Sunday, February 26, 2012

Learning Theories Reflection

As this Learning Theories and Instruction course draws to a close, I would like to reflect on what I have learned. I would like to discuss one thing that I found interesting in how people learn and how this course has deepened my understanding of my personal learning. I will also discuss what I have learned regarding the connection between learning theories, learning styles, educational technology, and motivation, and how my learning will help further my career in instructional design.

One thing that I found surprising in this course was that although there are many different theories of how people learn, people usually do not fit into just one category but are a combination of them, especially for adults. (Cercone, 2008) Cercone (2008) stated “each person is an individual”. Since everyone learns differently, as an instructional designed I will need to plan my classes according to my students and their process of learning. I should vary my teaching utilizing a variety of methods in order to reach the most students.

This course opened my eyes to the various learning theories, of which I was unaware. I can see that my personal learning cannot be narrowed down to just one theory as it depends on the type of learning with which I am presented. Gilbert and Swanier (2008) states that learning styles can fluctuate across concepts. Some things I learn more by behavioristic methods with a change in behavior from a stimulus-response association (Standridge, 2001). Other things I learn more from a cognitivist method where I am very structured and the information learned is organized and stored in memory (Ertmer & Newby, 1993).

A good instructional designer should know his/her students and how they best learn. To do that, one needs to know a little about the learning theories and styles of learning and then use technology to best get that across to the students. Motivation is key to keep the students engaged in order for learning to take place.

As Stephen Pew quoted Albert Einstein “I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn” (Pew, 2007). This is what I hope to take with me in my career. I want to be able to make learning fun so they stay motivated and learn what they need no matter how they best learn.

(Cercone K 2008 Characteristics of adult learners with implications for online learning design)Cercone, K. (2008). Characteristics of adult learners with implications for online learning design. AACE Journal, 16(2), 137-159. Retrieved from

(Ertmer P A Newby T J 1993 Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective)Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (1993). Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 6(4), 50-71.
(Gilbert J Swanier C 2008 Learning styles: How do they fluctuate?)Gilbert, J., & Swanier, C. (2008). Learning styles: How do they fluctuate? Institute for Learning Styles Journal, 1, 29-40. Retrieved from

(Pew S 2007 Andragogy and pedagogy as foundational theory for student motivation in higher education)Pew, S. (2007). Andragogy and pedagogy as foundational theory for student motivation in higher education. InSight: A Journal of Scholarly Teaching, 2, 14-25.
(Standridge M 2001 Behaviorism)Standridge, M. (2001). Behaviorism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspective on learning, teaching, and technology (p.1-7). Retrieved from

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fitting the Pieces Together

Fitting the Pieces Together

Now that I have a deeper understanding of the different learning theories and learning styles, I am not sure my view has changed much from the beginning of class. As I stated in the first week, “I think it really depends on what type of learning is being performed as to what type of learner I can be”.  I definitely am adult learner now, but depending on the situation, I could use several of the other theories. Malcolm Knowles referred to five assumptions to “describe the adult learner as someone who:

  • Has an independent self-concept and who can direct his or her own learning
  • Has accumulated a reservoir of life experiences that is a rich resource for learning
  • Has learning needs closely related to changing social roles
  • Is problem-centered and interested in immediate application of knowledge
  • Is motivated to learn by internal rather than external factors” (Conlan, Grabowski, & Smith, 2003, p2)

I believe all of these can apply to me as an adult learner. Learning about the different theories has helped me understand how I learn differently in various situations, depending on the material to be learned. I also believe I can better understand how different students will be able to learn in the classroom which will help in being an instructional designer.

Technology plays a huge role in my learning. Just with this degree program, as with my Bachelor’s, I have used the internet for research, discussion and application posting, and emails. I have just learned to add narration to a PowerPoint presentation and post it to a website, and use Word documents for postings. I have created this blog and posted to it, and add RSS feeds that I get updates on with Google Reader. I have files that I save online and on my local computer. At work, I use a lot of internet resources for educational purposes and reference. In fact, my primary role is teaching and troubleshooting one program, although I help with other programs as well.

Conlan, J., Grabowski, S., & Smith, K. (2003). Adult learning. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Connectivism Reflection

Connectivism Reflection
            It seems like people used to acquire education just for the moment to attain a job where they would stay until retirement. However, now people may have two or three careers in their lifetime. Learning has changed over the years as well. The digital age has decreased the timeframe of learning by allowing easier access, but with all the knowledge attained, it can quickly become outdated. George Siemens (2005) stated that “access to what is needed is more important than what the learner currently possesses”. “Connectivism is driven by the understanding that decisions are based on rapidly altering foundations” (Davis, Edmunds, & Kelly-Bateman, 2008).
            I included my previous educational institutions because they have helped in my learning which started out in the traditional classroom then moved to online learning. The online network has really changed the way I learn, making it more convenient, but not necessarily easier. Although traditional classrooms require set times, I believe that the online classrooms require more time overall even with the flexibility.
            The internet and email has been the tools that help with my learning, along with Microsoft Office. The internet has made access to libraries and other reference search engines much easier and quicker. Although one has to beware of non-scholarly references, there are numerous search engines like Google Scholar that can return reliable resources. Email has greatly enhanced communication with fellow students, instructors, co-workers, colleagues, and acquaintances. Microsoft Office has provided the ability to save documents and presentations. When I have questions, I can search the internet, query email groups, or communicate with numerous other people to find answers.
            My personal learning network incorporates the view of connectivism as there are many sources of finding information and I can connect them together to gather even more information. Connectivism is based on the knowledge that information is changing extremely fast. The most up-to-date information can quickly become outdated. Technology has decreased the half-life of knowledge due to the easier access to information and the instant retrieval of it (Davis, Edmunds, & Kelly-Bateman, 2008).


Davis, C., Edmunds, E., & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008). Connectivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from

Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. Retrieved from

Connectivism--My Mind Map