Sunday, June 27, 2010

Week 8 Reflection on Learning

I have thoroughly enjoyed this course. Often times, the first course in a new program throw you in the middle of a subject, without ever providing detail or reflection on the subject at all. During this course, the various theories evaluating how people learn have been the most striking to me. Typically, people believe they learn by seeing, hearing, or doing. This is not necessarily wrong. However, the theories presented in this course, such as connectivism, behaviorist, cognitive, and constructivism, for example, do more than just tell us that we learn by doing or hearing, it provides us with a basis of understanding regarding who learns best based upon each theory. Therefore, the theories presented have been the most valuable to me, when focusing on instructional design.

While focusing on how people in general learn, it has also caused me to reflect on how I learn. I particularly have found that the Adult Learning Theory is the most applicable to how I learn. I am motivated by things that interest me and improve my situation. Therefore if it will allow me to grow professionally or advance my personal life, then I will certainly take an interest. Adults are motivated by things that will advance them or the persons they care the most about. Therefore, it is always important to address my motivation in order for me to have a positive learning experience.

As it relates to the learning theories, learning styles, educational technology and motivation, I have learned that they are all interrelated. In order for course developers, instructional designers, professors, trainers, etc. to help people achieve learning, there has to be an understanding of how people learn, the best way to instruct certain people, what resources to use and how to keep the learner engaged. For example, if you are approaching learning from the connectivism theory, then you have to assist the learner with making a connection to new information, in order for them to experience the best learning experience. Essentially learning theories, learning styles, educational technology and motivation are essential to the vehicle of learning driving efficiently.

The learning that took place in this course set the stage for what learning experiences should be. It has provided me with various theories regarding how people learn, which audience the learning theory is applicable to, and how to tap into the motivation of why people choose to learn what they want to learn. All of these elements are essential for an instructional designer. They have to be able to gage the learner, help them learn and continue to motivate them to learn. All of these are necessary in fostering an inspirational learning experience. Fostering an inspirational learning experience is my goal in the instructional design environment.

Everyone learns differently. However, as an instructional designer, it `is our duty to find the common bond that the targeted learners share. Furthermore, we have to ensure that we are ensuring that the learning style of each learner is covered. Finding this medium will not be an easy task, but with the learning experience from this course, I am certain that I will be able to provide an inspirational learning experience.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fitting the Pieces Together

Now that I have a deeper understanding of the different learning theories and learning styles, my view upon I learn has expanded. I previously believed that persons learned by just seeing, doing, or hearing. However, taking a deeper look into learning theories such as connectivism, behaviorist, cognitive, and constructivism, my understanding has expanded. Each of these theories presents a different aspect regarding how and why we learn in certain situations. However, we are not restricted to one method of learning. The minds behind the theories did a wonderful thing, by giving us a foundation, but in many respects it is up to the individual, circumstance, and organization as to what it best suited.

I personally favor the Adult Learning Theory. Adults are motivated by what they can gain. When we reach the level of adulthood, we have already learned and established so much. Therefore, at this stage, information has to be relevant and useful, in my opinion. If I have no desire to learn how to physically build a home, then I am less inclined to receive an engineer’s explanation or demonstration regarding physically building a home. However if I have a desire to cook my husband Beef Wellington, because he has desired this meal, then I am more inclined to watch, listen, write instructions and model my cooking behavior after a chef who is sharing their receipt. I am more likely to share tuned in, because I find it relevant.
Technology plays a huge role in my learning.

Technology is center to a lot of information today. Instantly, I can find out what is going on in the world, due to the internet and my cellular phone. Twenty plus years ago, we have to await for the nightly news to learn about what took place in the world today. Such resources as Google, Bing, online learning, social networking and news outlets, allows us to stay active participants in the world. I can now get information through the cellular phone, feeds, and news feeds on social networking sites. Through this learning experience I have gained a good foundation for my Instructional Design experience. I hope to continue to learn how to more effectively help others learn through the tool of Instructional Design.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

MyMindMap Reflection

My network has always impacted the way I learn. Essentially these are tools that I use to stimulate my learning experience and to build upon my learning experience. For example, information presented to me in a professional environment, regarding the state of the economy may impact financial decision that my household may or may not make. But, again, my network is still a resource for me. My digital network has allowed me to expand my learning circle.
My digital tools the best facilitate my learning are my personal computer (PC), cellular phone, blogs, search engines as Google, television, mp3 player, and DVD player. I utilize my personal computer as a means to conduct electronic research and access online materials such as, the Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, and Forbes, to name a few. These online resources allow me to stay abreast of industry trends and issues. Through Google, I am able to access Google Books and cross reference information presented in other resources.

Through television, I am able to visually take in information and have a cross section of resources provided that generally present an unbiased viewpoint. So, whether it is CBS Evening News or MSNBC, I am able to get information presented from all angles and often times, able to put a face to story. My mp3 and DVD player allow me to view documented information and access information that may not otherwise be shown in a 5 minute news segment. Lastly, with my cellular phone and blogs, I am able to receive information from the masses. Through my cellular phone, I am able to access instant news updates, minute-by-minute access to blogs, and reach live persons. Blogs obviously allow me to get perspective from different persons in different areas who may be experiencing the same.

When I seek new knowledge, when I have a question, I go to the resource that I believe would be most beneficial for that situation. If I am seeking information regarding a proposed tax height, locally, I will rely more upon local news outlets. Therefore, I may utilize their online information or the evening news to gather information and make my choice based upon my personal beliefs and the information presented.

I believe my personal learning network supports the central tenets of connectivism, because resources I use to learn, present diverse opinions. For example, if I look up an issue on Fox News the viewpoint their will generally be different than the viewpoint presented on CNN. Therefore, it allows me to gain information from both spectrums, to develop my knowledge.