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Learning Theories and Instruction Course Reflection

Thinking back on the last eight weeks of this class, I have learned so much about learning theories and the way people learn. Something that I found surprising as I furthered my knowledge about how people learn was that you should not focus on teaching people based on their learning styles. It is more effective if you focus on using various learning strategies rather than focus on learning styles. I used to think that if you catered to students based on their learning styles, it would help them grasp concepts better. Although it may have worked in some cases, I also learned that there are some concepts you might have to use hands on approach rather than just auditory and visual. Sometimes it is also better to try to incorporate a little of each.

At the beginning of this course, our first discussion post was to describe how we learn and which learning theory best suites us. I have always thought that I was a visual and kinesthetic learner. I grasp concepts more by seeing examples as well as hands on approach. However, after learning about the different learning styles and theories, I learn best incorporating all three learning styles. Being able to have internet access and a computer helps me to learn new information. This is linked to the theory of connectivism, where I use various networks to learn and understand new information.

In regards to learning theories, learning styles, educational technology, and motivation, they all play a significant role in getting people to learn. Once educators and instructional designers understand the various learning theories and styles, they are able to plan instruction that will suit the needs of their learners so that they are successful in understanding and applying the concepts. Although educators may have grasped the concept of planning instruction to the learners’ needs, they also must be able to motivate their learners. Some learners are motivated intrinsically while others may not. In order to get learners to learn new information, it must be meaningful to them. Motivated learners and instruction that caters to learners’ needs will ensure success for learners.

This course will help me in the field of instructional design when it comes to developing instruction. As an aspiring instructional designer, I would have to create instruction that caters to the needs of my learners. I would have to make the learning meaningful, in which learners are able to relate new information to real world and their life experiences. I would also have various resources available to them so that they are able to understand concepts better and use different methods to keep them motivated.

In conclusion, I have learned valuable information from this course that will allow me not only become an instructional designer but also a more effective teacher. Taking what I learn from this course and applying it will allow my learners to become highly motivated and achieve success.

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Putting the Pieces Together

Now that you have a deeper understanding of the different learning theories and learning styles, how has your view on how you learn changed?

I have always thought that I fell in the category of one or two of the learning theories. I also thought that I had only one or two learning styles as well. I have learned that your learning style may change overtime. It may even change depending on the concept being taught. I still prefer to learn by applying what I have learned to real world situations. I still think that I am a hands on and visual learner. I also realized that each of these theories play a role in the way I learn as well. At the beginning of this course, I was only aware of a few learning theories but now I have learned more and have gained a much deeper understanding of them. Being able to understand these learning theories will only make me an effective instructional designer.

What have you learned about the various learning theories and learning styles over the past weeks that can further explain your own personal learning preferences?

After learning about the various learning theories, I think that I would gravitate more to the theory of adult learning. When it comes to adult learning, learners are able to take control of their own learning. I like how I can work at my own pace. Adult learning could be related to self-direct learning. I have the choice to learn what I want or see necessary to apply to personal or work experiences. I also learned that I like learning collaboratively because you get the chance to learn from other people’s perspective as well as their own experiences. You also can share ideas with one another.

What role does technology play in your learning (i.e., as a way to search for information, to record information, to create, etc.)?

Technology plays a very important role in my learning. I use the internet to search for information that interests me. I also use it to search for different teaching methods/strategies that I can try in my classroom to make me a more effective teacher. I also search for information that will help with any assignments that I have to complete. With technology being available to me, I am able to take control of my own learning and can work at my own pace.

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Mind Map Reflection

How has your network changed the way you learn?

The way that I learn has changed overtime due to the evolution of technology. Although I have while I was in grade school, especially between my elementary school years, I never really focused on using the computer to facilitate my learning. I would learn from my classroom teachers, family, friends, and any other adult I have met if I was in a club or organization. As time progressed, I learned how to utilize technology more to help with my learning. Especially being a teacher, I research various techniques to engage students in learning.

Which digital tools best facilitate learning for you?

I would normally jump to Google as a tool if I want to learn something. Of course, using the search engine gives you more than enough results. Sometimes I end up on blogs, articles, and other credible websites. Some other great digital tools that best facilitate my learning are the Discussion Boards and weekly learning resources that I am required to read for my online courses. I learn so much from the weekly resources for my class and from the discussion boards. Being a part of the discussion boards allows me to express my views and knowledge of what I have learned from the weekly readings. I also learn from my fellow classmates; I learn from their perspectives and I give feedback or ask questions when needed.

How do you gain new knowledge when you have questions?

Like I mention before, I usually start at google and branch out from there. If it is a question that is related to my coursework, I would email my professor or one of my classmates. When it comes to my profession, I would also utilize the internet or I would ask one of my colleagues or even some of my relatives who are in the education field.

In what ways does your personal learning network support or refute the central tenets of connectivism?

My personal learning network supports the central tenets of connectivism. I learn from all networks and I am able to utilize some of what I learn in my profession and in my personal life. As time progress, there is more and more information being added. I try to filter the information that I need from the information I do not need so that I am able to be successful.

Resource

Conlan, J., Grabowski S., & Smith, K. (2003). Adult learning. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging Perspectives on Learning, Teaching, and Technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Adult_Learning

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My Mind Map

Aniqua's Mind Map

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