What did you find surprising or striking as you furthered your knowledge about how people learn?
As I began to deepen my understanding, I was immediately intrigued by a two key concepts that reaffirmed key tenets to my fundamental understanding of learning. First, learning is not just an academic experience. Also, learning includes implementing strategies and motivation.
Traditionally, I’ve equated learning with a formal type of experience. As I explored in this course, I realized that informal learning is rapidly taking the place of formal learning. This is because of technology and the use of the internet. Understanding how and why people acquire information requires social and technological consideration. The skills that I’ve gained as an instructional designer will allow me to find social and technological solutions to learning. Because learning does not only occur in academic settings does not make it any less valuable. Learning is as valuable as the learner makes it.
The strategies that are used are greatly influenced by the theories behind learning. Vygotsky stressed the social aspect of learning. Strategies that are used to learn today should include a very high social element. Technology and the internet allow for learning to occur using social and virtual tools. Strategies should include a basis for the use of language and the development of improved cultural values.
Strategies for motivation should include the examples of productive dispositions that have been identified by theorists. Demonstrating open-mindedness and spirit of transfer are two ways that strategic motivation impacts learning. As an instructional designer it will be important to be able to use these types of strategies to ensure that learning occurs.
How has this course deepened your understanding of your personal learning process?
Learning is as simple as it is complex. Taking the time to make connections is what makes learning valuable. Learning is the key to growth. Learning can be acquired informally and formally, however, informal learning is faster. I think that learning will not be considered to be formal or informal in the future because there will only be information generation and information acquisition. Understanding the ways that information is acquired and the way information is used in conjunction with technology to resolve social and cultural dilemmas will be a major function of mine as an instructional designer. Most importantly, the learning process has various ways to determine how and why connections to information must be made. Each learner is unique in the ways information is used to meet desired outcomes. However, the processes of learning, while vastly different for every person, can be assessed and evaluated to determine efficiency. Applying learning theory to instructional design legitimates the intended function and development of learning instruments, systems, and networks.
What have you learned regarding the connection between learning theories, learning styles, educational technology, and motivation?
The connection between learning theories, learning styles, technology, and motivation forms a network of information that literally spells out social and cultural values. It is important for there to be a discoverable trail of information, so that as common interests are shared, people can continually benefit from having access to the knowledge they need to “respond to circumstances beyond their control by identifying ways to take charge of aspects of their lives despite existing constraints on their freedom. Because they cannot change their environment, they instead change themselves to better adapt to it” (Ormsrod, p.239).
How will your learning in this course help you as you further your career in the field of instructional design?
The things that I learned in this course will give me the confidence that I need as an instructional designer. I learned the historical significance of the different learning theories. Also, I learned how the brain functions during the learning process. Additionally, understanding theory and brain function is important when assessing the needs of learners. I understand that my involvement in professional learning communities is essential to continued growth and success in my field. Participating in discussions and reading about trends in learning will keep me on the cutting edge of research, so that I am innovative as an instructional designer. Being able to have researched based strategies to motivate people, facilitate learning acquisition, and develop information that will increase knowledge and ability are examples of what I will take away from this class into my career as an instructional designer.
Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning theories and instruction (Laureate custom edition). New York: Pearson.