Nancy’s Instructional Design & Technology’s Course Reflections

Over the past eight weeks I have learned a lot as well as reflected more deeply on information that I have not used in well over twelve years.  Learning more in-depth information about the five main theories; Behaviorism, Cognitive, Constructivist, Social Learning, and Adult Learning has been insightful both from a knowledge perspective as well as useful for future instructional design projects.  Each theory’s explanation has provided me with clearer insights and strategies for addressing online training content with applicable activities and exercises to address a variety of learning styles.

The Connectivism Theory and the ARCS model are totally new information.  I will continue to assimilate and utilize these new concepts and strategies to address learning styles in future instructional design projects.  I now can see and better understand how cross theory referencing for instructional designing will help target more comprehensively others’ learning styles.  Also, the variety of resource materials that complimented the text book content greatly enhanced my learning knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Due to the timing of this course and my personal life’s situation I ventured out to research a bit about learning and stress.  From an information processing perspective, “interference refers to a blockage of the spread of activation across memory networks. Stress can disrupt learning and memory development as it forces the brain to revert to more primitive survival need” (Anderson, 1990).   The readings really helped me be more cognizant of my stress level and how to maintain a healthier mindset while still forging forward with class and personal commitments.  In addition, the research provided me with more insight for helping others to deal with elevated levels of stress.

I feel my personal learning processes have been greatly enhanced by the course readings but also by my classmates’ discussion postings and their respective conversational responses. Reading the variety of responses from my classmates provided me with rich and diverse insights.   I feel that I have more useful ideas and analogies that could be used in future instructional design projects.  For example, William quotes Bruce Lee’s 1970 water analogy which I thought was an excellent. Even though “Bruce Lee’s background is very different from researchers Kerr and Kapp’s, they still share a common belief in adaptation, flexibility and constant learning of new ideas”.

In addition, to my classmates’ thoughts, ideas, and experiences, I feel that you (Dr. Artino) posed very thought provoking questions and comments into the mix.  These thoughts and comments helped me to take a different look at my current thought process and “open the door” to another side of the discussion topic(s) that we were currently addressing.   For example, your questions, “So, which approach will you take in your future instructional design and/or teaching? Will you choose one, or will you take an “a la cart” perspective, picking and choosing as needed? If so, how will you pick in choose; based on what criteria (the learners, the content, something else)?”

Throughout these eight weeks, I have also learned that there is a significant connection between learning theories, learning styles, educational technology and motivation.  It is critical for instructional design plans to strategically integrate these components into the planning phases for a successful online instructional design implementation.  Each component provides key information and mediums that should be addressed and incorporated into the design efforts so that each learner receives optimal knowledge, skills and abilities to apply successfully onto their jobs and/or personal lives.

Overall, this course has helped me work on my confidence level and greatly enhanced my drive to get back into full swing of designing and developing online learning materials.  I’m looking forward to developing fun, engaging and informative e-learning that will hopefully exceed the learners’ expectations.


Nancy Snyder’s New Outlook About Her Learning Styles

After seven weeks of being immersed into the details of six key learning theories (Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructism, Social Learning, Connectivism and Adult Learning,) I feel I can now more specifically explain my key learning styles and strategies.  I see my learning style could easily fit into each of the six categories, however, I see they are primarily within the scope of  Behaviorism, Social Learning  and Adult Learning theories.  Also, I feel like I had labeled myself because my childhood learning style seemed so different from all the other children.  Today, I know now that there just wasn’t the information available to early childhood teachers that is currently available to address the different learning styles along with the most appropriate learning strategies to connect to tactile, kinesthetic, etc. to effectively teach children who had difficulty with learning via audio/lectures.

From a Behaviorist learning theory, I am both an intrinsically and extrinsically motivated learner.  I can spend hours on a topic (i.e., designing a blog!) that I either need to know or want  to learn more about until I finally feel I can perform the task without any type of learning aids.  Yes, I can get very frustrated and step away, but I’m very committed to completing my initial goals that I set for myself.

