Sunday, March 3, 2013

EDUC 6115 Week 8: Reflection

As I finish up with the last week of this course, I admit that my knowledge about how people learn is more profound than I expected it would be eight weeks ago. After reflecting on each completed assignment, I have to say that I am most surprised by how it is possible to combine learning theories from the past with technology of the future to design instruction for adult learners. Though there is still much to learn about learning theories and instruction, I feel that this course helped me to better understand my own personal learning process and gave me a solid foundation that I will be able to apply towards creating instruction for others. In this reflection, I will further discuss how my learning in this course will help me to enter into the field of instructional design.
First, I would like to further explain why the combination of new technology and old learning theories is surprising to me. For example, we learned about the Behaviorist Theory that focuses mostly on how learning is explained by observing behaviors of a learner within its environment. In the beginning, I could not find much of a connection between this theory and the online learning technology that is my preferred learning tool. Then it dawned on me that the study of behaviorism could very well have led to the creation of programmed instruction. Computer assisted instruction and tutorials allow for students to process information systematically and then receive immediate feedback for their answers, which fits B.F. Skinner’s notion of operant conditioning. Revelations like this certainly helped to keep me engaged in the class, because I felt that I was making connections with information that was new to me.
Additionally, I am happy to admit that this course has deepened my understanding of my personal learning process, which will help me to relate to other learners. In the sixth week we were encouraged to recognize differences in learning styles, and I found this lesson helpful in discovering additional insight into what helps my learning process. Of the theories listed by Dr. Ormrod (2009) in the Learning Styles and Strategies video, Mnemonics was my favorite model to discover as a learning style that I have been using successfully for years. I believe that I can use my increased knowledge of different learning styles and multiple intelligences to improve my own learning experience at Walden University while learning to design balanced instruction for others.
I have also learned that there are many connections between learning theories, styles, technology, and motivation. It will be a goal of mine, as an instructional designer, to combine these items together when creating instruction. For example, it is possible to create instruction that blends theories from Piaget, Vygosky, Gery into an Internet-based activity that includes social network connections and Intrinsic motivation. As argued by Jared Carman (2002), “that some of the best-designed learning experiences draw on a blend of learning theories and philosophies.”
As for using the knowledge that I have gained in this course to help my career in the field of Instructional Design, I will attempt to apply the knowledge I have learned from our lessons in future interviews with hiring managers within the field. Overall, I feel that I am now better prepared to control the direction of my career.

Carman, J. (2002, August). Blended Learning Design: Five Key Ingredients. Retrieved from

Laureate Education (Producer). (2009). Learning Styles and Strategies. [DVD]. Baltimore, MD: Dr Jeanne Ormrod

Sunday, February 24, 2013

EDUC 6115 Week 7: Fitting the Pieces Together

My assignment this week is to reflect on how my view has changed since the beginning of the course, now that I have a deeper understanding of the different learning theories and learning styles. After reviewing what I wrote for my first discussion post in this class, about which methods are best for my own personal learning, I realized that my views from that first week were mostly inadequate.

Seven weeks ago I was not familiar with the different learning theories, styles, or aware that I was already heavily dependant upon using technology to learn. With this limited knowledge, I viewed myself as a self-directed learner that could simply read through class materials and grasps new concepts with repetition. Since I did not have any prior exposure to learning theories, I found that this was not as easy as I had expected. To overcome my lack of experience in this field, I referenced my classmate’s experiences that were shared in our group discussions. I read through my peer’s postings to find examples of how these theories were applied in a classroom.  During the forth and fifth weeks of class, I figured out that I was applying a constructivist goal to my own learning. I even posted the following statements in our discussion group to show the connection that I had made:

“As a self-directed learner in this course, I find that I am encountering a lot of challenges with understanding theories that I have no personal experiences to reflect upon. When this happens, I end up having to repeatedly read my classmate’s discussion posts until I am able to find a link between the course resources and a peer’s experience” (McLaughlin, 2013).

I believe that last week was a pretty significant tipping point for me in this class, as I was able to piece together the realization that I should be expanding my areas of study and finding ways to use different learning styles outside of my comfort zone. After all, as a future instructional designer, I do not want to be limited to creating instruction for just one learning method.

In addition, I expect technology to continue as an extremely valuable tool in my learning. I can utilize search engines on the Internet for research. I can subscribe to more blogs, and read them on my mobile device. I can create activities that include Quick Response (QR) codes. I can increase my social media presence in order to connect with other Instructional Designers. I will keep an open mind and be happy to embrace new technology as it becomes available.


McLaughlin, A.L. (2012, February 7). Week 5: Adult Learning Experiences. [Discussion group comment]. Retrieved from the Walden University Blackboard Learn discussion group:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

EDUC 6115 Week 5: Mapping My Learning Connections

Yesterday, I posted a visual example of my learning network mind map. Tonight, I would like to reflect upon how my connections facilitate learning by answering the following questions from my instructor, Dr. Weaver.

How has your network changed the way you learn?

I think that technology advancements have made the biggest impact on the way I learn. In the learning network mind map that I posted yesterday, you should notice how the majority of my resources are through electronic learning devices and outlets. Whether I am using my MacBook to log-in to my Walden class, subscribing to a blog about connectivism through the Google Reader App on my phone, or reading through articles emailed to me from my mentor at work; there is not one area of my learning network that is void of technology.

