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.

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