On the other hand, I also see myself as one who utilizes the Social Learning theory of learning because my learning is greatly enhanced while in groups, especially during brainstorming sessions, other learners’ ideas, along with utilizing mnemonics and especially analogies.   I love to talk to other instructional designers and learners for ongoing feedback.  Everyone has something to offer and I’m one that likes to capture the stuff that works!

Lastly, I can certainly see that the Adult Learning theory approach as the one that fits my overall learning style.  I need to see, touch and hear about the topics that I am learning.  I am definitely more motivated, self-directed, and autonomous with my learning activities today, than I ever was as a child.  Today, I am intrinsically motivated, whereas, when I was young I was mostly extrinsically motivated.  If my homework was not completed and/or grades were not acceptable by my parents’ standards, I could count on being “grounded”!  As a child, for me there was primarily just negative motivation because my parents didn’t believe in telling us what a great job we did.  That would lead to a “big head” in their minds as I have been told by my siblings.  I’m sure if my parents were alive and had learned about the current learning styles, they would have raised us differently!  As with everything, hindsight is 20/20!

Today, technology is playing a huge part in my life, in most part because I want to integrate current technology trends into my instructional design projects.  Also, I because we have become a society dependent on technology to enhance, organize, manage, and to expedite learning activities.

We live in such a technologically globalized world where technology is part of most everyone’s daily living starting from the time babies are born (i.e., Baby Einstein). It is far faster to look a phone number up on you phone today than it is to look up in a telephone book!  It truly amazes me how current technology is outdated so quickly!  How does one keep up?

Cognitive Neuroscience Learning Theories Coupled with Technologies: A Conduit for Deep and Lasting Learning.

Academic Journal

Cognitive Neuroscience Learning Theories Coupled with Technologies: A Conduit for Deep and Lasting Learning. Full Text Available By: Findlay, Henry J. Journal of Applied Learning Technology. Jan2012, Vol. 2 Issue 1, p27-31. 5p.

EDUCATIONAL technology; LEARNING; BRAIN — Research; RESEARCH; Reseach and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (except Biotechnology); COGNITIVE neuroscience; MEDICINE
Education Research Complete
ABSTRACT – Over the years, educators at all levels of education have been using technology

in their classes to augment teaching and learning. However, educators have given very little

attention to the use of technology, based on brain-based research findings. Also, in recent

years, there has been a surge in cognitive neuroscience, which is concerned with an understanding

of the mental processes that take place in the brain during learning. Some neuroscientists

have referred to this phenomenon as the new science of teaching and learning—the

intersection of cognitive neuroscience, education, and psychology (Tokuhama-Espinosa,

2010). It is legitimate to assume that the era of mobile technologies has created new possibilities

for teaching and learning, and that such possibilities can transcend the ways teachers

currently teach and how students learn.

Theory to reality: a few issues in implementing problem-based learning.

Theory to reality: a few issues in implementing problem-based learning.


Diagram Chart Chart Chart

Authors:Hung, Woei1 woei.hung@und.eduSource:Educational Technology Research & Development; Aug2011, Vol. 59 Issue 4, p529-552, 24p, 1 Diagram, 1 ChartDocument Type:ArticleSubject Terms:*PROBLEM-based learning *STUDENT-centered learning *ADULT learning *PROBLEM solving *GUIDELINES REALITYAuthor-Supplied Keywords:Implementation Problem solving Problem-based learning Self-directed learning Student learningAbstract:The success of an intervention depends not only upon its theoretical soundness, but also on proper implementation that reflects the guidelines derived from its theoretical conception. Debates surrounding the effectiveness of problem-based learning (PBL) have focused on its theoretical conception and students’ learning outcomes, but implementation is seemingly absent from the picture. This paper attempts to describe what research evidence is needed to fill in this missing information and provide a clearer picture of PBL. The author examines current PBL implementation practices and identifies potentially confounding variables that may play a role in inconsistent or conflicting research results in PBL. For example, various models of PBL have been developed and implemented to afford the specific instructional needs of the institution or learner population. These PBL models are in fact quite different in terms of the nature of problem solving and the degrees of self-directed learning, which theoretically, should result in different types of learning outcomes. Without distinguishing the models used, the results of comparative PBL research could have been confounded. Furthermore, human factors are another set of confounding variables that could influence the students’ learning processes and consequently affect PBL implementations and research results. To remedy these problems and reach PBL’s full potential, as well as obtain a more accurate picture of PBL as an instructional method and its effects on students’ learning, some fundamental changes are needed. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

