Fitting the Pieces Together

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.

  1. Does the adaptive learning technologies enhance purposeful teaching?
  2. Does it promote reflective learning?
  3. 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.

References

Article: Lim, C. P. (2004). Engaging learners in online learning environments. TechTrends: Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning, 48(4), 16–23.

Web Site: Edutopia:http://www.edutopia.org/blog/high-possibility-classrooms-tech-enhanced-learning-jane-hunter

Mind Map Reflection

My network has changed the way I learned through the implementation of technology. For instance, my personal development network includes family because I’ve learned many things like how to cook from my parents. However, my network changed when I was introduced to YouTube. As a result of YouTube, I can learn cooking tips online through YouTube videos to enhance my cooking skills.

In addition to Youtube, there are several applications on my phone that assist my learning such as the Holy Bible YouVersion application and Facebook. I personally develop spiritually through the Bible application. I’m also able to learn through videos on Facebook. Although Facebook was listed under the news learning connection, there are several videos that I watch each week that provide personally development.

I gain new knowledge by asking Siri on my phone. Siri is my personal assistant who allows me to ask her questions. She then automatically search for my answer via Google or Wikipedia. If questions are work related, I ask my supervisor. I’m able to gain new knowledge through her detailed feedback. I also gain knowledge through electronic books that I read on the ibooks application on my phone. I read a book called “Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Myers. This book allowed me to gain knowledge that contributed to my personal development.

According to Davis, one of the principles of connectivism is that “learning may reside in non-human appliances”. This is a reflection of my personal learning network. For instance, I do learn valuable employee strategies from my professional mentor. However, I also learn strategies from HR online course trainings, (which would be considered a non-human appliance).

I also learn valuable information regarding online courses through faculty and students. However, I also learn information through Walden library articles, which is the non-human appliance.

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

Crayons and Puzzles

Crayons and Puzzles? What does this have to do with instructional design, the effects of the brain, and the learning process?

Crayons

Crayons are often used in schools for art-related assignments. Each crayon represents a different color. Wilmes says studies have shown that children’s score higher on IQ exams in a room full of color than in a black and white room. So is there significance to color? Absolutely! Wilmes also states that each color has a unique wavelength that affects the brain. Instructional designers and educators should consider this when preparing materials and curriculum. Please review the effects each color has on the human brain below according to Wilmes’s research:

Red-Stimulates appetite, excites brainwaves, and increase blood pressure and pulse rates.

Blue-Lower blood pressure and pulse rates, brainwaves usually decrease. It’s a calm color.

Yellow, Light Orange, and Off White-Stimulate positive feelings. These colors promote the best learning experience.

Additionally, bright colors increase creativity and energy. Dark colors lower stress and promote feelings of peace.

Instructional designers and educators may identify patterns in learners’ behavior. When behavioral patterns are discovered, the color significance should be considered to develop assignments and curriculum. For instance, IDs and educators should use dark colors for mid-term review assignments to reduce stress if they recognize a pattern of students stressing during the mid-term season.

Puzzles

In addition to crayons, puzzles are often used in schools. Students may consider it fun, but many teachers may consider it to be exercising problem-solving techniques.

Jonassen believes that “problem solving is the only legitimate kind of learning that universities and corporate training should engage because learner will doubtlessly be required to solve problems in everyday professional situations for when they are preparing.”

I agree with this 100%. It’s not enough to learn about concepts, procedures, techniques, theories, and pertinent skills. In fact, I believe everything learned is useless if learners lack the ability to solve problems. Problems will always occur in every educational and professional setting. Therefore, it is just as important to know how to solve problems as it is to know everything else previously mentioned.

Jonassen recommends educators and instructional designers to provide “problem-based” learning environments to help learners learn how to solve problems. Asking students to analyze a case study, generate discussion with classmates, and write a paper about a solution to the problems is a potential assignment that helps establish a “problem-based” learning environment.

Providing this type environment prepare learners for real world problems. This environment will cause learners to exercise their problem-solving techniques.

Perhaps putting a puzzle together in elementary school is a nice way to start exercising problem-solving techniques. Over time, the problems, as well as the problem-solving techniques, should increase.

So yes crayons and puzzles are great learning techniques for elementary children. However, research studies show that the significance of color affects the brain, and problem-solving techniques has the potential to enhance the online learning experience positively.

Jonassen, D. H. (2002). Engaging and supporting problem solving in online learning. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 3(1), 1­–13.

Wilmes, B., Harrington, L., Kohler-Evans, P., & Sumpter, D. (2008). Coming to our senses: Incorporating brain research findings into classroom instruction. Education, 128(4), 659–666.

Blogs to Consider As an Instructional Designer

Flattening Classroom Walls with Blogging and Global Collaboration

I came across a blog that discussed global collaboration of online teaching. This blog shared a story of two teachers who established a relationship through blogging. As a result of commenting on each other’s blogs, they built a relationship. That relationship resulted in them meeting in person and developing a global collaboration program for educators. This relationship and connection was established by one comment. These two teachers shared a list of helpful tips to building relationships with educators through blogging. However, I think this can be applicable to students building relationships with colleagues and instructors through discussion posts and blogs. Learning to build relationships through online learning in our courses is necessary since we will be required to build relationships with educators as an instructional designer. Instructional learning strategies and techniques could be establish through the building of relationships with educators.

Check out the following blog:

http://www.theedublogger.com/2012/07/02/iste-2012-flattening-classroom-walls-with-blogging-and-global-collaboration/

How Online Reading Habits Have Changed

Another blog that caught my eye was the discovery of students’ online reading habits. Instructional designers assist educators in establishing reading assignments. Knowing students’ online reading habits should be a contributing factor in reading assignments, especially when educators prefer the behaviorist approach to learning. Ertmer says, “The goal of instruction for behaviorist is to elicit the desired response from the learner who is presented with a target stimulus.” When there is a desired response to presented content, instructors should ensure that reading assignments are conducive to online reading habits. This will ensure that the content is comprehended successfully. I recommend checking out this blog to see how reading habits have changed for online learners.

Check out the following blog:

http://www.theedublogger.com/2011/04/25/want-more-readers-how-online-reading-habits-are-changing-and-what-you-need-to-know/

Reference:

  1. A. Ertmer & T. J. Newby. Copyright 1993 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Journals. Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing Critical Features from an Instructional Design Perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly

5 Pitfalls to Online Teaching

In online teaching everything does not always go as planned. This particularly blogger realizes this. As a result, she listed some pitfalls in online teaching. One of her pitfalls include the lack of patterns in assignments. Students tend to have difficulty in their learning experience when there are no patterns in assignments. I commented in this blog about the importance of being able to identify patterns in assignments. My comments include the significance patterns has on the cognitive approach to learning.

Check my comments on the following blog below:

https://teacherrogers.wordpress.com/2015/10/28/5-pitfalls-of-online-teaching/#comment-2286