The learning theories matrix exercise had the most value for me because it helped me create an ‘at-a-glance’ reference that will become a timeless reference. Tying the matrix in with Dale Schunk’s definitive questions highlighted in Ertmer and Newby’s 1993 article Behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism: Comparing critical features gave me even more relevance when comparing these theories and their importance in Instructional design, as well as, my current field of customer service (Ormrod, Schunk, & Gredler, 2009). Arranging these theories in a matrix further demonstrated to me that learning is complex and dynamic. As an educator, you must find a balance between learning styles and teaching styles, and you must adjust your approach throughout the course. There clearly is no definitive, right or wrong way of teaching but rather, you have to find your way one student and one course at a time. You have to be diligent about personal inventory to discover what you do effectively and identify those areas that need improvement. Each design project will be a learning experience with an opportunity to sharpen skills, and perfect your methods.
Lastly, another significant action item for any instructional designer today is to strive to stay current with the latest technologies. This can be daunting without the proper connections and tools, however, with the many Instructional Design blogs we uncovered in this class, I now feel as if I am connected and will stay apprised on all the latest trends. The personal blogs that we created in this class will further provide a valuable outlet for professional writing, portfolio display and material for job references.
Although the concepts presented in this class were fairly new to me, I gained a solid understanding of the learning theories, the multiple viewpoints regarding these theories, and how to use what I need to create a design that works for each learner. I came to realize that not all students learn in the same way or are motivated by the same things. I will approach each project with a clean canvas until I am able to discover the target learning audience; determine how they learn effectively, and what motivates them. At this point, it seems like a daunting task to be able to pull all of these concepts together into one design, but I am up for the challenge and am anxious to get started.
Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning theories and instruction (Laureate custom edition). New York: Pearson.
Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (1993). Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 6(4), 50–71.
Keller, J. M. (1999). Using the ARCS motivational process in computer-based instruction and Distance education. New Directions for Teaching and Learning (78).