“Learning is Life Long”

As a child I had a difficult time learning from teachers who just recited the content from the text books and/or when I just read the instructions then had to answer corresponding questions.  However, anytime I had assignments that involved hands-on activities I really excelled.  It wasn’t until I starting college within the educational department, did I learn that there are different ways to teach and/or learn by utilizing our all our senses.  For example, I learn  best when I have the opportunity to do hands-on and inter-active learning activities.  In other words, I’m a very multi-sense learner who needs to hear, see and actively write notes in order to retain, whereas, I have a brother who can just hear a lecture, not take notes and retain and/or apply the information at any given time!  Learning how people learn is very interesting and intriging to me.  I’m very excited to get back to designing training materials and look forward to integrating what I learn from this program to my knowledge, skills, and abilities!

Instructional Design Sites:

Do you know people who maybe considering instructional design as a career choice? Or just looking for a great site to refresh your instructional design knowledge and skills?   Well, the Intulogy Training Specialists group provide the fundamental instructional design process which is easy to follow and written in a very simplified manner using the ADDIE mode.  Each step presents the basic information associated to each phase of the ADDIE model.   There is also a Case Studies section that has brief scenarios that you can use to guide you through developing you own case studies.  In addition, there is a section called Other Theories which have links to a additional instructional models.  The site’s overall information is laid out in a simple, concise and straightforward manner, perfect for those just entering or even just considering ID as a career choice.

The Daily Mindflash is a company blog site that I found to be very interesting and informative on how companies utilize blogging to enhance their business ideas.  They obtain a synergistic response from not only their employees but also their viewers

The focus of this blog is to provide you with options for developing “rapid ID” when time is of the essence.  The author of this blog, Bill Cushard, provides you with an interesting brainstorming technique for developing clear, concise and sequential learning objectives.  This particular exercise would be especially helpful when you, as an instructional designer gets stuck trying to write the learning objectives for your design project.

You are also taken through the quickest way to set up activities where the author provides you with a link to “Thiagi’s Rapid ID” for developing engaging activities.  Having an easy to reference listing is also great for design projects that need to be expedited due to developmental time constraints.  I liked how they directed you to take your learning objectives and go straight to developing corresponding assessment questions to each objective to ensure a comprehensive listing for a final learner evaluation.

[Dr. Sivasailam Thiagarajan is a recognized for his rapid instructional design techniques as well as being a wonderful author and presenter in the area of ID for games, simulations, and other activities for training events.  For more information on Dr. Sivasailam Thiagarajan see  Also, just doing a web search using his name with provides you with multiple sites.]

I selected this site because of the “wow” impact the short video Tom Kuhlman presents to demonstrate how easily we can miss what’s happening right in front of us at any given time.  Our surroundings are often full of information that we don’t see because we often limit our focus on a specific idea or thought thus missing out on potential learning opportunities.  It is very important from an instructional designer perspective because with multiple learning styles that need to be addressed and developed into our design efforts, it’s imperative that we remember to keep an open mind and yet still pay close attention to the details that surround potential learning events.

This site also provides an in-depth resource listing of key tips for designing effective and efficient instructional design materials.