REFLECTION

What did you find surprising or striking as you furthered your knowledge about how people learn?

This course has truly opened my eyes in regards to how learning takes place and how people learn.  I was aware the individuals learned differently, however, I was not aware of the different learning styles and theories.  I viewed the learning process as at very high level which only included the learning styles of:

  •  Visual (learn through seeing)
  • Auditory (learn through hearing)
  • Tactile (learn through touch)
  • Kinesthetic (learn through doing and moving)

I was shocked to learn that there are additional learning theories explain learning processing at a more granular level which explained how individuals actually retain, process and utilize information that they learn from various sources and methods.

The learning theories reviewed in this course include:

Behaviorist Theory

  • Cognitive Theory
  • Constructivism Theory
  • Social Learning Theory
  • Connectivism Theory
  • Adult Learning Theory

During the processing of learning about the different learning theories and comparing them to each other as well as the comparing them to the learning styles I am familiar with, I’ve discovered that all of them are some way related and there is not one specific learning theory or learning style that contributes to the entire learning process for one individual, it’s a combination.

How has this course deepened your understanding of your personal learning process?

 Professionally, I’m a SQL Data Analyst and a great percentage of my work involves processing, analyzing, and organizing data with the intention of presenting it to an audience that is only interested in the final output.  The audience is not familiar with the nuts and bolts of what it took to gather the data, only the output.  With my profession, I write lot of database code to get to the final results, which is a trial and error process.  With this being said, I realized that my learning styles are geared more towards Kinesthetic (learning by doing) and Visual.  In regards to the learning theories, I think my learning process is a conglomerate of all of the theories depending on what I am striving to learn.

What have you learned regarding the connection between learning theories, learning styles, educational technology, and motivation?

 Based on what I’ve learned in this course, learning theories, learning styles, educational technology, and motivation are the key components of learning in an online environment.  The instructional designer or online-facilitator has be well versed in his/her knowledge of the various learning styles and learning theories in order to successfully develop and/or facilitate online courses. It is impossible to develop/facilitate courses based on the specific learning styles of each student in the course, however, courses can be developed in a manner where the students are able to learn and prosper educationally.  Educational Technology is the vessel that is utilized to deliver the material.  Motivation is related to the aforementioned because without motivation, the student will fall by the wayside in the course, especially online courses.  It is the facilitator’s job to keep the students engaged by asking thought provoking questions, providing constructive feedback, and providing interesting material.  In summary, the instructional designer’s/facilitator’s function is to arouse (Ormrod, 2009) the learner via education technology.   Learning styles, motivation (purpose) and drive (Ormrod, 2009) are all key factors that determine the effectiveness of instruction.

How will your learning in this course help you as you further your career in the field of instructional design?

 I think my current knowledge of the learning styles and the learning theories presented in this course has given me solid framework to build future style of instructional design.  I’ve learned a great deal about how learning occurs, the pros and cons of technology, and the importance of developing engaging courses that will also keep the learned motivated.

  

Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning theories and instruction(Laureate custom edition). New York

 

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