The assignment this week was to reflect upon what I have studied these past eight weeks and how it has changed my approach to instructional design. Below are the instructor’s questions and my answers.
As this course draws to a close, reflect upon what you have learned and how you will apply your learning in future courses and in your career in the field of instructional design. Consider the following:
- What did you find surprising or striking as you furthered your knowledge about how people learn?
Moving external information to internal memory never seemed too complicated because I never gave it enough consideration. Now that I have given a lot of thought to learning, I regret not paying more attention to the entire learning process earlier. One of the most striking aspects to how people learn is that there really is no one particular way that people learn. “Each individual may possess a single style or could possess a combination of different learning styles” (Mattingly & Thompson, 2008). While the idea that learners have specific learning styles is not supported by scientific research, allowing multiple avenues to process the information has shown to improve learning. It seems obvious that everyone learns through different means but learning in general is a very complicated event. Most everyone uses a combination approach, however mild or strong, of multiple methods.
Additionally, Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences concept used as a tool to aid in understanding the overall personality, preference, and strength of a learner was fascinating to discover. While this concept is somewhat lacking in supporting empirical research, the concept of suggesting that there are many types of intelligences is something I will utilize in my teaching philosophy and work to integrate, when applicable into my design.
- How has this course deepened your understanding of your personal learning process?
I believe I have sharpened my own personal learning process. To accumulate and absorb information without any thought isn’t possible anymore. I find myself asking questions such as how much did I just understand and how could I learn this more efficiently. Just the act of thinking about how I am learning has given way to more opportunities to reflect. That simple act of reflection has increased my understanding exponentially and enabled me to adapt the learning process to maximize my education.
Honestly, I had a hard time with some of the course content. I do not have an education background and therefore do not possess the pre-existing knowledge that would have helped me remember and apply the information (Ormrod, 2009). Knowing this fact has reduced my stress and afforded me the opportunity to learn the material at my own pace and with less pressure.
- What have you learned regarding the connection between learning theories, learning styles, educational technology, and motivation?
First, learning theories, styles, educational technology, and motivation are all connected. It is impossible to create a program that meets each learners needs exactly. However, knowing for whom you are designing for will allow for a better final product.
Second, if you don’t motivate the learners then everything else really doesn’t matter. “You can present a lot of good information in your elearning courses, but you can’t really control whether or not a person learns from them” (Kuhlmann, 2008). Understandably, motivation is a significant factor in the learners’ success. John Keller’s ARCS model of motivational design is a good summary of the issues that need to be considered when designing a course.
- How will your learning in this course help you as you further your career in the field of instructional design?
This course has begun to fill the gap left by changing careers. Clearly, I still have much to learn but I now possess the confidence that a basic understanding of the underlying premises of instructional design bring about. I believe I will be easily able to use everything in this course from ARCS to Ormrod’s webcasts.
Kuhlmann, T. (2008, March 25). Motivate Your Learners with These 5 Simple Tips. Retrieved from Articulate.com: http://www.articulate.com/rapid-elearning/motivate-your-learners-with-these-5-simple-tips/
Mattingly, B., & Thompson, K. (2008). Understanding your Learning Styles. Retrieved from Regional Office of Education #11.
Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning theories and instruction (Laureate custom edition ed.). New York: Pearson.