I know that I have to get online, research what is needed and process the information. There are various ways that I use the internet in my learning: Web 2.0, Web 3.0, blogs, social networking sites, Wikis and so on.
     I enjoy reading the blogs by instructional designers and other educators. It gives me a look into their world and how they developed their techniques as designers. How they train and any tips they give can only help me in my career as an instructional designer. Videos are also great because they give me the visuals I need to put with what I have been reading.
     When I have questions during the learning process I can always use the Walden library, search the internet, ask other classmates, or the instructor of the course. Communicating with other classmates and the instructor can be done thru email or Skype. There are so many ways with today’s technology that we can connect with other people to collaborate and share ideas.
     This week we studied the learning theory of connectivism, which is based on the integration of technology, social networks and information (Siemens, 2012). George Siemens (2004) states that the principles of connectivism are:
·         Learning and knowledge rest in diversity of opinions.
·         Learning is a process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources.
·         Learning may reside in non-human appliances.
·         Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known.
·         Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning.
·         Ability to see connections between fields, ideas, and concepts is a core skill.
·         Currency (accurate, up-to-date knowledge) is the intent of all connectivist learning activities.
     I believe that my personal learning network supports the principles of connectivism. I agree with the concept that learning can be connected to different information sources. Information is always changing. New ways to distribute information through technology is always being developed. Getting knowledge should be gathered from any resource available.

Siemens, G. (2012). (Producer).  Connectivism [Video webcast]. Laureate Education, Inc. Retrieved from
Siemens, G. (2004, December). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. Retrieved February 5, 2012 from