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.