Which digital tools best facilitate learning for you?

Right now I have to say that there is a tie in the battle of the greatest digital tool facilitator. Both Google searches on my MacBook and RSS subscriptions through the Google Reader app on my Samsung Galaxy III phone have been extremely vital in providing me with the digital tools that I need to survive my quest for higher learning. Currently, some of my favorite RSS subscriptions are as follows:

The Writers Gateway - Let's Talk Instructional Design located at:

The e-Learning Coach located at:

ASTD Conference Notes from Kapp Notes located at:

Usable Learning located at:

How do you gain new knowledge when you have questions?

The ability to search any subject online through the Internet is possibly the most efficient digital tool in my learning network reservoir. I am convinced that I would be completely lost without Google. There are times that I hate how much I turn to Google to find answers, but there is no denying that it is a wonderful tool. For fun, I searched for Google’s impact on learners. This research brought me to an article by Terry Heick (2012) that sums up my Google dependency efficiently by saying, “it creates the illusion that answers are always within reach even when they’re not.”

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

I believe that connectivism supports my personal learning network, because I am able to form connections between digital sources, teachers, classmates, written materials, colleagues, and social media. I believe my learning network is multi-faceted, and has opened up a two-way channel of information between my resources and myself. It is also diverse, and allows me to interact according to my own knowledge and values.


Heick, T. (2012, August 16). How Google Impacts The Way Students Think. Retrieved from

Sunday, January 20, 2013

EDUC 6115 Week 2: Save Your Work!

This past week I have found myself completely lost in an assignment to find and blog about two online resources that cover at least one of the following topics:

  • The brain and learning
  • Information processing theory
  • Problem-solving methods during the learning process

I say that I am lost, however overwhelmed may be the better term to use. There is a plethora of information out there in cyberspace, and I am afraid that my grasp on the subject matter is less than satisfactory. Keeping in mind that it is only the second week of class, I promise to not give up on my learning ability just yet.

The first little gem that I found about the brain and learning was an article written by Marilee Sprenger (n.d.) about “Brain-Friendly Teaching” located on the Education World website at I found this article very valuable for me personally, because it provides easy to understand steps for teachers to use with students that need to “move new information from sensory to long-term memory” (Sprenger, n.d.).

The second online resource that I chose to cite for this assignment was the Information Processing Theory article written by The Gale Group located on the website at (McCrudden and Schraw, n.d.). I found this article to be valuable, because it read like an outline of important key terms and illustrations that should be highlighted in a textbook. This was extremely helpful to me as it gave me an additional way to process all of the new subject matter that I was introduced to this week in our class text and other online resources.

After surviving a devastating computer crash where my almost completed blog post was lost, I beg of you to look back on what you just read and have pity on my stress-ridden last minute attempt to recapture all of the wonderful thoughts that disappeared due to a spiteful computer that is certainly out to destroy me. Beware of evil word processor freezes!


McCrudden, M. and Schraw, G. (n.d.). Information Processing Theory. Retrieved from the Internet on January 20, 2013 from the site:

Sprenger, M. (n.d.). Brain-Friendly Teaching: From Sensory to Long-Term Memory. Retrieved from the Internet on January 20, 2013 from the site:

Sunday, January 13, 2013

EDUC 6115 Week 1: Blog Assignment

After spending several days just trying to make sure that I understood everything about creating and maintaining a blog for my class, I finally managed to locate a few blogs and resource sites that cater towards providing information about the field of Instructional Design. I certainly enjoyed the hours I spent Googling blogs, so let me share what I found with you below:

1. The Rapid E-Learning Blog by Tom Kuhlmann has many great resources for designing courses, building E-Learning scenarios, managing projects, and Instructional Design. My favorite post from this blog is called What We Can Learn About Instructional Design from Post-it Notes, because it points out that learners filter out information that is not deemed critical. It reminded me of all the times that I have endured very long training sessions at work only to find out that one of my colleagues could have taught me the same information in a few minutes. If you would like to see this blog, which is also linked to an E-Learning community called the “Articulate Network,” you can visit it at the following link:

2. The Instructional Design & Development Blog from the Faculty Instructional Technology Services department at DePaul University. Currently, thirteen different contributors post information about using technology to improve instruction. I like this blog because it is a great resource for anyone that is interested in enhancing his or her skills as a facilitator. Also, there is a great option to view archived posts by category that I found very helpful. You can visit this blog with the following link:

3. Cathy Moore’s Let’s save the world from boring elearning! blog is another great one that I have bookmarked. A majority of the site concentrates on the action mapping approach to instructional design that Moore covers in her online workshops and certificate program. However, there is an article by Ms. Moore titled How to become an instructional designer that I will probably read more than once. You can find this article listed in the resources menu of Cathy Moore’s blog at the following link:

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New, New, New...

It's a New Year.
I bought a new car. 
I have a new work schedule.
I joined a new gym, but I have to get rid of an old case of bronchitis before going. 
I'm trying to have a new attitude... this isn't going as well as I had hoped.
Finally... I am starting a new class. Therefore, I have created this new blog!