In reviewing week’s one discussion post, I shared my preferred learning style to be a visual learner. I also stated that my learning preferences seem to align with the cognitive learning theory. I also summarized the discussion post by commenting on the importance of understanding learning theories as it relates to the development of learning objectives.
After reading the resources over the last few weeks, I don’t believe learning theories should be the primary focus when assisting educators as an instructional designer. Lim identifies “the failure to accommodate the learning process to the targeted learners and the failure to contextualize learning activities” as “pitfalls in online learning.” The reason he considered these failures as pitfalls is because learners may not always see the “relevance of the concepts or theories.” He feels that this causes learners to be disengaged.
I agree with Lim. I believe this is the turning point in my understanding of learning theories. I still believe it’s important to understand learning theories, but I don’t believe it should motivate the development of learning strategies. Accommodating learning processes through various methods of technology to engage diverse learners should be the primary goal of all learning activities. Connecting learning strategies to learning theories are ineffective if learners are not engaged.
Using multiple forms of technology should be included in learning strategies to accommodate the learning process of targeted learners. According to the “High Possibility Classrooms: Student Agency through Technology Enhanced Learning” article on the Edutopia website, these are the following benefits of integrating multiple forms of technology into teaching.
-Technology enhances purposeful teaching.
-Technology promotes reflective learning.
-Technology engages students in an authentic way.
-Technology shift conversations and thinking.
Therefore, my view of learning has changed based on now knowing the importance of ensuring that students stay engaged in the learning process. Measuring students’ level of engagement could include asking the following questions based on the previously mentioned benefits of technology.
- Does the adaptive learning technologies enhance purposeful teaching?
- Does it promote reflective learning?
- Are you students so engaged that conversations and thinking shifts?
Answering “yes” to these questions is an indication that students’ learning processes are accommodated, and they’re remaining engaged.
Article: Lim, C. P. (2004). Engaging learners in online learning environments. TechTrends: Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning, 48(4), 16–23.