Reflection

April 25, 2010 tinkisamy

As I reflect on what I have learned in my course, Learning Theories and Instruction, I will provide answers to four key questions.

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

     I was surprised to learn about how intertwined many of the theories actually are. I learned about learning theories and styles many years ago, but have not seen them side by side like I have in this course. The timeline media that was provided in our resources briefly gave the theory and background involved with the theory and theorist. This refreshed my memory on what I previously learned, and gave me a synopsis of what I was going to be developing in regard to learning theories and learning ideas.

     I learned more about constructivism and connectivism. I learned connectivism is defined as, “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” (Davis, Edmunds, & Kelly-Bateman, 2008).  With this in mind, I thought about different ways to approach learning for adult learners. The theory involved with adult learning and the term “Andragogy”, by Knowles was new for me. It is essential to know about the learners and some of their background. Adult learners are in control of their learning, and as a future instructional designer I must be aware of how we learn.

How has this course deepened your understanding of your personal learning process?

     I was able to see learning described in detail rather than just an explanation of each theory or learning process. I learned many new things about my own personal network connections. I hadn’t thought in-depth about how my connections related and how they influenced my learning.

What have you learned regarding the connection between learning theories, learning styles, educational technology, and motivation?

     Learning theories, styles, technology and motivation are all related to each other. They go hand in hand and I need to make sure that I remember that when I am designing instruction. If I understand and know the individual learning theories I can incorporate each learning style to create the best instruction for my students. I also need to remember how I learn and what form works best for me to retain and express my knowledge.

     In regard to motivation, I was reminded of many key factors that influence motivation. I believe the best motivation for adult learners comes from within, intrinsically. Our book for the course described this perfectly, “Students are more likely to be intrinsically motivated when they feel confident they can succeed” (Ormrod, Schunk, & Gredler, 2009, p. 255). Feedback and other forms of extrinsic reinforcement will enhance a student’s intrinsic motivation. When a student feels that they are achieving and succeeding they will be open to new learning and broadening their knowledge. With this feeling of success students may be more open to exploring other learning styles to enhance their knowledge and understanding.

How will your learning in this course help you as you further your career in the field of instructional design?

     My learning in this course has added to my previous understanding and has given me new insight into different ways to approach learning for myself as well as my future students. I was able to broaden my ideas in regard to the different learning theories and how they apply to developing instruction.

     This course introduced me to how to use a blog in a learning environment/setting. I had always thought of using blogs as a personal means to communicate and now I see how they can be used for continuing education and growth as a learner. I am eager to explore other forms of technology to enhance my skills and future instructional design.

 References

Davis, C., Edmunds, E., & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008). Connectivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Connectivism

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

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